Mark Aston’s pride after underdogs Sheffield Eagles reach Championship Shield final

Garry Lo has scored 35 tries this season. Picture: Andrew Roe
Garry Lo has scored 35 tries this season. Picture: Andrew Roe

Director of rugby Mark Aston admitted his pride in his Sheffield Eagles side after they defied the odds to reach the Championship Shield final.

Eagles, underdogs going into their semi-final against Batley at Mount Pleasant, at one stage opened up an 18 point advantage, before holding out at the end to record their passage into their second consecutive Shield final.

Aston’s side will now face Toulouse in the south of France, with the Eagles chief delighted to get one over the Bulldogs, who put his side to the sword twice in the regular campaign.

“I’m massively proud as Batley have given us two lessons this season and also beat us last weekend,” Aston told The Star.

“They have spanked us home and away in the league, and have plenty of players there who have previously played for us.

“We went into the game as underdogs but we went into the entire season as underdogs. There were plenty of people who didn’t give us a chance. We are all immensely proud that we have got to a final - on our day we can really play.”

The final will see a host of players sign off their time with the Eagles, with Elliot Minchella already confirming he will join Bradford Bulls next season.

Winger Garry Lo, pictured, who made it 35 tries for the season with a brace, is joining Castleford, although the Eagles may see him next season in a loan capacity, whilst prop Scott Wheeldon has been linked with a switch to Featherstone.

Aston says it will be a fitting way to end for some of his squad, if they can defy the odds by beating Toulouse.