Eagles look to make history
Sheffield Eagles are just 80 minutes away from making history as they bid to become the first team to win consecutive Kingstone Press Championship Grand Finals against Batley Bulldogs at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday (4:30pm).
The Eagles are going into the game as favourites, but second row Michael Knowles, who won the Tom Bergin Trophy as man of the match in last year’s final, says Sheffield will not be taking Batley lightly.
“I wouldn’t say there’s extra pressure on us because we’re not looking at ourselves as favourites,” said Knowles.
“If you look at the results of the two teams, Batley are coming into the game with better form, so we won’t be taking them lightly.
“Form certainly counts for something. It always helps if you can be going into these games with confidence and we are, especially on the back of a great result against Halifax but this is a one-off match.
“We’ll both be raising our game, but it tends to come down to who plays best over the 80 minutes.
“We’ve beaten them both times this season, so you can say that it gives us a bit of a boost mentally, but when you look at the score for both games there wasn’t much in it and we’re expecting another tight game on Sunday.”
This will be Sheffield’s third consecutive Grand Final appearance whereas the Bulldogs are playing in their first, and Knowles says the side will be looking to use that experience to get the better of their West Yorkshire opponents.
“We’ve got some big players who’ve played in these big games, and it’s nice to have that experience on your side, to have people who’ve been there and done it before,” he said.
“The mood’s great at the moment. We’ve got that feeling back from the start of the season that something special is happening within the club.
“It’ll mean loads to us to win. Everyone knows the history of this club, so it’d be fantastic to win two on the bounce which no one’s ever done before.
“It would be a great reward for Mark Aston too, who played a massive part in rebuilding the club, so hopefully we can do what we did last season and win it again and celebrate another success.”
The 2013 Kingstone Press Championships Finals Day at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday September 29 features a feast of first class Rugby League action with three matches kicking off with the Rugby League Conference Challenge Trophy Final, Leigh Miners v Wigan St Patricks (11.30am), followed by the Championship One Play-off Final (2.00pm) and Championship Grand Final (4.30pm). Tickets cost from just £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and can be purchased by visiting; www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.
For people with any form of disability the RFL offers a free assistant place when booking tickets. For people with a visual impairment or non-sighted disability we also offer audio visual descriptive commentary for all our events.