Coach Mark Aston wants Sheffield Eagles to build on their second half performance in the Challenge Cup as they target a league revival.
Eagles came back strongly in the final 40 minutes of the 60-16 defeat at Castleford Tigers scoring two tries against the team second in the Super League.
“At times, Castleford ripped us to bits and we struggled but we had a dig and that was important to us,” he said. “They beat us 24-12 in the second half so I’m immensely proud of the boys. It means we can kick-start our stuttering season.
“We were playing against the best but for 40 minutes, we can be proud of what we did. We can get a bit of confidence and belief from that.”
Injuries have disrupted the Eagles this season and Aston’s troops have lacked consistency in their performance losing three of their opening seven league games in the Championship.
Aston believes the performance at Castleford will have his squad smiling again as they prepare to travel to newly promoted North Wales Crusaders next Sunday, kick-off 2.30pm.
He added: “I have been hard on the lads for the past month. At Castleford, we talked about making sure were proud and had a smile on our faces at the end of the game.
“To challenge ourselves to do the things Castleford weren’t expecting and I think we did that.
“Now we can kick on and there’ll be a bit better feel-good factor at training this week and we can smile again.”