VICTORIOUS Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston has backed Wakefield Trinity to secure their Super League status.
His Championship side stunned the Wildcats 24-10 yesterday but he expects them to bounce back in Saturday’s Million Pound Game against Bradford Bulls.
Bradford – knowing they were already in that decider – fielded a weakened side at home to Halifax in their final Qualifier on Saturday and were duly embarrassed 52-18.
Wakefield named a strong squad yesterday and were still undone.
But Aston said: “I do think Bradford made a poor decision by resting eight or nine players for that game against Halifax.
“It came back and smacked them on their backsides as they’ve lost home advantage next week now.
“I fancied Bradford at Bradford to win the Million Pound Game but not at Wakefield; I think they will rue that decision.”
Eagles also delivered the perfect 48th birthday present for Aston, who compared his side’s victory with the Eagles’ famous Challenge Cup triumph over Wigan at Wembley in 1998 when he won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match.
He said: “These lads have put themselves down in Sheffield Eagles history as the first side to beat a Super League team since we reformed 17 years ago.
“It’s great and I am so pleased for them all. It reminded me of the ‘98 Challenge Cup final as there was no way Wigan were going to beat us that day.
“And there was just no way Wakefield were going to beat us today. They’d have had to shoot us to get over. I’m so proud of them.
“They wanted it so much and just kept putting their bodies on the line. It was outstanding and sometimes in life you get out what you deserve.
“There’s a lot of players leaving and they signed off with a massive amount of pride and passion. I’m delighted.”