Sheffield seek first consecutive wins

Sheffield Eagles go in search of their first back-to-back wins of 2011 when they host Widnes Vikings in Sunday’s Co-operative Championship opening round.

The Eagles have secured only two wins this year – against Gateshead in early February and against Leeds Met last week – but coach Mark Aston will be confident his team are now prepared for the week-to-week rigours of the Championship.

New signing Quentin Laulu-Togagae is set for his Sheffield debut. He is likely to slot straight in at centre to replace the suspended Menzie Yere.

Vikings coach Denis Betts paid tribute to Danny Sculthorpe after he made his Widnes debut in last week’s 54-6 Carnegie Challenge Cup win over Siddal.

Betts said: “I’m pleased for Danny because it’s been a long, hard road for him. He’s worked hard and really dedicated himself to getting back out on the field.

“When he first came down here, I was really impressed with his attitude. He was really knocked for six and he’s come back from a very, very tough situation, so I’m genuinely pleased for him.”

Sculthorpe could feature again along with Chaz I’Anson – “the physio is pleased with how both of them have reacted,” said Betts – when Widnes finalise their team for Sunday’s trip to Bramall Lane.

Betts said: “Sunday will be a tough day. Mark Aston will have his team fired up and they’ll be very tough opposition.

“Mark doesn’t waste time with pre-season games. He uses the Northern Rail Cup games to get his side ready to go, and that’s what we’ve got to be prepared for on Sunday.”

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