Eddie Battye explains Sheffield Eagles’ stunning Championship form as biggest tests await

SHEFFIELD EAGLES prop Eddie Battye believes the month of May will provide a realistic gauge of where Mark Aston’s side “are at”.

Battye’s former club Wakefield, alongside whom Sheffield have set the early pace, come to the Olympic Legacy Park on Friday.

On Sunday week, May 12, it’s a visit to York in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup, with the Eagles eyeing a return to Wembley after winning the inaugural competition there in 2019 (Widnes were beaten in the final).

The steel-city side then head to Bradford on Sunday 19 before a home clash with Dewsbury on Friday 24.

And Battye, back at his first club after ten years away, originally at London Broncos, then Wakefield, says it’s testing spell which will show better whether Sheffield can sustain their impressive start.

Aston’s side went into their round-six game at Barrow aiming to build on wins over Toulouse, Doncaster, Whitehaven, Swinton and Halifax.

And the 32-year-old explained: “It’s taken us a bit of time to get into the rhythm of the season, and we feel we’ve gained some of those wins without playing that well.

“Some would say that’s a good sign, but it also means we shouldn’t get carried away, because if we don’t keep developing and improving, those kind of games might not always go our way.”

Battye had three seasons at Wakefield after a loan stint from London during the Covid-hit 2020 campaign, when Trinity were operating in Super League while the Broncos, then in the Championship, were inactive.

He suffered the misery of relegation last year, and is pleased to see the club resurgent following the Matt Ellis takeover.

“It seems like a different place these days, and I’m pleased for the boys who are still there – I keep in touch with a lot of them – and for the fans,” said Battye.

“But I’m a Sheffield player now, and obviously I want to help us put one over on them.”

First published in League Express newspaper, Issue 3,428 (April 29, 2024)

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