Northern Rail Cup Preview: Doncaster v Sheffield Eagles (Fri)

Sheffield coach Mark Aston says Friday night’s Northern Rail Cup semi-final with Doncaster provides a massive shot in the arm for rugby league in South Yorkshire.

The two local rivals go head-to-head at the Doncaster Athletics Stadium, adjacent to the Keepmoat Stadium, with a place in the final at stake.

Aston said: “It’s a massive game and one that puts South Yorkshire back on the map.

“It’s a shame that this isn’t the final, but what it does mean is that one of us will be there now.

“It’s huge, to say the troubles that both clubs have gone through in past years, and shows what has been achieved.

“Doncaster are a very good team that had a great win at Featherstone recently, and not many teams win there.

“They had a bit of a smack in the chops at Keighley last week, but I’m sure that will have refocused them. It’s going to be a tough game.”

Aston has a fully fit squad available for the match.

Doncaster coach Tony Miller acknowledges that his team are outsiders, but says they shouldn’t be ruled out.

He said: “They are probably the form team at the moment – we go into the game as underdogs and rightly so.

“But it’s a cup game, and we’ve shown that if we get it right we can come up with results against the big teams.

“We had five or six players that didn’t perform at Keighley last week and let themselves down a bit.

“I was disappointed with our forwards in the second half, but they’ve been good for the majority of the season and I’m hoping for a good response from them.”

Winger Dennis Tuffour is a major doubt with a hamstring strain, and his loan replacement last week, Featherstone Rovers player Dave Scott, is ineligible.

Playmaker Kyle Kesik is still out and Kyle Trout will have a late head test before he is cleared to play.

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