SHEFFIELD Eagles’ boss Mark Aston hasn’t pulled any punches in his verdict on the team’s second league defeat in a row.
He couldn’t fault the effort but blasted his players for “disrespecting” the coaching team and ignoring the game plan.
That led to hard words behind closed doors in the changing room after the 14-12 defeat at struggling Halifax.
“The lads were too blasé, too full of themselves, if we don’t do the fundamental things we are going to come up with performances like that,” he said.
“The lads didn’t play how I wanted them – when you are in a hole you have to be disciplined and respectful of the coaches and the lads weren’t. When we got the ball we didn’t use it – it was frustrating.
“We work hard as a backroom staff to give a plan of how to play and the lads are not delivering that at the moment so I was filthy with the players.
“No disrespect to Halifax but we beat ourselves.”
The Eagles had to settle for a losing bonus point but with other results going their way moved up to fifth in the table with the half-way point of the season approaching.
The loss of main playmaker Simon Brown, who was knocked out cold in the opening minutes, stunted the Eagles attacking play.
Poor discipline also saw them concede 16 penalties – twice the number awarded to Fax – and that handed possession to the home side and left the Eagles defending for long spells.
Aston will demand a massive improvement in the team’s ball retention and attacking play when they face Hunslet Hawks at Bramall Lane, on Sunday.
Aston added: “Credit to the lads for the effort. They were ready to put their bodies on the line when they made mistakes. It’s down to not respecting the coaching plan.”
Both Eagles Scholarship teams lost to Hull FC at the weekend. The Under-15s went down 4-70 and the Under-16s 14-46. There will be a special report will be in Thursday’s Grassroots.