No excuses from Mark Aston after Sheffield Eagles’ loss to Leigh

Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston has refused to use his lack of options for his side’s display in defeat to Leigh.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 9:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 9:34 am
Dejected look from Eagles players knocked out the Challenge Cup by Leigh. Pic Steve Ellis

Eagles tasted defeat at the OLP for the first time this season as they exited the Challenge Cup, with Aston without a number of key performers.

Centre Jason Crookes is out for five weeks with a shoulder problem, whilst Blake Broadbent, Paddy Burns and Corey Makelim were also missing through a combination of suspension and illness.

Aston was also missing dual-registration from London Broncos, leaving him short on options, but the Eagles chief wouldn’t use the missing components as an excuse for their display.

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He told The Star: “We certainly missed a few players. That's no excuse though. We got back into the game at 18-12, we were in it. That is when we needed some composure, discipline - but we didn't have it. Then you have people making mistakes and they scored a lot of tries on the last play because we knocked off. I wanted us to be a lot better, it is disappointing.”

Aston gave a number of his fringe players an opportunity with the likes of Sonny Esslemont, Rory Dixon and Lewis Taylor all getting some game time. But his side clearly missed London duo Ben Hellewell and Sadiq Adebiyi who had a big impact in their victory against York in their previous outing.

He continued: “It’s true we were forced to throw people all over the place. We had Sonny Esslemont filling in at centre, and things like that so we were certainly down on troops. But I also know that if we had delivered what we asked them to, I think that we would have been a lot closer. We got what we deserved against a team that can play and will challenge you.”

Aston’s side return to league action this weekend, taking on league leaders Toronto Wolfpack. The match on Saturday is part of a double-header at London Skolars’ New River Stadium, with the Skolars taking on Workington Town at 12.15pm, followed by Toronto v the Eagles, live on Sky Sports, at 3.05pm.

Meanwhile, the RFL have confirmed this season’s Summer Bash at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road will be broadcast on Sky Sports. The Eagles take on Barrow on the Sunday (19th May), kick off at 1pm.