Swinton Lions v Sheffield Eagles
Sunday 19th August 2018, 15:00pm
Super 8s - Round: 2
Stats over last 8 encounters
Sheffield Eagles travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday as they hope to get their first Championship Shield victory at the second time of asking.
The Eagles were beaten by Leigh Centurions in round one while Swinton suffered defeat against Dewsbury Rams.
In the regular season, Sheffield and Swinton both picked up away victories against each other and Mark Aston’s men will be hoping that theme carries on in the Shield.
Sheffield are six points clear of the Lions, who are sat in the relegation zone, and a win will certainly be a massive boost for the South Yorkshire side’s fight for survival.
Last Time Out
Sheffield were downed 68-6 at the Leigh Sports Village against a professional Centurions outfit.
Leigh were 34-0 up at half-time thanks to a hat-trick from Ilias Bergal and tries courtesy of Nathan Mason, Drew Hutchison and Mitch Cox.
After the restart, Bergal scored his fourth of the contest prior to Ricky Bailey adding more salt into the Eagles’ wounds.
Joshua Toole grabbed Sheffield’s only try of the contest with a brilliant 60 metre effort directly from a scrum.
Liam Hood, Jack Owens, Hutchison and Matty Dawson-Jones all added four-pointers in the final quarter for the hosts.
Swinton surrendered a slender half-time advantage against Dewsbury Rams, losing 40-7 at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Lions hooker Luke Waterworth broke the deadlock in the 17th minute before Robbie Ward got Dewsbury on the board soon after.
A Josh Woods drop goal was all that separated the sides at the break but Swinton were unable to withstand a barrage of Rams pressure after the restart.
Dom Speakman, Adam Ryder and Aaron Brown all touched down before the hour mark to put the hosts in command.
Gareth Potts, Michael Knowles and Josh Guzdek crossed in the final quarter to add the finishing touches to a fine second half performance.
The introduction of Paul Wood into the Swinton squad could prove vital for the Lions when it comes to intense matches like this Sunday.
The experienced forward brings a whole host of knowledge and power to Swinton’s operation and that is something Sheffield will have to counteract at Heywood Road.
Andy Bracek is another Swinton player with similar experience while Josh Barlow and Andy Thornley have also been around the Championship block for many years.
The Eagles had a tough afternoon trying to deal with Leigh’s pack last week and they will need to bounce back this weekend.
Shaun Pick has been the ‘pick’ of the forwards for a number of months now, with great performances on a weekly basis.
USA international Mark Offerdahl will also be aiming for another big performance, something which has become customary in the Red and Gold.
A big miss for Sheffield in round one of the Shield was Jon Magrin, who was sidelined with illness.
Magrin has got better as the season has gone on and the ex-Bull has put in some influential performances, in tandem with Sheffield’s improved form towards the backend of the season and around the Summer Bash.
If the prop is available for selection, he will provide great go-forward as the Eagles look to get on the front foot.
The battle of the forwards is always a good one when it comes to games between Swinton and Sheffield. Sunday’s game should be no exception.
Matt Rossleigh will take charge of Sunday’s match.
Ground + Ticket Prices
Heywood Road, Sale, is the venue on Sunday and its postcode is M33 3WB.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Adults – £18 (17 to 64 years)
Concessionaries – £13 (over 65s and Student Card Holders)
Juniors – £2
By Dan Fowler