NIHL National - Sheffield Steeldogs target Blackburn repeat show against Leeds Chiefs as Hull Pirates eye bounce-back win

Sheffield Steeldogs’ player-coach Ben Morgan is looking forward to a second visit to Blackburn in as many weeks as his team look to inflict further misery on ‘hosts’ Leeds Chiefs.

Brodie Jesson battles for possession against Sheffield's Thomas Relf at Blackburn two weeks ago. Picture by Cerys Molloy.

The two Yorkshire teams have met three times already in NIHL National season, the Steeldogs prevailing twice with the second win coming in Lancashire on November 3 in a 6-3 triumph.

The Chiefs – hosting in Blackburn for a second time while they wait for their Elland Road rink to be completed – go into the game looking to end a four-game losing streak, while Morgan’s team are looking to return to winning ways after a 3-1 home reverse against Milton Keynes Lightning last Sunday.

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“We’re starting to get an understanding and a flavour as to how Leeds play, what special teams they might have and how they might breakout, things like that,” said Morgan.

“Sammy is working under difficult circumstances. We enjoyed playing up at Blackburn the other week and going there again is a chance to repeat that first result.

“Playing two nights on the bounce means a lot will depend on the first game - if you execute and get the result then you look to do more of the same. But if it doesn’t pay off, then it’s frustrating and even more of a challenge, like we had last time Leeds visited us.”

Zajac is looking for a more consistent threat from his bottom-of-the-tqable Chiefs’ roster, consicious that perhaps they have been too passive in recent games, particularly against the Steeldogs the last time they met in Blackburn.

“With the players we’ve got, we can dominate games more than we actually have been,” said Zajac. “This weekend we know we’ve got to play that way more and be a threat over the full 60 minutes, rather than just in fits and starts.

Sheffield Steeldogs player-coach Ben Morgan. Picture courtesy of Cerys Molloy.

“I like the way we match up against the Steeldogs. That last game aside in Blackburn, we’ve had two very good performances against them, and that is not taking anything away from them (in Blackburn) because they are a very good team.

“They’ve got a very strong roster, with some top talent - as we do - but I do think there are areas in their game where we can exploit them.

“Essentially, it comes down to who wants it more. You can have all the talented players you want, but it comes down to that will to win.”

Elsewhere, Hull Pirates will look to bounce back from their 5-3 defeat at Telford Tigers when they host Peterborough Phantoms ahead of a trip to Bracknell Bees 24 hours later.

Tickets for today’s clash between Leeds Chiefs and Sheffield Steeldogs (7.30pm) can be bought via the club website HERE

Tickets for tomorrow’s rematch at Ice Sheffield can be bought HERE