Sheffield Eagles: Mark Aston takes encouragement from opening day defeat to Halifax
Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says the performance in defeat to Halifax has given him great encouragement for the season ahead.
A youthful looking Eagles suffered a dramatic loss after two late Fax tries snatched an 18-17 victory for home side in a competitive season opener.
With Aston missing the likes of Scott Wheeldon, James Davey, Anthony Thackeray, Matty James and James Glover, a young side gave the long-serving coach plenty of positives after a spirited display at The Shay.
He told The Star: “We aren't disheartened by that; it is something we can build on and the exciting thing is that there are players to add to that as well who have the experience.
“It is a good start; I am really gutted for them because I think that we deserved to win the game.”
The Eagles had a seven-point advantage going into the final six minutes after tries from Ryan Millar, Robbie Ward and Joel Farrell, before the hosts rallied to seal the points with just 90 seconds remaining.
Aston added: “I thought we were the best team for 80 minutes.
“Yes, you have periods in a game when the opposition gets on top of you, but I was impressed by our attitude and our commitment to each other.
“The pride we showed in our performance was there for everyone to see.”
Prop Wheeldon (knee) was a doubt coming into the contest and didn’t make it in time, whilst Aston revealed that hooker Davey pulled out through sickness.