Stringer hoping for Sheffield glory
Sheffield Eagles prop Mitch Stringer is determined to get to the Kingstone Press Championship Grand Final for the third year running and claim a memorable victory with the defending champions.
The South Yorkshire club stand just three wins away from lifting the trophy starting with a home fixture against a buoyant Halifax in Friday night’s televised Qualifying Play-off at the Don Valley Stadium (7.30pm, Premier Sports).
Stringer is no stranger to playing in big games, having been part of the Eagles’ Grand Final winning side last year against Featherstone Rovers and a member of the team that lost to Leigh Centurions in the Northern Rail Cup final in July. He insists that both experiences have only made him more hungry for silverware.
“At the start of the season we said that we wanted to get to both the Northern Rail Cup final and the Championship Grand Final,” said Stringer. “After our defeat to Leigh we sat down and said we really have to focus on the Grand Final and that is what we have done. I honestly think we will come in to some good form now and hopefully get to the final and win for the second year.
“Having had that experience last year only makes you more eager to repeat it and that is our aim.”
Sheffield finished the Kingstone Press Championship in second place with Halifax just behind in third, the winner of Friday’s game will have a bye in the second week of play-offs whereas the losing team will play at home in Week 2 to the Elimination Play-off winners.
“If we beat Halifax on Friday then we know we get a week off which would be appreciated, we have a small squad here at Sheffield and we have played about 30 games each already so I think we would benefit from that week off but we will see what happens.” said Stringer.
“We expect Friday night to be a physical encounter, it always is when we play them. They have some good playmakers in Murrell and Handforth but we can match them and we know we can get the win.
“It’s been an exciting league so far this year, the fact that we didn’t know who was going to win the League Leaders’ Shield and who would be relegated until the final day of the regular season really shows how competitive it has been.
“I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere on Friday night, it could potentially be our last game at the Don Valley so we want to go out with a bang.”
Tickets for the Kingstone Press Championship Qualifying Play-off, Sheffield Eagles v Halifax at the Don Valley Stadium on Friday September 6 (7.30pm) cost £15 for adults, £10 for over-60s and Under 16s and £5 for students.
The 2013 Kingstone Press Championships Finals Day at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday September 29 features a feast of first class Rugby League action with three matches kicking off with the Rugby League Conference Challenge Trophy Final, Leigh Miners v Wigan St Patricks, followed by the Championship One Play-off Final and Championship Grand Final. Tickets cost from just £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and can be purchased by visiting; www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk or by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113.