Sheffield Eagles: Aston pleased with pre-season run out

Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston saw plenty of positives from his new look side after their narrow pre-season defeat to Doncaster.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 5:00 am
Garry Lo touches down one of a try double against the Dons for the Eagles. Picture: Simon Hall

The Dons lifted the South Yorkshire Cup at the Keepmoat Stadium after a 22-18 victory, as Aston had his first look at a number of his new signings in a competitive environment.

The likes of Simon Brown, James Kelly, Sam Scott, Will Hope, Kyle Trout and Perry Whiteley were all given a run out, whilst the Eagles included two Leigh players in their squad as their dual-registration deal with the Super League newcomers bore instant fruit.

Versatile half-back Lewis Foster and winger Dave Thompson were both included, and could be set to remain with the Eagles through the early season months.

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“Dual-registration is a need and must for Sheffield Eagles this year,” Aston told The Star.

“The guys have come in and trained with us a couple of times this week and have fitted in really well. They are cracking kids.

“That’s what Neil Jukes (Leigh coach) and I have spoken about, we said that this agreement has to work for everyone here.

“It has to work for Sheffield, Leigh and the players and if it does we will carry it on, if it doesn’t we won’t.

“My thoughts on it haven’t changed but we certainly need to use it this year.”

The Eagles, who are playing catch up with the rest of the league due to their off the field difficulties, saw winger Garry Lo bag a brace of tries, whilst new signing Hope also crossed the whitewash.

Aston took plenty of heart from the display, as his quickly assembled squad continue to find their feet.

“We were a little rusty, and that was to be expected as we haven’t done a great deal of work because we really haven’t had enough players to get any fluency into us,” he added.

“We had some good glimpses against a Doncaster side who look to have put together a really useful squad this year, they will be right up there in their division.

“There was plenty of encouragement, we got over the line on two or three occasions and dropped the ball, or bounced the ball, so we were making opportunities.

“We have plenty of work to do, which we knew, but we are up and running.”

Meanwhile, long serving Duane Straughier has signed a new one-year deal with the club.