My players are ‘looking over their shoulders’

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston will review his substitutes strategy after a scare in the win over Swinton Lions.

Aston had opted to go in the game with the extra mobility of two back rower forwards but only one specialist prop on the bench. That took a hit early in the second half when Swinton scored two quick tries. Aston swiftly brought his starting front row – props Jack Howieson, Mitch Stringer and hooker Andrew Henderson - back off the bench to restore control and the Eagles ran out 56-22 winners.

“We went out the second half with the whole front row off – Jack, Mitch and Hendo – and we didn’t handle that well and we as coaches have to look at that,” said Aston. “We went away from what I wanted, I had left the first half substitutes on at half-time and I learned something from that. We needed to start the second half like we started the first half but we didn’t.”

Aston has the option to add extra size to the subs’ bench when the Eagles travel to Hunslet at the weekend. Prop Liam Higgins was left out of the last two games and Alex Rowe played in the reserves and is close to match fitness. Aston said it was tough deciding on the subs for the Swinton game. He added: “Liam was close but we looked at the conditions and we wanted a bit more mobility and with Duane Straugheir and Sam Scott we certainly got that.

“We let in 22. We can handle letting in tries that are executed with good skill but some of Swinton’s tries were soft because we went away from what we should do.

“We’ll have a chat about that this week.

“There’s competition for places and there are one or two looking over their shoulder now. We need to justify the selection of the squad.”