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Friday, 16 September 2011 11:18

Co-operative Championships play-offs previews


Sheffield Eagles v Halifax

Co-operative Championship play-offs second elimination round

Bramall Lane, Sunday 18 September, kick-off 3pm


Mark Aston is expecting a cracking game when the Eagles face Halifax in the second knockout round of the play-offs.

Halifax are defending the title they won last year but this season they finished in the sixth and final play-off place in the Championship.

Eagles have home advantage playing at Bramall Lane but Aston warns that league form is no guide when it comes to the play-offs.

“Halifax didn’t win the Grand final last season by a fluke and they are still an impressive team,” said Aston.

“We beat them at home this season but lost at their place and we’re still smarting from that. They got to the final last year by beating us in the semi – so this year we have the challenge to do better and to avenge that.

“We want to get to the final and Halifax are in our way.”

The winner of Sunday’s game will go on to face the loser of the first qualification semi-final between Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions played on Thursday night.

Sunday sees the final home game for Misi Taulapapa. Menzie Yere is still ruled out following his two-match ban. Prop forward Mitch Stringer (knee) and half-back Dane McDonald (shoulder) are the main injury worries for the Eagles.

Eagles were impressive in their first round play-off game beating Widnes Vikings 36-20. Halifax won 32-22 at Batley.

Fax full back Miles Greenwood (rib) is a major doubt, but caretaker coach Damian Ball is expecting James Haley to play despite suffering a shoulder injury against Batley.