Sheffield Eagles players’ attitude stinks, says coach Aston

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Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston admitted his side are ‘miles away’ from the high standards set in the opening two rounds of the Kingstone Press Championship.

Despite the Eagles making it three wins from four with victory over Swinton Lions on Friday night, Aston was irked with his side’s performance and attitude after a lacklustre start and finish to the game.

The Eagles chief was looking for a reaction following the surprise defeat to Batley, but despite the result Aston has been less than impressed with his side’s progress since the early round wins over Workington and Halifax.

“We are miles away from where I want us to be,” Aston fumed. We scored 48 points which everyone will be quite happy with, but we let 26 points in which is not good enough. We were sloppy, we started the game like that and then we were disrespectful at the end there as well.

“I warned them that Swinton were a good team. I watched their opening three games and John Duffy has got them playing well. They throw the ball about, they challenge you and if you are not on your game they can cause you problems and they did. We are miles away, our attitude stinks and I’ve told them that.”

Eagles have shown their capabilities this season with, at times, some blistering spells of play.

On Friday Aston watched his side score three tries in nine minutes to dent Swinton’s early progress, but he was frustrated that his talented group cannot maintain those standards for longer periods.

“At the start I thought that we were out-enthused again, it was all there for everyone to see, it happened again at the end,” he added.

“We think that we can switch the light on and then switch it off. I don’t cop that.

“I want to coach people who want to play for long periods, and at this moment in time we are playing in fits and starts and we seem to be happy about that. Well, I’m not.

“We were relieved that we got the result, we wanted the points, but it was not vintage by Sheffield Eagles that is for certain.”