Eagles flops force boss to re-think

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston faces tough decisions on whether to change what he thought was his best team.

SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston faces tough decisions on whether to change what he thought was his best team.

The failure to compete against Leigh Centurions in a 44-8 hammering was a major setback after it seemed Aston had found a winning blend.

In the run up to Sunday’s game at Halifax the coaching team have been working hard to bring back the competitive edge but the options for change are limited.

“I have to decide if we make changes,” said Aston. “I’ll put my hand up and say I picked the squad for the Leigh game and I thought it was the strongest we could put out but some didn’t turn up.

“There are a few injuries and I’ll have to have a look at everybody’s performance and people who aren’t doing the job will come out of the squad.”

Aston will want a massive improvement and a return of the commitment that saw the team battle to five straight wins in the Championship before the Leigh game.

How Misi Taulapapa is fitted into the team after missing the first 12 games of the season as he waited for a UK visa may be crucial.

Aston showed his hand after 30 minutes against Leigh by bringing Taulapapa off the bench at full-back and switching fellow Samoan international Quentin Laulu-Togagae to stand-off.

Before the positional changes could have an impact Leigh blasted three quick tries to surge into a winning lead.

“I was looking for a spark and I probably wouldn’t have put Misi on that early,” said Aston.

“But we weren’t doing anything so I made the decision to try and change it there and then.

“It didn’t work as I hoped.

“We didn’t play the ball in the right areas of the field and we didn’t ask the questions that needed to be asked.”

Halifax forward Sam Barlow, who joined them from the Eagles last season, will miss Sunday’s game after being banned for two games.