Bittersweet emotions for Eagles fans at Keepmoat

Menzie Yere scores against Batley
Menzie Yere scores against Batley
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There’s no doubting that Sheffield Eagles supporters are being treated to a range of emotions.

One defeat in four games is a solid start in the Championship but at times the foundations look a little unsteady.

Their position just behind two of the clubs boasting full-time squads was protected by a 28-16 win over Batley Bulldogs but not before that old cliché ‘a game of two halves’ was definitely dusted off.

Ten points ahead at half-time the score line was given a flattering gloss by eight points in the final three minutes.

Coach Mark Aston was not impressed and has put his views forcefully to the squad with some tough training sessions this week.

“We never got into the game and never executed the game plan,” he said.

I’m a bit angry with them and expressed my concerns to the lads.

“We didn’t play as a team and that’s the frustration for me.

“But we won the game and that’s what matters, keep getting the points.”

The ability to take scoring chances - if not sustain attacking pressure - is clear with 19 tries.

But it’s the gritty, determined defending that’s been the big factor so far this season and that can mean a nail-biting afternoon for the supporters.

All those elements were on show against Batley at the Keepmoat. Eagles’ attacking skills earned a 20-10 lead in the first half with tries from Dominic Brambani, two for Menzie Yere and Rob Worrincy’s first since rejoining the club.

A Batley try soon after the restart set a pattern as they dominated possession.

Eagles defended well but with experienced playmaker Brambani warming the subs’ bench, couldn’t get into the game before making the points safe with a late penalty by Walker who also converted a try from Quentin Laulu-Togagae almost on the hooter.

Eagles travel to struggling Workington Town on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Hooker James Davey is a doubt after dislocating a finger and Aston is hinting at changes.

“We showed a lot of character and attitude but we looked ragged at times,” he said.

“If some people aren’t hitting the mark all I can do is change the team.

“Workington is never an easy place to go and we have to sort ourselves out.”

After the trip to Cumbria there’s a break from the Championship with the Eagles drawn at home to League 1 side Oldham as they come into the Challenge Cup at the fourth round stage.

Doncaster, meanwhile, are away to North Wales Crusaders.