Sheffield Eagles’ mastery of the art of doing the basics right has given them the perfect platform to record back-to-back victories according to Director of Rugby Mark Aston.
The Eagles recorded a 20-6 victory last Sunday but were forced to slug it out with a spirited Whitehaven side who gave little away at The Recreation Ground.
On a boggy pitch and with a strong breeze, Aston’s troops went toe-toe with their hosts showing that they know how to win ugly, in contrast to the free-flowing rugby that put paid to London Broncos in round two of the Kingstone Press Championship.
“The character of the group was sensational. It is a tough place and the conditions made it harder but we ground it out” said Aston. “We were a little shaky at the start but then we put a string of back-to-back sets together and scored a few tries. That was the key for me in conditions that are tough you just have to grind it out, play your sets and kick well. We did that and they made one or two mistakes and we capitalised on them. In conditions like these you aren’t going to get the flash plays, you have to play smart rugby league and that’s what we did.”
After beginning the campaign with a defeat at Dewsbury, the Eagles have quickly re-grouped to vindicate Aston’s early season confidence that his side will be a force to be reckoned with. The key to success could be the Eagles’ miserly defence who have conceded just two tries in their last two Championship outings. “The big thing for me is defensively we were great again against Whitehaven,” Aston added.
“That’s what all good teams do, they defend really well. We only let six points in last Sunday so defensively we have got our attitude right.”
Aston was boosted by the return of injury victim John Davies who plays a pivotal role. Whilst there was more good news with Wakefield loanee Jon Molloy set to return for the showdown with Batley Bulldogs this weekend.