Rugby League: Aston’s up for the cup

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Sheffield Eagles have home advantage against Championship rivals Barrow Raiders in the first knockout round of the Northern Rail Cup.

“We wanted to get a home draw so this is fine,” said coach Mark Aston. “We beat Barrow in the league a couple of weeks ago but cup games are different and you don’t get second chances.”

Doncaster face a trip to York City Knights following the draw last night.

Dons captain Kyle Kesik said: “We would have liked a home game but York is agood draw. We haven’t played York yet this season but we want to progress in the cup.”

The Northern Rail is the major Cup competition for professional clubs outside the Super League. The 14 Championship clubs are joined by two qualifies from Championship One in this round.

The Eagles made the semi-final last season before going out to the eventual winners Halifax.

Aston added: “This competition is now ‘sudden death’ and we’re midway through the season so we’ll be ready. We are taking it seriously. I’m sure the fans would enjoy a trip to the final.”

The Rail Cup game will be played on the weekend of 18-19 May.

Meanwhile Aston has added young forward Connor Scott to the squad ahead of tomorrow night’s league game against Dewsbury Rams at Don Valley Stadium. Colton Roche (knee) is ruled out.