Rugby league: Eagles newcomers provide fillip for Aston after opener

Mark Aston: Encouraged by Eagles new players
Mark Aston: Encouraged by Eagles new players
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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston is encouraged by the performance of the new players who made debuts in the opening game of the season at Halifax.

Half-back Patch Walker set up Eagles’ first try and, with centre Tom Armstrong , played a full 80 minutes. Forward Colton Roche came off the bench. “The new guys did okay, there’s just that bit of work to do to get the fluency we want,” said Aston.

“It’s been hard for them. Training has been stop-start because of the weather. We haven’t got the continuity and flow we are looking for.”

Aston also wasn’t happy with the video referee’s decision to rule out a try in the second half for obstruction against Duane Straugheir as Dominic Brambani crossed the line. A converted try would have put Eagles level with 15 minutes to play.

“Where do you expect that player to go on the line? There’s no magic formula. Duane didn’t change his line of run, their player went into contact, not our player. I think it was a poor decision by the video referee,” he said.

Liam Higgins is a big doubt for the first home game against Batley at Don Valley next Friday night. The prop forward faces tests after being knocked out and missing all of the second half.