Sheffield Eagles: Aston demands big improvement from half-backs

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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Sheffield Eagles playmakers are under pressure to produce results as the faltering team battles to stay in the play-off places.

Mark Aston was critical of his half-backs – who he sees as his ‘coaches on the field’ – after the home defeat by Batley Bulldogs.

“I’m disappointed with the half-backs, the game plan, the structures,” he said.

“When they walk out onto the field they are the ‘coaches’ but at times I have no idea what we are doing.

“People get frustrated and try to mend things themselves because they are not getting the leadership.”

Aston’s increasing frustration was clear in the second half in the 28-18 defeat by Batley – the seventh out of ten league games at Owlerton this season.

He moved loose-forward Kyle Briggs to the halves with Dominic Brambani substituted before later recalling the scrum-half with Patch Walker making way.

An added worry was the forwards’ inability to dominate the opposition in a game where the Eagles never once held the lead.

It sets Aston a poser with a vital South Yorkshire derby at fourth placed Doncaster at the weekend.

Defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday could see the Eagles drop out of the top eight and into the relegation places with just five games to go.

Aston said: “It frustrates me that we beat ourselves yet again.

“People will want to talk about the pitch at Owlerton – nothing to do with it – it’s all down to the attitude of the players.

“I’m not happy with the front row.

“Batley did the simple things, they hit the ball up the park and we didn’t stop them because our front row was soft.”

He added: “I have to change a few things and have a look at a few things.

“We have a group of people who aren’t delivering and won’t respect what we (the coaches) want to deliver.”