Sheffield Eagles Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)
The Cougars come into this Sunday’s fixtures against reigning Kingstone Press Championship champions, Sheffield Eagles, looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s heavy defeat at the hands of Challenge Cup holders Warrington Wolves in the competitions fourth round.
Paul March won’t be too downhearted following the Cup defeat to the Wolves as this was widely expected by all within the game and will be looking to continue the sides fantastic run off form in the Kingstone Press Championship as they look to win a fourth league game on the bounce against the Eagles who have a poor record at Cougar Park.
The return of Andy Shickell from a hamstring injury against the Wolves puts the man referred to as ‘Shicky Monster’ back in contention for a place in the starting thirteen as well as Paul, who was awarded with the Yorkshire Times Man of the Match on his first appearance for over a month. There has also been a suggestion that Ben Stead’s impressive performance for the Under 20 side will see him follow Joe Parkinson and Ryan Patchett into the seventeen.
Away from the pitch, the club have announced a new date for the postponed Dewsbury Rams fixture last month. The game will be played on Sunday 12th May with a 3pm kick off at the Tetley’s Stadium.
For the visitors to Cougar Park this Sunday, Sheffield Eagles, it has been a week of transition off the pitch after the announcement that long serving captain Jack Howieson has retired from the game with immediate effect. The Scotland international scored 15 tries in 274 appearances for the men from Don Valley and has had to leave the game due to an increase in work.
On the pitch, the Eagles have only lost twice this season away at Halifax and Whitehaven and have a great chance of making the Tetley’s Challenge Cup Quarter Finals after a victory over Dewsbury last weekend presented them with a home tie against Halifax. The Eagles are also points machines registering 186 points in their last three matches alone.