Sheffield Eagles’ form puzzle

Keal Carlile
Keal Carlile
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Sheffield Eagles have to cut out the errors if they are to bring some consistency to their season, according to Keal Carlile.

It sounds simple, but putting it into practice is a different matter as the Eagles’ recent results have shown. One week Mark Aston’s side are taking apart Bradford Bulls at Odsal Stadium, but the next week the Eagles fall to defeat against lowly Oldham.

The Eagles hooker knows indiscipline is at the heart of some of their problems, with the former Hull KR ace acknowledging they need to tighten up defensively if they are to challenge for the top four. “It is chalk and cheese,” Carlile said. “At Bradford, we showed what we can do, but we still leaked quite a few points and we let 21 points in again at Oldham which is just not good enough. We know we can score tries, but if we are to have top four aspirations then we have to build the game better, manage a game better and to not give as many penalties away. When we make errors and give away penalties we are putting ourselves on the back foot. We need to be stronger defensively because we are leaking too many points.”

Eagles face a tall order on Friday as they travel to Wakefield for the Challenge Cup fifth round. The Wildcats trounced Wigan 62-0 on Sunday to continue their recent good form, whilst the Eagles have now lost five out of their last six league games.

“If you are making errors you cannot get any momentum into your game,” Carlile added. “It doesn’t feel or look fluent. We are defending a lot because of the errors, and that is taking energy out of us.

“I don’t know if it is a concentration thing, but it is just not good enough.”

There is a lot of head-scratching going on amongst the Eagles faithful, and it is the same in the dressing room as Carlile explains: “It has been the story of the season so far,” he said. “We have pushed all the so called bigger teams close, we beat Bradford and Halifax, and we pushed Leigh and Featherstone all the way. It has been addressed in the press, we have to come to places like Oldham and Swinton, and this is no disrespect to them, and win.”