Aston upbeat despite defeat

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EAGLES coach Mark Aston felt his team had found the Final “one game too many” after battling through three play-off rounds.

“We are disappointed but I’ll look at the positives, we got to a Grand Final, okay we could have done better but we got to the Final,” he said.

“There are lads in the team who are learning their trade and you can see with a little bit more experience they will win finals.

“It was a game too many for us, we played against a very good team in Featherstone. We have been outstanding in the last six weeks but today we had no idea.”

Aston also thought playing in their first Grand Final had “got to” some of the players.

He added: “I saw it coming up during the week, we looked a little bit apprehensive, we tried to cheer the lads up a bit but this was a game too far for us. We lacked the experience of playing in games like this.

“We need to be consistent in our play and we lacked that.

“You have to give credit to Featherstone they have been the most constant team in the competition this season. We have got to a Grand Final and we have learned a lesson.”

Former Eagles’ player Daryl Powell, the Featherstone coach, praised the way the Eagles had battled to the Grand Final after finishing fourth in the League.

“Sheffield really gave us a challenge after we got a way to a strong start and put us under pressure but when you have come through play-off football for three weeks it can be difficult. We knew if we applied pressure to the Eagles it would have an effect,” he said.

“Sheffield have had a fantastic season and will grow from being involved in a Final.”

Jack Howieson said there were no excuses – the Eagles had lost to the better team.

He said: “I’m disappointed and a bit embarrassed by the result. Featherstone were spot on and wanted to win the game more than us on the day.

“We have given a lot in the play-off rounds. We had to play three tough games, Featherstone only had to play one game and the occasion may have had an effect.”