Hay eager to halt Eagles’ run

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Featherstone Rovers coach Andy Hay is looking to stop in-form champions Sheffield Eagles reaching their third successive final tomorrow night.

Sheffield may have finished fifth but impressive wins over Batley Bulldogs and a particularly significant 58-24 success at Doncaster has seen them venture to Post Office Road for this semi-final in great nick.

Featherstone have had a week’s break after beating Halifax in the opening round of play-offs and, though they finished second and are favourites, Hay insists it is the visitors who have all to play for.

“All the pressure is on Sheffield with them winning it the past two years,” said the ex-Great Britain second-row, who started his playing career with the South Yorkshire club and joined Featherstone in May from Salford Red Devils.

“I’ll be going with the same team I’ve picked for the past few weeks. We’re good to go.

“They were full of enthusiasm the last time they played here (Sheffield won 40-28 last month) and they put in a good performance.

“We were a bit off the pace that day but the stakes are high this time and we’ll be looking to make up for that.

“The lads are really enjoying themselves at the moment and we all just want to be at Headingley on October 5.”

Aston will check on James Davey (knee) before finalising his team.

“We had a bit more momentum about us (against Doncaster) and looked clinical at times,” he said.

“If we can put our offence and defence together at the same time then we’re in good shape and we’ll take some beating.

“We went to Featherstone a number of weeks ago and came away with a great result, and we need to do it again.

“It’s going to be a physical battle. We want to get to the Grand Final, and we’re looking forward to the game on Sunday.”