Aston tells Eagles to show they are winners

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Sheffield Eagles players need to grab their game at Batley Bulldogs by the “scruff of the neck” and show they are winners.

Coach Mark Aston wants senior players to show the leadership and determination that won the Championship Grand Final against Batley last season.

“We’re not a bad team, we’re a team that at times when challenged has come unstuck a little bit,” he said.

“The lads have to buy into what we’re trying to do and somebody has to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and say: ‘This is how we’re going to win it’.

“Once we do that we’ll click into gear.”

The Eagles go to Batley on Sunday (kick-off 2pm) for a rerun of the 2013 Grand Final which they won 19-12 after trailing at half-time.

This season both teams have under-achieved with Eagles losing three of their four home games and Batley coached by former Sheffield boss John Kear dropped into relegation places after a defeat at Barrow.

“After getting to the Grand Final last year Batley probably expected to be a bit further on but it’s the way the competition is this year, it’s tough,” said Aston.

“John Kear will get them up for this game and say ‘look, this is the repeat of the Grand Final and you owe them one’. That’ll be his theme.”

Batley will include former Eagles prop Alex Rowe, winger Vinny Finigan and have the powerful Alex Rowe on the other flank. Aston is boosted by return of back row forward Michael Knowles, and may bring prop Eddie Battye into the 17 following his recovery from a foot injury.