Aston criticises below-par stars

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SHEFFIELD Eagles went from superstars to strugglers as they extended their winning run to six games.

After scoring six tries and totally dominating Hunslet in the first half they drifted out of the game in the final 40 and looked relived when the hooter sounded.

Coach Mark Aston was frustrated and angry with his side’s display, saying: “It’s about respect, the first half we showed it, the second half we didn’t bother. We were out-scored in the second half because we let in soft tries – I can’t accept that.”

Eagles swept into an early lead with winger Nev Morrison plundering two tries in the opening 12 minutes.

A break by winger Vinny Finigan and a flipped inside pass put in Laulu-Togagae and the Eagles turned the screw with prop Liam Higgins celebrating his return to the team by running on to a sharp pass from Andrew Henderson and centre Menzie Yere bustled over.

Hunslet’s Danny Ratcliffe was sin binned and Henderson made the Hawks pay as he broke from dummy half to race 40 metre to the line. Brown converted all the tries.

Hunslet got some joy with centre Gareth Davies finishing a sweeping passing move three minutes from half-time but the Eagles went in 36-4 head.

The second half turned into a nightmare as Hunslet took the game to the Eagles who failed to raise their game and surrendered possession.

Indecision on the Eagles line gave Hawks centre Josh Nathaniel a try three minutes after the restart.

A run of four straight penalties helped the Hawks batter the Eagles line and going into the final quarter Higgins was sin binned. Within a minute, Danny Allen went under the posts for Hunslet.

When Davies was quickest to a loose ball for his second try and Ratcliffe kicked his third goal the Hawks had scored 18 points without reply.

With Higgins out of the sin bin the Eagles started to regain their shape and build possession. The nerves steadying try came from hooker Henderson who scooted in from dummy half with six minutes to go. Brown missed the kick but finished with six goals from seven attempts.

The Eagles third round Challenge Cup game against Leeds amateurs Oulton Raiders will be played at Wakefield Trinity’s stadium this Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

EAGLES: Laulu-Togagae; Finigan, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Higgins, Szostak, Green. Hirst. Subs: Scott, Stringer, Straugheir, Hepworth.