Eagles regain that solid look

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DEFENSIVE gremlins that have plagued Sheffield Eagles this season have been shown the door with two determined performances.

Coach Mark Aston believes the corner has been turned as the team has moved into the top three in the Championship with wins over Dewsbury and Batley.

In the two games the Eagles – who at one stage this season had the second worst defensive record in the competition – conceded only 26 points.

“A lot of people have given us stick for being one of the poorest teams defensively but that hasn’t been down to the team’s collective, it’s been down to individuals and poor decisions,” he said.

“Individuals were jumping out of the system instead of staying in the system – the last couple of weeks we’ve stayed in the systems and worked hard for each other. That’s what you have to do and what the lads did against Batley.”

The Eagles briefly held top spot after the 26-16 win over Batley Bulldogs but Halifax took that back with a 28-18 victory at Swinton 24 hours later.

Aston says even the short tenure was a recognition of the way his team has battled back after a dip in form.

“We’re halfway through the season and it was a good feeling because we have worked hard and the boys, they have been great,” he said.

“There’s still lots of work to do and we’re not going to get carried away. We have had it tough at times but against Dewsbury defensively we were really good and against Batley defensively we were outstanding and we put our body in areas where we needed to do.

“Batley threw a lot at us in the second half and we showed the resolve that I’ve been asking for.”

The Championship takes a break next weekend with Eagles travelling to play league and cup winners Carcassone in the Anglo-French Challenge game next Saturday.