Sheffield Eagles will hold no fear about facing the Super 8 pace setters and Challenge Cup finalists Hull KR in their penultimate fixture at Bramall Lane this evening (7.45pm).
That is the view of director of rugby Mark Aston who leads his side back into the Steel City against a side that have already secured their Super League status for next season after five straight wins.
Aston is likely to free the shackles off his team and look to build on last weekend’s free flowing performance where they scored 34 points in narrow defeat at Salford.
“Nothing fazes this team,” an upbeat Aston told The Star.
“I have seen enough in what we do at times to know that we can compete. We challenged ourselves last week to do the unexpected and try things, that was typified by a couple of great tries that we scored.
“We know that we need to smarten up a little defensively and try and cut out some of those lapses.
“Hull Kingston Rovers still have plenty to play for; they have said they want to go unbeaten during the Super 8s, so it should be a terrific game.”
The Eagles have a doubt over centre Sam Smeaton who injured a shoulder in the defeat last weekend, but second-row John Davies looks set to return after missing out at Salford to attend the birth of his child. The only other doubt is prop Tony Tonks who has been suffering from an ankle problem.
“Smeats popped his shoulder so he will be a doubt but we don’t have any other major issues at the moment,” Aston confirmed.
“We were a little depleted at Salford last week with Tony Tonks and John Davies not being available, but Dave Petersen and Connor Scott came in and did a great job.
“Without being disrespectful to the others you do miss the likes of Tony and John, they have a real impact coming off the bench and we should have them both available.”
All three have been included in Aston’s 19 man squad for the game with Smeaton likely to be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.
Meanwhile, Aston confirmed that contract extensions to members of his current playing staff are close to being finalised, with the first announcement likely to be confirmed at the back end of next week.