The full-time work is paying immediate dividends for Sheffield Eagles, with director of rugby Mark Aston warning the best is yet to come.
The new look Eagles laid down a marker to the rest of Kingstone Press Championship with victory over a well fancied Halifax side on Friday night, as Aston’s side made it two wins from two games.
Back in Sheffield after a year exiled in Doncaster, the Eagles were fortunate to be level at the break but they stepped up their game in the second half with a devastating attack which saw them plunder four tries in 10 minutes.
After a convincing victory at Workington in round one it would appear having his players back in November has helped Aston steal a march on the opposition, but he warned his side still have much to learn.
“I still think that there is more to come with the ball in hand,” Aston told The Star.
“We are still making a lot of mistakes, but it is early days, we are still wading through the winter mud. When it lightens up and the sun is out the pitch will be dry and we’ll get right to where we want to be.”
It was noticeable even as early as the pre-season victory at Dewsbury that Aston has injected some verve into his troops.
Having the luxury of working with his squad on daily basis has given Aston and his staff time to hone the skills of his developing side, and he admitted his players are learning day-by-day.
“We have to keep knocking away at them and make sure we learn,” he insisted.
“I think that they are learning how to build tempo, we are looking sharp around the ruck and we are starting to put the balls into the right areas of the field and that’s an important part of the game.
“ It is about game management and when there are two or three young players doing that for us, it stands us in good stead for the future.”
The Eagles didn’t have it all their own way. Halifax wasted several opportunities in the first half, but Aston was impressed with they way his side stayed in the contest.
“We held our nerve and then we came right back into the game,” Aston affirmed.
“That’s what you have to do at times. You have to get back in the arm wrestle and when you get your chance, make sure that you are clinical.”