Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston is wary of the physical threat provided by Rochdale Hornets ahead of tomorrow’s showdown.
The Eagles will be looking to build on last weekend’s Summer Bash success over Swinton as they attempt to close an eight-point gap to the top four.
Rochdale themselves will be buoyed by their own Blackpool triumph, after a spectacular comeback to defeat Oldham when at one stage they were 18 points down.
Aston has warned his side that they must be tough if they are to compete with Alan Kilshaw’s side, as they look to complete a double over the Hornets following their 42-18 success at Spotland earlier in the campaign.
“They are physical and very tough,” Aston told The Star. “They had a great result against Oldham, turning over a big points deficit, so they are bound to have a bit of confidence from that. They can play, and they don’t mind doing the grubby stuff. They can upset teams.”
Aston again has a question mark over Duane Straugheir who is still struggling with a groin problem despite returning to the 17 last weekend.
The Eagles chief has confirmed that Kyle Trout will be out for six to eight weeks following an operation after it was revealed that he has fractured a cheekbone.
Winger Garry Lo and centre Menzie Yere are being managed with minor knee injuries.
New signings Jack Owens and Paddy Flynn are expected to make their ‘home’ debuts, while Remy Marginet won’t join up with his new teammates until the second week of this month.
Aston believes the key to success will be playing at a high tempo, as he looks to avoid a repeat of the final 10 minutes against Swinton which saw the Eagles ship three quickfire tries.
“We have to be good and we have to be physical,” he said. “That’s what we did when we played them away from home. If we do that again then we give ourselves a chance of winning again. We have to get into the arm wrestle and come out on top. We have to up the ante and really start asking the questions when they maybe start to fatigue. The tempo we play at will be the key to that.”
Kick-off at Belle Vue is 3pm.