Sheffield Eagles: Aston makes demands despite big win

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Sheffield Eagles scored eight tries for the second week to see off Keighley Cougars 42-24 but it’’s still not enough for coach Mark Aston.

He wasn’’t happy with the way the team scored in bursts then “went back into their shell”allowing a poor Keighley to narrow the margin with late tries.

”Our intensity was poor but we racked up 40 plus points again so some people are clicking into gear,”” said Aston.

“I’’m not overall happy, it wasn’t a vintage performance. We let in 24 points and that’s a bit soft for me and there have been a few harsh words.”

He added: “”Some people played well - Misi Taulapapa, Michael Knowles, Matt Garside - but there were a number not quite at the races.”

Utility back Jordan Burke, signed on a month’s loan from Warrington Wolves, made his debut at centre as a first half substitute. Gareth Owen, on loan from Salford, replaced Andrew Henderson in the starting 13.

Eagles took an early lead with stand-off Patch Walker providing the pass for centre Duane Straugheir to go over.

Keighley hit back with loose-forward Scott Law sweeping in and Danny Joes adding the goal.

The home side’s lead didn’t last, Eagles plundering two tries in four minutes. Straugheir, breaking the line, passed to full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae who timed his back-up run perfectly to score under the posts.

Walker broke the line before off-loading to back-row forward Michael Knowles who juggled the ball before touching down.

Eagles went in at half-time 14-6 ahead and stepped up a gear with two quick tries following the restart.

Top scorer winger Scott Turner finished a passing move for his ninth try of the season. Then centre Menzie Yere foxed the Cougars with a dummy before sprinting 40 metres to the line.

Dominic Brambani was on target with the second conversion and the Eagles looked in control at 24-6 but Keighley hit back with at try by back rower Josh Lynam and goal by Jones.

That simply sparked another flurry of tries from the Eagles with Matt Garside off loading to Walker who sent in Laulu-Togagae for his second.

Yere used his power to produce a great pass under pressure to Walker who side-stepped before going over. Brambani converted both.

In between tries from Keighley’ prop Andy Shickell and Scott Law, Garside went in for Eagles.

Brambani finished with five goals.

Cougars: Jesse Sheriffe; Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White; Jones, Handforth; Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Law.

Tries: Law 15, 80. Lynam 48, Shickell 65. G: Jones 4/4.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Owen, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Hope. Subs: Davey, Garside, Tagaloa, Burke.

Tries: Straugheir 5, Laulu-Togagae 18, 50, Knowles 22, Turner 42, Yere 44, Walker 54, Garside 70.

G: Brambani 5/8. Att: 927