Rugby League: Eagles sweat on injured trio

Star Sheffield Eagles winger Misi Taulapapa.
Star Sheffield Eagles winger Misi Taulapapa.

Sheffield Eagles could be without three first team regulars for the top-of-the-Championship clash with Halifax.

Prop forward Ben Gledhill was knocked out in the win over Barrow Raiders last weekend with fellow front rower Colton Roche feared to have broken a thumb.

Influential winger Misi Taulapapa, who has played in every game this season, was pulled off in the second half with an ankle injury.

It’s a worry for coach Mark Aston as he plans for the visit of league leaders Halifax to Bramall Lane on Friday night.

“It was a good run out against Barrow but a few of the lads are busted up,” he said. “Ben was knocked out and we’ll have to see but he’s made of tough stuff and could be right for Friday.

“Colton may have busted his thumb and we pulled Misi off. It’s a quick turnaround before the game at Bramall Lane. We’ll have to assess the injuries this week.”

Aston has options in forwards in Dario Esposito, Peter Green and Eddie Battye but all have struggled to command a regular place in the team. In the backs Vinney Finigan could replace Taulapapa.

The loss of Gledhill, who is on loan from Salford Reds, would be a headache with Liam Higgins still recovering from ankle and calf injuries that have kept him out for nearly three months.

The pair had looked set to battle for a starting role in the front row following the retirement of Jack Howieson.

Aston is targeting the trip to Barrow in two weeks time as the comeback game for former Hull, Castleford and Wakefield prop Higgins.

“Liam is getting close and we’ll hope for the Barrow game but anything before that is a bonus,” said Aston.

“He will need to train with no after-effect. There’s a chance for the Hunslet game next Wednesday but Barrow is the target.”