The Betfred Championship Play-offs get underway this weekend, with six sides in contention of promotion to the Betfred Super League. The fixture which gets the action underway is Sheffield Eagles v London Broncos. Here is a closer look at that fixture.
The match will see two of the nominees for Betfred Coach of the Year face off, as Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles will welcome Mike Eccles’ London Broncos to Olympic Legacy Park.
The Eagles narrowly missed out on third spot, after losing in the final game to the Bradford Bulls.
Sheffield ended the season in fourth with 16 wins from 27 matches, the same as London.
Eagles’ half-back, Cory Aston ended the season as the top points scorer in the Betfred Championship with 224 points. However, the Eagles will be without the playmaker for the remainder of the season after suffering an injury last weekend.
Speaking after the defeat to Bradford, Mark Aston commented on London, “We’re going to have to play smart. Mike Eccles has done a really good job with them” said Aston “Defensively they are tough. A good team, playing well, but it is all about us again. It’s the play-offs, you get one chance and you’re either in or out”.
The Eagles and Broncos have a shared record against each other this season. An Anthony Thackeray drop-goal saw Sheffield leave the capital with the two league points in Round Four.
London Broncos will travel north to South Yorkshire with the confidence of having already won at Olympic Legacy Park in 2023.
First half tries from Jarred Bassett and Alex Walker gave the Broncos an 8-0 lead at the break. Further tries in the second half, including a score from Championship Player of the Year nominee, Dean Parata, saw the Broncos defeated Sheffield 26-18 in Round 24.
London ended the year strong with six wins from their last seven matches, including the away win at Sheffield.
The Broncos are familiar to the Championship play-offs, as they have been promoted to Super League previously.
The winner of the match will play either Toulouse or Featherstone. Should York beat Bradford, then the winner of this fixture will face Toulouse away, however, a victory for Bradford would see them travel to Toulouse and Sheffield or London travel to Featherstone.