Sheffield Eagles are looking to nurse a number of players back to fitness ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Oldham.
Eagles travel to the Whitebank Stadium looking to build on their sensational victory at Bradford Bulls last weekend, which ended a run of four straight league defeats. Director of rugby Mark Aston was left to count the cost of numerous injury setbacks.
The returning Garry Lo aggravated a shoulder injury which will be of most concern to Aston as he looks to patch up his side against Scott Naylor’s Roughyeds.
“Garry popped his shoulder again” Aston said. “It isn’t as bad as the initial injury; he has jarred it so it has inflamed again which was disappointing because he was great last week. As was Ryan Millar because he looked like someone who lacked a bit of confidence, but against Bradford he got his try which was a huge boost.”
Eagles are also keeping a close eye on hooker Keal Carlile and prop Scott Wheeldon who were also forced off at times in the victory at Odsal.
With half-back Dave Hewitt not included after suffering a rib injury at Dewsbury, Aston will be hopeful on having all three available for Sunday’s showdown.
“Keal tweaked his hamstring, he had to come off but we did manage to get him back out there,” Aston said.
“We are hopeful; it isn’t as bad as we first feared. Scott has also tweaked something, at the back of his knee.
“I left Dave Hewitt out because he had a bad knock at Dewsbury, and we also needed to see where Rhys Jacks was. We also left our captain out, and our vice-captain wasn’t there either, but Steven Thorpe led from the front and he was backed up.”
Aston has called on his senior players to maintain the high standards set last weekend, asking for his experienced operators to lead from the front. He continued:
“We need 17 leaders again and they need to inspire each other.”
Aston added: “We were honest. We said if you haven’t quite done enough then we will change it.
“I am strong enough to do that and it worked.
“I think we put a lot on the youngsters which is why I have been challenging the senior players to stand up.”