Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles gearing up to cause another shock against Featherstone Rovers

Quentin Laulu-Togagae
Quentin Laulu-Togagae

Sheffield Eagles enjoy being outsiders and they have to beat the odds yet again when they face Featherstone tomorrow.

Rovers finished second in the league and have home advantage in the Championship semi-final at the Big Fellas Stadium (6.30pm).

Andy Hay’s squad have also had an extra week off to prepare with the Eagles having to battle through two qualifying rounds.

But Mark Aston’s teams have done it all before reaching three consecutive Grand Finals and won’t give up the title they have held for the past two seasons without a fight.

They have the momentum of an eight-game winning run and strike power across the squad with fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae leading the way scoring 32 tries.

“We’re looking forward to it, we went to Featherstone a few weeks ago and got a great result and we need to do that again,” said Aston.

“Fev will be tough. It will be a physical battle but we want to get to another Grand Final and that motivates you.”

Two players – for very different reasons – could swing the battle the Eagles way. Hooker Andy Henderson is on borrowed time with defeat bringing the curtain down on his playing career before he moves to London Broncos as assistant coach.

Stand-off Kyle Briggs is back at the club that first sent him out on loan this year then allowed him to sign for the Eagles.

The pair – with scrum-half Dominic Brambani –will be key to setting up fast plays that can bring the backs into try-scoring positions.

Briggs gave his former employers a reminder scoring a hat-trick of tries in his first return to the Big Fellas in a 40-28 win late last month.

Briggs’ hat-trick at Featherstone won him the chairman’s award at the club’s annual dinner last night.

Player of the Year went to Misi Taulapapa with the other winners: Website Readers’ Award - Michael Knowles; Shooting Star (young player) - Tom Aston; Players’ Player - Matt Garside; Club Personality - Andy Giles, general manager.