Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston puts aside differences with Simon Brown as he seeks strong end to Championship

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

Their differences are now behind them as Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston looks to Simon Brown to help guide his side to a strong finish to the Betfred Championship.

After a spell kicking his heels on the sidelines, Brown has been brought back into the fold for the last two games, and he played a major role in the crucial victory over Swinton that has all but secured the Eagles’ second tier status.

The experienced half-back fell out of favour for several weeks after Aston stated he arrived late for a home fixture against Toulouse, but the Eagles chief says the incident is now in the past after he hailed Brown’s contribution over recent weeks.

“That's why we needed Simon in the team,” Aston explained after Brown saw out the crucial victory at Heywood Road.

“He has got his head down and got on with it. All the differences have gone, they are behind us now.

“I thought he controlled the Swinton game very well, particularly in the second half.”

It was the cool nature of how Brown guided the Eagles through the final quarter of the game which impressed Aston, with the result and the season still very much in the balance.

But the former Hunslet ace also bagged a brace of tries in a stirring performance which drew praise from the Eagles backroom team.

With Aston not having his full quota from St Helens in recent weeks, coupled with injuries to the likes of Ryan Millar and Corey Makelim, he has had to manoeuvre his players which lead to Brown’s opportunity – a chance he has taken with both hands, as the Eagles prepare for a return to action against Dewsbury Rams on Friday night.

“Simon's game management towards the back end of the game at Swinton was there for everyone to see,” Aston added.

“He put the ball into corners, and it doesn't happen very often, but he got over the whitewash for not one try, but a second. 

"He has trained well recently. What I am interested in is how we finish the season. He has certainly done himself no harm with his performance against Swinton, with a Simon Brown performance which was needed. He took control of it, but that's what Simon Brown can do. That's what we asked him to do when we pulled him out of retirement. It was great to see.”