Sheffield Eagles eye third straight final

Dominic Brambani of Sheffield Eagles leads the charge
Dominic Brambani of Sheffield Eagles leads the charge

Sheffield Eagles seek revenge tonight by winning at Halifax and booking a place in a third successive Grand Final.

Mark Aston’s team must travel to the Shay (7pm) after losing home advantage in a 21-6 defeat by Fax in an earlier play-off round.

Fax have also had an extra week to prepare with Eagles enjoying only four days recovery time after beating Dewsbury.

But in the past two seasons Eagles have faced away semi-finals, winning at Halifax and Leigh, before going on to reach the Grand Final. Eagles must win or their season is over but Aston said: “We’ve done it the hard way before but you have to step up to keep the title. When we played Halifax, they ran at 80% ball control, we ran at 50% yet with six minutes to go they were only beating us 9-6. If we get that side of our game right, which we did against Dewsbury, they will be more worried than we are.”

Halifax’s playmaker Scott Morrell can be expected to launch a barrage of high kicks but fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae (QLT) came through a similar test in the win over Dewsbury. Aston said: “QLT is a big game player.”

Half-back Dominic Brambani must provide the ammunition for Menzie Yere, the top try scorer across all RL divisions with 45.

Brambani said: “I haven’t been my best for a few weeks and I’ll admit that, but I’ve hit back with my form against Dewsbury and hopefully I’ll take that into the semi-final.”

Eagles are hoping that centre Tom Armstrong has recovered from a dead leg injury with Misi Taulapapa on standby. Liam Higgins and Colton Roche may return to add power to the forwards.