Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston slammed the decision from referee Tom Grant after the sending off of George Tyson in Sunday’s 22-18 defeat at Swinton.
Eagles looked set to end their wretched recent run until Tyson’s tackle on Swinton second-rower Connor Dwyer was deemed reckless enough for the centre to be given his marching orders. With Aston’s side holding an eight point advantage, they were forced to see out the final 20 minutes a man light, allowing Swinton to claw their way back into a crucial contest.
Aston was incensed with Grant’s call, which changed the course of the game and sentenced Eagles to a sixth consecutive defeat.
“Somebody needs to explain to me what he has been sent off for,” said a frustrated Aston.
“Are we not allowed to be physical? I want that question answering but as usual I can’t find anybody to answer it. He hasn’t slapped him on his neck, he’s landed on his back, where is the rule that says you can’t do that?
“Then there were things at the end of the game. We put what I thought was a good kick through, the referee gives a drop out and then changes it a penalty. Where has that come from?”
Despite his frustration with the officials, Aston again conceded that his side should have had enough to win a tight contest.
Eagles have won just one of their last 10 in all competitions and crucially have now lost to all the sides around them at the foot of the Kingstone Press Championship.
Aston again offered no excuses for his side, who now face a real fight to stay in the division with a tough home game to follow against Featherstone Rovers on Friday night. “There are no excuses,” Aston added.
“We should have been smarter and more composed but we weren’t.
“The conditions weren’t great so the last thing that we want to do is turn the ball over cheaply. Our discipline wasn’t there and when I talk about that I don’t just mean giving away soft penalties, but also discipline in terms of ball control.”
Eagles have been dealt a further blow with captain Steve Thorpe suffering a dead leg in the first half which prematurely ended his afternoon.
On a brighter note Aston looks to set to add a new signing this week, with a deal likely to be completed before Friday.