Betfred Championship R25: York vs Sheffield Preview
Sheffield Eagles take on York City Knights tonight at the LNER Community Stadium, the former coming into it after victory over Widnes while the latter will be licking their wounds after a tonking from Leigh.
The Eagles are up against Widnes and Bradford in the fight for seventh place in the Championship, otherwise known as the best of the rest considering it’s just outside of the playoffs.
Mark Aston’s side have a decent record against the teams below them but when it comes to getting the better of a playoff team, they haven’t managed to get over the winning line.
York were hit for 100 against the Centurions last time out. That will have certainly hurt head coach James Ford, who will be keen to see major improvements across the board no matter who pulls on the jersey. A scathing post-match interview laid out the issues he faces ahead of their playoff campaign and a change in attitude is what he’ll be wanting first of all.
When discussing York’s loss to Leigh in his post-match interview at Widnes, Aston made it clear the Knights will certainly be up for the challenge as they look to right the wrongs.
Key Battle - Will Jubb | Vila Halafihi
One person James Ford can always rely on for a 100% performance is hooker Will Jubb.
The former Hull KR junior is as dangerous in attack as he is tenacious in defence. Always looking for a short range snipe from dummy-half, Jubb will be hoping his forwards can get on the front foot so he can do further damage around the ruck.
Vila Halafihi has had a solid first year in the Red and Gold. A smart operator out of hooker, with the ability to fill in at loose forward, he’s certainly shown his worth back at Championship level after a stint with Hunslet in the third tier.
Halafihi will more than likely be given the reins from the 9 spot once again, in a role he has flourished in during 2022.
From York’s website: “Tickets will be available on the day from the Ticket Office Booth in the Main Hub of the LNER Community Stadium. There are no cash turnstiles at the stadium so a ticket must be acquired before entering. Eagles supporters are advised to congregate in Blocks A and B of the LNER Azuma Main Stand.”
By Dan Fowler, graphic by Alex Coleman