Sheffield Eagles: Anthony Thackeray praised for inspiring win over Dewsbury

Sheffield Eagles are ‘indebted’ to one individual in particular for their dramatic victory at Dewsbury on Sunday, according to director of rugby Mark Aston.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 9:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 9:48 am
Anthony Thackeray

The Eagles looked set for back-to-back Championship defeats after falling 12 points behind after just 10 minutes of the second stanza, but an inspirational 30 minute display from half-back Anthony Thackeray swung the pendulum back into the visitors’ favour.

Thackeray produced a jinking run for an individual try which dragged his side back into the contest, and in the dying minutes it was his pinpoint pass which sent Ben Blackmore clear to bag the winning points.

The ex-Featherstone schemer was Aston’s close season marque signing, and his influence at the Tetley’s Stadium was not lost on the experienced coach.

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“We are indebted to Thacks for the points as far as I'm concerned,” was Aston’s honest assessment to The Star.

“I thought that Thacks, particularly at the back end of that second-half, did what he said he was going to do which was run. He scored a try himself, then he burst downfield when Liam Finn got sin-binned for holding down as well. He had a huge part to play. He ran it well, and delivered the killer pass at the right time, with the right quality.”

Thackeray’s display was a highlight in what was an uncharacteristic team performance following a blistering start to the campaign.

The Eagles were beaten at Featherstone prior to the trip to Dewsbury after Blake Broadbent’s red card put them on the back foot.

When Brad Knowles saw red for a punch, the Eagles looked set to spoil their chances once again until Dewsbury handed them a lifeline following Samy Kibula’s dismissal, followed late on by a glut of yellow cards.

Aston explained his frustration at the overall performance, with the 51-year-old admitting he hasn’t seen the improvements he would have liked over the past two rounds.

He said: “We are looking for results, yes, but we are looking for performances and little improvements each week. I think the last couple of games we haven't really seen the improvements.

“We got the result which is great but that wasn't enjoyable for me. We'll work hard this week. We'll try and improve, and try and be better next time out. We’ll certainly be working hard this week with them on the training ground.”