Rugby League: Eagles’ stamina pays dividends

PLAYING only one match over the Easter holiday helped Sheffield Eagles hang on for a win on Batley Bulldogs’ sloping pitch.

The Eagles led 28-4 at half-time and didn’t score another point as they battled up Mount Pleasant’s famous hill in the final 40 minutes.

Batley dominated possession but the Eagles produced a stamina testing performance marked by determined defence to restrict the home team to two late tries.

The result extended the Eagles winning run to five games and takes them to third place in the Championship. They have time to recover from the battering at Batley with a blank weekend before they face St Helens in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup on Saturday 7 May.

Aston will be checking on Alex Szostak who had to come off after 24 minutes at Batley. The second row forward has been suffering from the after effects of a virus.

Meanwhile Aston is keeping a watch on the availability of former centre James Ford who has been told by Widnes Vikings he will not be given a new contract.

Ford scored 48 tries in 77 games for the Eagles but has struggled since joining Widnes in 2010.