Sheffield Eagles Director Mark Aston suffered a rollercoaster of emotions after Sunday’s encounter with Featherstone Rovers.
Eagles confirmed their place in the end of season middle eights, after seeing off a stubborn Rovers outfit in a topsy-turvey encounter at The Keepmoat Stadium.
After falling behind, Eagles got on top at the start of the second half, but a constant exchange of tries ensured the Eagles’ chief endured a nail biting afternoon. “The emotions and the grey hairs are there for everyone to see” said Aston. “There was a little concern early on that we hadn’t got much urgency about us, but we’d done a lot of tackling. To turn it around before half-time was a real positive for us. We started the second half well but we let them back into it. It was one of those strange games. It was enjoyable, but only at the end. The game typified our season, where we have been great but then not so good. I thought the 80 minutes epitomised our season. The players are working very hard but we presented them with a number of gifts. We can enjoy tonight and enjoy going to London next week and then have a just deserved couple of days off.”
Aston reserved special praise for Dominic Brambani who has endured a stop-start campaign for the Eagles this season. Often left out of the matchday 17, in recent weeks Aston has recalled one of his most trusted lieutenants, and he repaid the faith shown in him with a terrific display against Rovers on Sunday.
“The man of the match for me was Dom Brambani,” Aston confirmed.
“Dom has had one of those seasons. He’s been in, he’s been out and on Sunday he was cool, calm and collected. I thought he controlled that game for us at times. I thought Tonker (Tony Tonks) was good when he came on while there was plenty of other positives for us.”
After the weekend results in Super League and The Championship the middle eight line-up has all but been confirmed, barring a mathematical miracle for Hull Kingston Rovers.
The eight clubs will be Hull KR, Widnes, Salford and Wakefield from Super League and Leigh, Bradford, Sheffield and Halifax from The Kingstone Press Championship.