Sheffield Eagles: Mixture of pride and disappointment in Toronto defeat
It was a performance which brought mixed emotions for Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston after his side were well-beaten by runaway leaders Toronto Wolfpack.
The Eagles were a beaten side by the time the half-time hooter sounded, but Aston can take heart from a second-half display which saw his side match their big-spending full-time opponents.
Aston did take something from their showing after the interval, but admitted his side didn’t give themselves a chance with an under-par start which was fully exploited by the Canadian outfit.
“We got blown away by a team that can do that to anybody in this competition,” Aston admitted to The Star.
“I was disappointed with the first-half. Sunday may have taken a little bit more out of us than I thought.
“Again, we are looking for people to stand up and lead. I don't think we had too much of that in the first-half. I thought we were disappointing, it was men against boys.
“I have to credit the boys for their performance in the second-half. They came out with more about them, and in the last 15 minutes we were the better side.
“Credit to them for that but I am disappointed because we are the home side, and by half-time the game has gone.
“It is what it is, we are beaten by a better team. They were too big, and too strong for us on the day.”
Aston was dealt a blow prior to kick-off, albeit an expected one, when it was confirmed that centre James Glover faces a lengthy period out of action.
The ex-Dewsbury ace received results of scans which confirmed he has damaged not only his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) but also his PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) after a poor tackle from Barrow’s Lewis Charnock in last weekend’s Summer Bash.
Glover, one of Aston’s stand-out performers, now faces up to a year on the sidelines, whilst Aston previously confirmed fellow injury victim Matty James is out for five months.
Aston said: “James has done his ACL, PCL and MCL all in one, so he is looking at nine to 12 months on the sidelines. We are gutted for him, and Matty James who is out for five months. The injuries could not have come at a worse time, but we have some good kids here, and now is the time for them to stand up.”