It is crunch time for Sheffield Eagles as they look to turn their fortunes around after their latest setback against Barrow Raiders.
It looked as though Mark Aston’s side had turned a corner at Craven Park when a confident opening produced an 18 point lead. The Eagles had opportunities to be further in front, but Barrow produced a sensational (36-22) comeback against an Eagles side low on confidence following a winless start to the Championship.
With the likes of Rochdale and Batley heading to the Olympic Legacy Park for an Easter double-header, Aston knows they must arrest a decline which has seen his side lose their opening seven fixtures.
“We need to pick up points, that’s obvious and it can’t come quick enough” Aston said. “If we can get something going you can quickly turn your season around, but we have to show up for longer periods. We need competition for places in every fixture and we need players fighting to be in the side.”
The home game against Rochdale, on the surface, presents the Eagles with their best chance of a victory to date, with the Hornets registering just one victory in the league this season.
With Batley also within touching distance, the next two games provide the Eagles with a chance to give their season a much needed shot in the arm, but if they cannot halt their early season slide it could represent a long campaign ahead for Aston’s new look side.
“Granted we have a relatively small squad and the Easter games are upon us” he added.
“We really need to try and find momentum, and we need to create some smiles on faces again. We need to take the pressure off ourselves, if we can get a win it will mean we will start to enjoy it again.”
With the Eagles boosted by Castleford pair Garry Lo and Cory Aston, coupled with three additions from St Helens, Aston looked to have his strongest hand yet this season.
But the Eagles are still missing veteran centre Menzie Yere through visa problems, whilst new signing Corey Makelim is also awaiting paperwork completion before he can join up with his new teammates.