Rugby league: Mark Aston’s warning to Sheffield Eagles

Action from Sheffield Eagles v Workington. Picture: Dean Atkins
Action from Sheffield Eagles v Workington. Picture: Dean Atkins
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Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston has warned his side they run the risk of a fall if they don’t improve their performances, despite a 26-6 victory over Workington Town.

The Eagles maintained their four-point advantage over their rivals with just four games of the regular season remaining, as they looked to cement their passage into the coveted middle eight.

Struggling Workington proved stubborn opposition, and were level-pegging at half-time at Castle Park. The game wasn’t made safe until the final 10 minutes when the Eagles added two late scores.

Aston couldn’t mask his frustration and warned his players changes are likely, with the possibility of a loan signing firmly in his thinking.

“It is about individuals standing up, and I’ve learned something about a couple of players,” Aston told The Star.

“I need some stability and coolness in there. We looked clueless at times out there and that has got to be down to my decision-makers and the people who manage the game for me.

“We need to dust ourselves down now. I need to pick the team correctly. There will be a couple out next week, Sam Smeaton and Cory (Aston) will be suspended, so there will have to be a reshuffle and maybe we go and have a look out there and bring someone in.”

Aston warned his side after the home victory against Whitehaven that a defeat was on the horizon if they didn’t improve, and it duly followed against Leigh.

He made similar remarks following the performance on Sunday. With top-four contenders Halifax next up, he knows there needs to be a marked improvement if they are to keep an in-form Fax at bay.

“I am frustrated and I told the players what I thought in the changing rooms,” he fumed.

“We won the game and we stopped them scoring for 40 minutes in the second half, but I don’t train that. I train them to play well, and I think we are kidding ourselves.

“I told them to have a look at themselves and dust themselves down because if we keep turning this kind of performance in then another smack in the chops is just around the corner.

“It was disappointing performance for me. I was looking for improvements. Did I getthem? Maybe a little in the second half, but I am sure I shouldn’t have to go in at half-time and take my blood pressure to that sort of level.”