Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston has issued an uncompromising warning to his players against any easing up in the chase for the league title.
His ruthless determination to keep standards high was highlighted when top try scorer Menzie Yere was pulled off in the final minutes in the win at Dewsbury.
With three games to go the Eagles are in pole position to take their first ever Championship leader’s shield.
But they can’t afford any slip-ups with second placed Featherstone Rovers three points behind and with a much superior points scored difference.
Aston’s frustration boiled over at Dewsbury when the home side scored their second try with three minutes left.
He substituted Yere and with all their interchanges used the Eagles finished with 12 men. The Rams scored a final minute try to cut the Eagles winning margin to 30-18.
Aston felt a “statement” was needed to remind his players that they have to be “accountable” for their decisions.
“Dewsbury speculated at the end and got tries – but 12 of those points came from errors. We were never going to lose the game but we drifted away from some of the things we had talked about before the game” he said.
Aston added: “One try was off our mistake and the person responsible was brought straight off and we played the end of the game with 12 men. I’m not having that and the individual has been told.”
Relegation threatened Hunslet Hawks come to Don Valley on Thursday and the Eagles then travel to Featherstone.
“The boys are sticking in there but there are a lot who have been told that this is not quite good enough,” he said. “We have to keep the standards high. The lads set a standard against Leigh and at times we hit that at Dewsbury but then dipped below the bar – we need to be more consistent.”