Sheffield Eagles must improve how they start games, says director of rugby Mark Aston after a sloppy opening resulted in a heavy defeat to Halifax last weekend.
The Eagles failed to trouble the scoreboard for the first time this season as an uncharacteristic uncompetitive display ended with a 54-0 pummelling by their West Yorkshire counterparts.
The tone for the damaging defeat was set early as a lively Fax stunned the hosts with six first-half tries, which ended any hopes of a third straight victory and probably extinguished any faint chance of gatecrashing the coveted Kingston Press Championship top four.
Aston - who warned his side for sloppy moments in their previous two victories, against Swinton Lions and Rochdale Hornets - says his side must give themselves a chance.
“The big thing is the start of games,” he told The Star.
“We have talked about it a lot recently: the mentality of getting into the changing rooms and getting self-prepared, doing the warm-up and then going out and performing.
“At the beginning of the season, we were doing well at the start of games, and then we were diving off. Now we are not starting well.
“We must start with some venom and an attitude about us. It is vital in future.”
Prior to Sunday’s disappointing defeat, the formbook suggested that Aston’s side would narrow the gap on their opponents.
Fax had lost back-to-back games coming into the contest, but it was the Eagles who looked ragged as they failed to get out of the dressing room.