Sheffield Eagles v Rochdale Hornets
Friday 30th March 2018, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 8
Stats over last 8 encounters
Last year, Rochdale Hornets had a successful first season back in the Kingstone Press Championship as they retained their status in the second tier.
The Crown Oil Arena side got off to a great start in 2017 with victories over Dewsbury, Bradford and Featherstone while also running Halifax and Hull KR close in the opening five matches. The Hornets picked up two wins and a draw against Oldham during the regular season, which proved pivotal as Rochdale stayed up, at the expense of the Roughyeds, by three points.
Coach Alan Kilshaw will be targeting Championship survival once again while hoping to get nearer to the Shield semi-final places. The Hornets will also be looking to extinguish a long streak of defeats against the Eagles, stretching over a decade.
So far this term, Rochdale have won once in the league – against Barrow Raiders at the Crown Oil Arena – while also progressing to the next round of the Challenge Cup after beating Normanton Knights. The Hornets had financial struggles in the off-season and offloaded Lewis Galbraith to Batley Bulldogs. Their dual-registration agreement with Warrington Wolves has come in handy, as the likes of Harvey Livett, Morgan Smith and Jack Johnson have all featured.
Last five results against Rochdale
- Sheffield Eagles 26-22 Rochdale Hornets at the Beaumont Legal Stadium – 10th September 2017
- Sheffield Eagles 38-14 Rochdale Hornets at the Beaumont Legal Stadium – 4th June 2017
- Rochdale Hornets 18-42 Sheffield Eagles at the Crown Oil Arena – 14th April 2017
- Rochdle Hornets 16-58 Sheffield Eagles at Spotland – 7th September 2014
- Sheffield Eagles 48-0 Rochdale Hornets at SHU Sports Park – 20th August 2014
2018 fixtures against Rochdale
- Sheffield Eagles v Rochdale Hornets at the Olympic Legacy Park - Friday 30th March 2018
- Rochdale Hornets v Sheffield Eagles at the Crown Oil Arena - Sunday 29th April 2018
Rochdale signed 16 players for the 2018 season, while losing four of last year’s squad. Brothers Luke and Toby Adamson joined from Oldham and Dewsbury respectively while Lee Mitchell, Declan Kay and Lewis Hatton, three of last year’s squad from partnered club Warrington, signed on permanent deals.
Back-rower Dave Allen and full-back Richard Lepori also put pen to paper on deals at the Crown Oil Arena as they departed Whitehaven and Oldham respectively. Kilshaw bolstered the squad with a large injection of youth, too. From League 1, the Hornets have recruited Billy Brickhill, Alex Gaskell and Callum Mulkeen from Gloucestershire All Golds as well as Earl Hurst and Blake Turner from North Wales Crusaders.
Dec Gregory was the sixth signing from the third tier as he linked up with the Hornets from Hemel. Aiden Hema signed on the dotted line from Halifax, alongside Harry Reardon from Warrington.
Deon Cross was brought into the club by Alan Kilshaw from St Helens based amateur club Blackbrook.
The loss of Jono Smith to Barrow is a blow for the club as he was a consistent figure in the team for two years. Gavin Bennion and Paul Crook moved on to Salford and Oldham respectively while Galbraith also headed out of the exit door to the Bulldogs. Rochdale were also struck with another piece of bad news when it was announced Miles Greenwood had retired from the sport.
Luke Adamson - Oldham
Toby Adamson - Dewsbury Rams
Dave Allen - Whitehaven
Billy Brickhill - Gloucestershire All Golds
Alex Gaskell - Gloucestershire All Golds
Dec Gregory - Hemel Stags
Lewis Hatton - Warrington Wolves
Earl Hurst - North Wales Crusaders
Aiden Hema - Halifax
Declan Kay - Warrington
Richard Lepori - Oldham
Lee Mitchell - Warrington Wolves
Callum Mulkeen - Gloucestershire All Golds
Harry Reardon - Warrington Wolves
Blake Turner - North Wales Crusaders
Deon Cross - Blackbrook
Matty Hadden had a trial period with the Eagles, in which he played against York City Knights in Andrew Henderson’s testimonial match.