Rugby League: Mark Aston backs Leeds Rhinos to see off Hull KR Challenge

Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott
Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott

Sheffield Eagles will be keeping a close eye on tomorrow’s Challenge Cup Final with Mark Aston’s side set to face underdogs Hull KR next month in the Super 8s.

The Eagles have a weekend off from competitive action because of the showpiece final as favourites Leeds Rhinos take on Hull KR at Wembley Stadium.

Mark Aston

Mark Aston

Aston himself knows a thing or two about upsetting the odds in a prestigious final, after playing a part in the Eagles’ shock victory over Wigan Warriors 17 years ago.

Despite an impressive run to the final Aston is backing Leeds to lift the famous trophy, as the West Yorkshire outfit look to seal part one of the double.

“I don’t think that you can look too far away from Leeds can you,” Aston told The Star.

“It has happened before though, you only have to go back to our own experiences in 1998 when we were the underdogs and won. Hull Kingston Rovers will be huge underdogs because no one can touch Leeds at the moment, they are playing that well. They are at the top of their game so it will have to be a really good Hull KR performance to take it away from Leeds.”

Whilst he is backing Leeds to come out on top, Aston believes Rovers cannot be underestimated after showing good form in the early part of the Super 8s.

“They have performed against the odds to get to the final, he added.

“They are there on merit and they have beaten some top sides to get there. They will have some confidence, some will say that they are in the middle eight, but they have won their first three games, so there is a winning feeling about them. They have the players in the ranks to certainly cause Leeds problems.”

Aston is currently enjoying a well earned break before he returns to the training field to lead his side into the final four games of the season. They end their campaign with two home fixtures at Bramall Lane, one of which will be against Rovers.

“We play them soon so we will be looking,” Aston admitted.

“I will be away in the Lake District having a couple of days with my better half, but I will find somewhere to watch it. We’ll be looking closely, we have two games before we play them but we will certainly be taking notice.”