Kingstone Press Championship Preview: Sheffield Eagles v Batley Bulldogs

Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston is hoping for more success against his former boss John Kear.

Aston, Lance Todd Trophy winner with the Eagles in 1998 while Kear was coach, secured a 19-12 win against Batley in last year’s Kingstone Press Championship Grand Final.

Now he is looking to end Batley’s season in 2014, this time in the first week of the Kingstone Press Championship play-offs.

But Aston is demanding a major improvement from his team. He said: “I’m still looking for that perfect performance.”

Bulldogs coach Kear has urged his players to “roll up their sleeves” ahead of the start of Saturday’s elimination play-off.

Bulldogs were 34-10 winners at Doncaster last week, securing an eighth-placed finish in the process.

Kear said: “The players have had some tough times and copped some criticism, but they’ve stayed strong. Now we may as well roll our sleeves up and have a look at the play-offs.”

He added: “If we maintain that form, we’ll give ourselves a little bit of a chance of a run.”

Prop Byron Smith has an outside chance of being fit enough to return following a recent thigh injury.

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