Written by Zack Wilson
Photo by Alex Coleman
Sheffield Eagles look to be a club on the way back in 2019, with Mark Aston’s team beating Toulouse Olympique and Rochdale Hornets in convincing fashion over Easter weekend.
The Eagles won 44-16 against Toulouse, scoring some great tries for the spectators to enjoy in the evening Good Friday sunshine.
There was a pleasant atmosphere at the Olympic Legacy Park too, the ground that the Eagles now occupy, which sits on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium.
The facilities are not great currently, as the staff at the Eagles would be the first to admit.
They are adequate, though, and a nice, chilled, family vibe can be found over by the temporary stands.
Buying refreshments is easy to do, and there is a real family friendly vibe about game day at the Olympic Legacy Park.
This looks like a venue where, with some development, the Eagles can put down some proper roots, and create a proper home ground for a club that has been far too nomadic for the last half-decade or so.
Given what the Eagles have had to put up with over the last half decade, it is a relief for rugby league fans in South Yorkshire for the Eagles to at last have a permanent home.
There is much development to be done, but the club now has a proper base at last.
Eagles chairman Chris Noble is pleased with the way the development of the ground is progressing.
“At present, the ground is in a transitional period regarding ownership,” he wrote in the matchday programme for the Toulouse game.
“The ownership is now being transferred from the Sheffield Council to the Scarborough Group.
Once all the legalities have been satisfied the Scarborough Group will commence construction of a circa 800-seater stand and 3,000 terracing [sic] which will have all the requirements for a sports arena integral to its construction, ie changing rooms, dining rooms, bars, toilets etc.
“We as a tenant have to, at present, until the new stand is completed, manage our match days with hired temporary facilities.
“This is a fact and there is no alternative.
“I must express my thanks to all the fans for their patience and I must also thank the staff at the Scarborough Group and Sheffield United for creating this stadium and hopefully work will begin very soon.”
As for Toulouse, their trip to Sheffield did not go so well. They looked like a team full of good individuals struggling to find coherence at the Olympic Legacy Park.
They recovered in some style on Easter Monday, destroying Halifax 56-4 at the Stade Ernest Argelès.
To certainly look like a team with players who could handle the step up to Super League.
If they want to get to top tier, though, they need to learn to play well at places like Sheffield.
But for the Eagles, this looks like being a successful and important campaign.
It would be an uncharitable person indeed who would not wish ‘Tubbs’ (Mark Aston) and his crew well, as they bring rugby league glory back to the Steel City.