Sheffield Eagles: Aston backs players to take responsibility

Patch Walker impressed against his former club Dewsbury
Patch Walker impressed against his former club Dewsbury
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The Eagles players made the right decision by going all out for the win after they slipped behind at Dewsbury, according to Mark Aston.

They ignored the safety-first option of penalties that could have taken them level and were rewarded with tries for a 28-12 victory.

“With 20 minutes to go you are not going to win the game with a two pointer, we had to keep the pressure on,” said coach Aston.

“It wasn’t my decision – if the lads look at me I look away. The lads have the feel of the game and it was their call.

“That’s what the players have to do – take a decision. Once they cross the white line it’s their decision and they have to feel the tempo of the game. If I’d been out there I’d have done the same.”

At the critical stage of the game Aston went for experience switching Patch Walker to link up with Dominic Brambani at half-back and substituting his son Cory.

It paid off with three tries in a 10-minute spell with Walker claiming the final touchdown.

“Dom was composed and Patch was great,” said Aston. “Patch started at 13 and was tough and strong defensively. Then we put him at stand-off when we took Cory off because we were getting close and that’s when you need that bit of experience and coolness. Patch certainly has all those ingredients and he was immense.”

Aston packed the substitutes’ bench with forwards and was also pleased with the way they met the challenge.

“The big guys were good. Peter Green, Ben Jones and Eddie Battye did the job when they came on,” he said. “Dewsbury are big and strong coming off the bench and we matched that.”

The Eagles have back-to-back home games starting with Keighley on Sunday but are likely to be without Jones who suffered a suspected broken thumb at Dewsbury.

It’s the latest setback for the prop who was playing only his third game after three months out with a foot injury.

Aston said: “It seems every time he gets back (from injury) he gets another slap in the face. I’m gutted for him. I hope it isn’t broken but there’s a possibility.”