Four rounds into the Kingstone Press Championship season, it is fair to say we have seen the best and worst of Sheffield Eagles.
After hitting unexpected heights in their victory over Toulouse, the Eagles have since found themselves on the end of back-to-back defeats which included Sunday’s thumping by Batley Bulldogs.
Should we be surprised by the results? Well, they finalised their squad just days before the start of the campaign due to off-field difficulties, so it was always going to take time for this new group to find their feet.
Director of rugby Mark Aston acknowledges his side are still a long way from the standards he expects.
“We are still not where we want to be, that’s for sure,” he told The Star.
“The players still don’t understand what we are looking for. They don’t know each other yet and it is evident when we play.
“We still need to build that relationship and that trust with the man on your inside at times. We are jumping around, we are erratic, and that comes down to a side that has not totally gelled.”
After three Eagles defeats from four games, only Dewsbury and Bradford Bulls stand between Aston’s men and the foot of the table.
Next, they travel to Hull Kingston Rovers who blitzed Oldham 48-0 to make it four wins from four.
Aston knows the Eagles cannot afford another slack display or they could face another hammering against the Championship’s early pace setters.
He now has the task of picking up his troops this week as he looks to get back to the standards set against Toulouse.
“The art of being successful is the consistency,” he said.
“We need to back the good points up because we have had a kick in the chops. We have to re-focus again. Hopefully, after some work on the training ground, we will get to where we need to be.
“There is certainly a belief in the backroom staff that this group can achieve what they want to achieve. The sooner the players fully understand what my kind of philosophy is and they start buying into it, then the sooner we will get going.”
The Eagles are in the hat for the Challenge Cup fourth-round draw at 7pm this evening.