Doncaster vs Eagles Preview
Sheffield Eagles begin their 2020 Betfred Championship preparations on Sunday when Mark Aston's men travel across South Yorkshire to Doncaster.
The Eagles enjoyed a successful season in 2019, despite missing out on the playoffs, as they won the inaugural 1895 Cup at Wembley with a 36-18 triumph over Widnes Vikings.
The quarter-final of that competition saw Sheffield conquer Doncaster with a late comeback, capped off by Anthony Thackeray's last-minute winner.
More success is the target for the Eagles in 2020, with the aim being a top five finish in the second tier while launching a defence of the 1895 Cup.
Aston has brought seven new faces into the squad for the upcoming campaign; with Zack McComb arriving from Oldham, Robbie Ward coming in from Dewsbury, Izaac Farrell joining from Rochdale while Connor Bower and Frankie Mariano both crossed the South Yorkshire divide from Doncaster.
Sheffield also welcomed back prop forward Scott Wheeldon and winger Rob Worrincy who have joined the club for a second and fourth spell respectively.
Doncaster will once again have their sights set on promotion to the Championship from League One and they came close last term as their campaign ended two hurdles short.
Richard Horne’s side lost out in the preliminary play-off final to Newcastle Thunder 34-4, after finishing the regular season in fourth position.
In preparation for the 2020 season, Horne has signed several players from the Championship to aid the Dons' promotion bid.
Watson Boas has made the move from Featherstone while former Bradford dup Ross Peltier and Josh Rickett have swapped West Yorkshire for South Yorkshire.
Graeme Horne and Harry Carter have both linked up with Horne's men from York City Knights.
In addition to former Eagles centre Sam Smeaton signing on the dotted line, Doncaster have added Aaron Ollett from Newcastle as well as ex-Toronto and Hull FC centre Jack Logan who has previously had three loan spells at the Keepmoat.
Doncaster’s One to Watch - Matty Beharrell
Our one to watch on Sunday is Dons half-back Matty Beharrell.
The diminutive ex-Hull KR playmaker is the smallest player to have ever played in Super League at 5 feet 4 inches, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in skill.
Former 'Man of Steel' winner Rangi Chase, who joined the club in May last year, is likely to partner Beharrell in the halves.
Despite the defeat to Sheffield in the 1895 Cup quarter-final last year, Beharrell showed his game management as he controlled proceedings for most of the evening while adding a try and five goals.
Match Day Info
Prices for the game at the Keepmoat Stadium are as follows:
Adults - £13
Senior (60+) - £10
17-21yrs - £10
16 & Under FOC - £0
By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman