Rugby League: Toulouse defeat will help Sheffield Eagles in cup semi against Batley, says coach Mark Aston
It may have been a disappointing defeat, but coach Mark Aston says their recent trip to France will stand Sheffield Eagles in good stead for Sunday’s 1895 Cup semi-final hosting of Batley.
The Eagles are just one win away from Wembley, and welcome the Bulldogs to the OLP (2pm) knowing they have beaten them home and away in the league this season.
Whilst performances in their last two outings have disappointed Aston, the experienced coach says the extra time out in France following defeat to Toulouse has helped preparations long-term.
He told The Star: “We were disappointing but we had some good bonding out there. We started our preparation before we flew back by doing some recovery work with the boys. When you've had a performance like we did in France, usually within an hour or so you have parted from everyone. With what happened in Toulouse, we were all together for the rest of the night, so we had the self-reflection and then put the game to bed which was good.”
Aston has quickly drawn a line under the defeat, and with Batley playing 24 hours after the Eagles, he has also enjoyed one extra day of rest ahead of the crucial contest.
He added: “It worked out well in terms of being away together. After flying back we've had Monday off, and then we are into it Tuesday, Thursday and Friday which means a full week to prepare for a big game. It has worked quite well for us.”