Eagles need a big wake up call

Eagles Eddie Battye
Eagles Eddie Battye
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Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston says the way his team are playing is giving him sleepless nights.

The team are up to third place in the Championship but struggled to take control in the 28-18 win at Keighley Cougars.

“We were rubbish, I don’t know why we keep playing like this,” said Aston “We are putting ourselves into the arm wrestle and doing the things we talk about and then some people decided to do it their way.”

He added: “It gives me sleepless nights because we talk about playing to the plan but we’re not doing it.”

A lack of impact by the forwards coming off the bench forced Aston to keep new captain Mitch Stringer on for the whole game – a massive effort for a prop.

“It’s absolutely sad that I had to keep the captain out there for 80 minutes, it’s not the plan,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone playing in Mitch’s position with the work rate, the tackles he has to do should have to play 80 minutes. He did and that’s a slight on the people who came off the bench and should have given him a spell.”

The Eagles face Dewsbury Rams at Don Valley Stadium on Friday night. It gives Aston a last chance to look at selection options ahead of the Challenge Cup fifth round game against Halifax.

Stringer, second rower Michael Knowles and prop Eddie Battye, in his first game since returning from playing in France, provided Aston with some hope in the Keighley game.

He said: “Michael was good. It was great to see Eddie back and it gives me that little bit of satisfaction when one of the young lads who has come through the Academy is playing first team rugby.

“He’s not up to speed yet but did okay.”