Sheffield Eagles can relax after booking their place in a third successive Championship Grand Final.
The players and their fans were able to party last night at the club’s annual awards dinner. “We’ll have the weekend off then refocus” said coach Mark Aston. “We’re back in training next week with a smile on our faces. We’ll start preparing, there’s no point in getting to the final and not getting the result.”
Club captain Mitch Stringer was the big winner at the awards with a double of Player of the Year and Website Readers’ trophies.
Supporters were also celebrating Quentin Laulu-Togagae signing a two-year extension to his contract that will keep him at the club until 2016.
The fullback brought his try total to 34 with a score in the Eagles 29-10 win over Halifax in the semi-final.
The Eagles will defend the trophy they won last year against either Featherstone Rovers or Batley Bulldogs who meet in the second play-off semi-final tomorrow. The final is at Leigh Sports Village next Sunday.
“I’m not worried who we get” said Aston. “From the start of the season winning back-to-back finals has been the aim.
“To be the first team to do that would be a fantastic achievement.”
Prop forward Liam Higgins looks set to miss the final after going off with a knee injury in the second half at the Shay.
“Liam’s tweaked his knee and we won’t know the full extent of the injury for 24 hours but you have to rate him as a massive doubt and it’ll be sad if he misses the final,” said Aston.
Eagles awards winners: Player of the Year: Mitch Stringer; Players’ Player: Misi Taulapapa; Supporters’ Club Player: Menzie Yere; Website Readers’ Player: Mitch Stringer; Shooting Star (young player): Cory Aston. Chairman’s Champaign Moment: Patch Walker’s ball steal and try at Batley in the league.