Sheffield Eagles v Barrow Raiders
Sunday 23rd September 2018, 15:00pm
Super 8s - Round: 6
Stats over last 8 encounters
Sheffield Eagles finish their 2018 campaign with two consecutive home fixtures at the Olympic Legacy Park.
The first of those comes against Barrow Raiders on Sunday as Mark Aston’s troops look to put to an end a three-game losing run.
The Eagles’ last loss came away from home with Batley Bulldogs running away 44-4 winners at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Meanwhile, Barrow battled back from a slender half-time deficit to beat Swinton Lions 34-18 in Cumbria.
Both teams will be plying their trade in the second-tier next year but neither will want to leave their fans unhappy going into the upcoming pre-season.
With Rochdale still to come to the OLP, Sheffield will be eyeing a victory over the Raiders before taking on the relegation-threatened Hornets.
Last Time Out
Sheffield went down 44-4 to Batley last Sunday, with ex – and now future – Eagle James Davey starring for the West Yorkshire club.
Dom Brambani, Sam Smeaton and Lewis Galbraith all notched converted tries for the Bulldogs in the first half as the hosts went into the break 18-0 up.
Batley winger Johnny Campbell scored a second half hat-trick while Brad Day and James Brown both got on the scoresheet too.
Sheffield’s lone try of the match came courtesy of Iliess Macani in the final quarter.
Barrow claimed a hard-fought victory against Swinton in their last outing.
Braces from Brett Carter and Ryan Burroughs proved enough for the Raiders, who did go behind after just 28 seconds thanks to Jack Hansen’s opener.
Jamie Dallimore responded for the hosts before Rob Fairclough kicked a penalty goal.
Burroughs then gave Barrow their first lead of the game but they couldn’t hold on till the interval as Mike Butt touched down.
The Raiders were given a big chance to pull away from their opponents when George Tyson was sin-binned for dissent on 51 minutes.
And pull away they did through tries from Carter, Arnaud Bartes and Burroughs.
Barrow received yellow cards of their own during the second half as Ryan Duffy and Martin Aspinwall both made their way to the sin-bin, however Butt’s second try of the game was matched by Carter who also completed his brace.
It will be an entertaining afternoon at the Olympic Legacy Park if Barrow’s wingers are in similar form to last week.
Burroughs and Carter showed their quality with four tries between themselves as the Raiders beat Swinton.
On loan from Toronto, Burroughs has great potential and this spell in Cumbria will certainly have done his development good.
Scottish international Carter has always been highly thought of in Championship circles, especially after a very successful stint at Workington Town.
He can play at full-back and on the wing and he will be hoping to cause the Eagles some problems on Sunday.
He has experience on his side, but maybe not as much as his Wikipedia page says which lists him as 126-years-old.. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Carter_(rugby_league)
Iliess Macani and Ben Blackmore were the wingers for Sheffield against Batley last weekend, with the former registering Sheffield’s only try of the afternoon.
Both have the habit of taking the ball up from dummy-half which can certainly put the Eagles on the front foot.
The duo’s pace is certainly something that Sheffield should be looking to use more of, especially on a fast track such as the OLP.
Get ready for a big battle on the wings!
Mark Aston told The Star that he doesn’t want his side’s season to “peter out”, and that he says it is vital to end the season well for the fans.
““I keep challenging them and I keep asking them how they want to finish the season," he said.
“The question for many of them is how do you want to be remembered as a Sheffield Eagles player.
“That's all I can keep saying to them. I don't want it to peter out, I want to finish the season with a couple of positives for the fans.
“Barrow have had a good result last week, so they will come here knowing that if they beat us then they finish above us. That's the question, are we good enough to go up against them and beat them.”
Barrow boss Paul Crarey hailed his players for retaining the club’s Championship status for another year but the focus is on trying to get a result in South Yorkshire this weekend.
“We’re at the back end of the season, it’s job done now, and we’d like to go to Sheffield and get that away win,” said Crarey.
“If we get the win, we’d finish above them which would put us fifth in the Super Eights, which would be a tremendous achievement for this group of players with what we’ve been through.”
By Dan Fowler