Tetley's Challenge Cup: Castleford Tigers host Championship side Sheffield Eagles in fifth round
Last Updated: 25/04/14 7:27pm
Championship side Sheffield Eagles make a 35-mile trip up the A1 on Sunday to face Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in the fifth round of the Tetley's Challenge Cup.
A commanding 40-6 Easter weekend victory over Warrington Wolves elevated the Tigers into second in the Super League standings, while a stuttering run of late has left the Eagles sixth in the second tier.
Mark Aston's side have won just four of their opening seven games of the season and enter the cup clash on the back of a 42-34 reverse to Doncaster on Sunday, a game where they had led at the break.
Castleford, meanwhile, have won eight of their last 10 outings in all competitions, including an Easter double, and claiming a spot in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup will keep their momentum going.
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell, a former Challenge Cup winner with Leeds Rhinos, believes the Super League side can ill-afford any complacency.
"We're expecting a tough game, if you look at the top Championship sides against the Super League there's been a few close calls," he said.
"Mark will have Sheffield ready and they will come at us."
In Aston, Powell faces a former team-mate who understands what it takes to win the knockout competition, having lifted the Challenge Cup with the Eagles at Wembley in 1998.
Aston and Powell spent 10 years playing together at the Eagles but the Sheffield coach casts aside friendship as he wholeheartedly focuses on causing an upset
"We're on a big stage," he told the club's official website. "Cas is a great place to play rugby with a great atmosphere, the lads are looking forward to it."
"Obviously Castleford are playing very well, and so we are the underdogs, as you always expect to be when you play a Super League team.
"We are really looking forward to it, going to a great ground with plenty of atmosphere. I think the boys will really soak that up and enjoy it, and I know I will."
Tigers coach Powell has made five changes to squad which mauled the Wolves on Monday.
Kirk Dixon, Justin Carney, Oliver Holmes, Liam Finn and Ben Reynolds all come into the 19-man squad, while Andy Lynch, Weller Hauraki, Richard Owen, Michael Channing and Dan Fleming are all relieved of their duties.
Despite struggling with a bout of injuries recently, Aston makes just three changes to the side which lost to Doncaster in Sunday's Championship clash.
Jack Blagbrough, Jon Ford and Menzie Yere all make way as James Davey, Corey Hanson and Alex Palmer join the travelling party.
Tigers: Tansey, Dixon, Shenton, Webster, Carney, Sneyd, Milner, Huby, Millington, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Ellis, Gibson, Clare, Finn, Reynolds.
Eagles: Lauulu-Togagae, Burke, Hanson, Straughier, Turner, Walker, Brambani, Lillycrop, Henderson, Stringer, Aspinall, Garside, Taulapapa, Owen, Green, Davey, Tagaloa, Palmer, Ashton.
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