Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston was left with a very familiar feeling after watching his side end the regular season with a disappointing defeat to Dewsbury Rams at the weekend.
Eagles were in a strong position at the break, but an inconsistent second half showing ended in defeat which left Aston with more head scratching ahead of the mini-break before the start of the Championship Shield fixtures.
Aston was again left frustrated as he watched the game develop into a familiar pattern, stating that the 80 minutes encapsulated all the issues which he has attempted to address throughout the camopaign.
“It was a typical Eagles performance,” said Aston. “That’s what we have served up all year. Inconsistency within the game. We didn’t start that well. We clawed our way back into the game and we were in control. There was an opportunity in the second half when we had seven back-to-back sets, with them down to 12, but we looked clueless with the ball in hand. We are ever reliant on Garry Lo to get us out of it. We looked a very inconsistent team. That just about sums our season up.”
Lo was again the Eagles’ main threat and his brace took his tally to 29 tries for the season. The PNG winger was a major plus for Aston, but there is some thinking to do elsewhere as he looks to get his side back on course for another tilt at the Shield after losing last season’s final to Bradford Bulls.
“I have to question what we train all week to do,” he added.
“We didn’t deliver that. Players will be held to account. At the beginning of the game I thought that we got bullied, that’s what I’ve said to our big fellas. At the start of the game we needed to stand up strong. We grew into the game and got a bit of dominance back, but again in the second half we had opportunities to take control of the game, but people didn’t do their jobs. Our game management wasn’t there, they beat us by managing the game better.”
The result leaves the Eagles still with a handy nine point buffer to the relegation places, with Aston’s side now set for a break before resuming training at the start of next week.