Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston has praised his players’ mental strength after they wiped out the memory of one of their rare defeats this season.
A 20-8 win over Leigh Centurions gave them a league double and revenge after losing the Northern Rail Cup final.
“We saw massive improvements, we’ve had four games in two weeks and the best was the last which shows the mental strength,” he said.
“As a group of people they were hurting from the final and so they put the wrong right.”
The win keeps the Eagles setting the pace at the top of the Championship with four games to play.
Aston said: “There were some massive performances and defensively the lads were outstanding.
“The pack was immense, the half-backs were smart and controlled and there was quality on the edge.”
Centre Menzie Yere scored two tries to take his total for the season to 38. Winger Vinny Finigan got the other try and with back rower Alex Szostak impressed the coach.
“Vinny was outstanding and Alex was immense,”said Aston. “Alex took a lot of holding. It was probably his best game for a while.”
Hooker Andrew Henderson went off with a knee injury after 20 minutes and is a doubt for the trip to Dewsbury on Sunday.
Twenty-six penalties were awarded but Aston felt referee Matt Thomason handled the game well.
“It was the quickest game we’ve had for a long time and that’s how we like to play,” he said.
“There were some picky penalties but I like the way the referee stamped his authority on the game early on.
“We were coming through tackles and trying to play quickly and they were trying to slow us down, and it’s great to get somebody who let the game flow.”