THE big zero against Hunslet Hawks on the scoreboard at Don Valley was just what coach Mark Aston wanted to see.
This season the Eagles have scored points with ease but the defending has also tended to be generous to the opposition.
That gave the 48-0 win over Hunslet in the Northern Rail Cup an extra edge with some tough league games coming up.
“I’m delighted and to nil a team for 80 minutes is something we haven’t done this season,” said Aston.
“It was good the way the lads did what they had to – it wasn’t a vintage performance but we still racked up 48 points and didn’t let any in.”
A dismal rainy night - and the counter-attraction of England playing in the European Football Championships on the television - saw only 286 fans attracted to Don Valley for the Hunslet game, the lowest this season.
They missed an impressive performance in difficult conditions by the forwards dominating and setting the platform that saw fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae take his try total for the season to 24 including a first-half hat-trick.
Dane McDonald and New Morrison were the other scorers in the first 40 with Menzie Yere, Andrew Henderson and Alex Szostak after the break. Simon Brown and Dominic Brambani each kicked three goals.
Aston said: “It was a bit greasy and wet under foot, the first half we were running at 70 plus per (ball control) the second half wasn’t that great but you have to be happy with the way the big fellows went around the field.”
The win earned the Eagles a home game against Halifax in the semi-finals. When the teams met in the league Fax won 50-18 at Bramall Lane in March.
In the other semi Featherstone are at home to the holders Leigh Centurions.
Cup glory takes a back seat as the Eagles go hunting a fourth win of the season over York City Knights at Don Valley tomorrow night (kick-off 7.30pm).
The Eagles have scored 111 points against the Knights in the league, Northern Rail and Challenge Cup meetings but for Aston that doesn’t count with York getting their first league win at Swinton in the last round of games.
“York got a good win the other week and that’ll give them confidence,” he said. “That win will make York feel like they are starting their season again.
“We need to come up with a good performance against York and start the momentum going again. We need to show consistency in our play.”
Meanwhile, Eagles will welcome back some legends of the game for their clash against York tomorrow night.
Stars of the past, including Was Savatoboa, Rocky Turner, and Dale Laughton will be taking the field to entertain the delighted Eagles fans.
There will also be carnival activities on the night to keep the younger family members entertained.
For more details go to the Sheffield Eagles website: www.sheffieldeagles.com.