Eagles in need of more team work

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TIME is running out to create an effective ‘team’ from Sheffield Eagles much-changed squad, admits coach Mark Aston.

“I’d love to be in a position where we have a settled team,” he said. “We are just not a team at the moment. We don’t look fluent, we don’t look like we have got to know each other yet, which is a concern.”

The Eagles crashed out of the Northern Rail Cup with the 16-12 defeat by Hunslet Hawks and after winning only one of their four group games.

Coming up fast is a must-win Challenge Cup game against the amateurs of Leeds Met University and then the start of the Championship season.

The Eagles put in a much better defensive performance against Hunslet after the 12-try mauling at Leigh but that’s the only comfort for Aston.

Aston said: “Going out of the Rail Cup is a massive disappointment because we made the quarter-finals last year and we wanted to do better this time.

“As I said to the lads at half-time, our play was chaotic, it was frantic. We were ragged; we need to stay within the structure we’ve set.”

Aston has rebuilt the squad this season after the loss of key players, particularly in the backs. His options for change are limited with Samoan internationals Misi Taulapapa and Quentin Togagae still waiting clearance to enter the UK.

“It’s not ideal but I’m not looking for excuses - we deserved to get beaten,” he added. “The trouble is we haven’t got the competition for places.

“We will train hard and make sure that people stick to the game plan. We need to be more composed because if you start getting frantic you don’t make the right decisions.”