Sheffield Eagles will go into the Championship play-offs after an off-key end to the league season.
Successive defeats at Featherstone Rovers and Doncaster consigned the Eagles to a second place finish in league.
They face Halifax, who finished five points behind in third, in the first qualifying round at Don Valley on Friday, (7.30pm.)
Coach Mark Aston must now lift the players as they start their bid to repeat last season’s Grand Final victory.
“We were deflated after Featherstone and it took it out of us” he said. “I’m disappointed by the result at Doncaster. There are people who have to be responsible for their actions. There’s nothing we can do about the performance, we have to put it to bed and prepare for Friday and Halifax.”
The 34-20 defeat at Doncaster left the Eagles three points behind Featherstone who took their fourth successive league leader’s title.
It was Dons’ coach Tony Miller’s last game in charge and Aston feels that was a factor at the Keepmoat.
“From minute one we didn’t get into the game. Credit to Doncaster they wanted the win, they wanted to send Tony (Miller) off with a bang” he said.