‘Hurt’ Aston walked off to dressing rooms before end of Sheffield Eagles match

'It was hurtful to watch,' said Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston. 
Picture by Dean Atkins
'It was hurtful to watch,' said Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston. Picture by Dean Atkins
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It all became too much for Mark Aston, who admitted he could face no more after walking off to the dressing room for the last few minutes of the defeat to London Broncos.

The Eagles director of rugby missed his side bag two tries at the death to add a small degree of respectability to the scoreline, following a 56-24 home defeat to the Londoners on Friday night.

Aston apologised to his players for his early exit, but pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s performance, as the Eagles slipped to their fifth defeat in six outings.

“Somebody tells me that we scored a couple of tries late on, but I wasn’t out there then,” Aston admitted.

“I let myself and the players down by not watching until the final whistle – that is the first time I have done anything of the sort in 30 plus years.

“It was hurtful to watch. At times it was soulless and meaningless. The one thing that we have prided ourselves on over the years is having that.

“I was really disappointed. I though we would really hit our mark, and believed it was our time to turn the wrongs into rights. Again we flattered to deceive.”

The Eagles were second best throughout against Andrew Henderson’s London side, who look to have made great strides.

Despite getting within touching distance just before the break, a try either side of the interval from William Barthau put the game beyond the Eagles – who again pressed the self destruct button in shipping over 50 points.

Aston questioned his side’s mettle after another backward step, with a tough game against Dewsbury to follow this Friday.

“We got beat by a good team,” Aston added.

“London are certainly on top of their game. They had more purpose, they wanted it and they ran at a greater intensity. Hendo has a good group of players playing at their maximum, we haven’t.

“It is like a dagger in the heart isn’t it? I am not telling you anything different to what I said to the players. I apologised, I let myself down by not being there at the end. I will front up and take ownership to some of the problems but I can’t take ownership over heart – that has got to come from within.”