Sheffield Eagles: Toulouse ‘statement’ means nothing if we can’t back it up at Rochdale says Mark Aston
Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says his side made a 'statement' with their sensational success against Toulouse, but stressed it must be backed up at Rochdale on Monday.
The Eagles travel to Spotland in high spirits after ending Toulouse's seven-match Championship winning streak in emphatic fashion on Good Friday.
Aston's side racked up 44 points at the OLP to move level on points with the French outfit, and are looking for a Bank Holiday double against basement club Rochdale on Monday afternoon (3pm).
Aston hailed his side for their dominant display, but challenged his troops to continue the momentum as the games come thick and fast over Easter.
He told The Star: “It is a great result. It showed our intent and what we are about, and we made a statement. After saying that, it is all undone if we don't go to Rochdale and come away with a result, and back it up here against Halifax. We are hungry, and we are desperate to get three out of three.
“It is a bit of a statement of what we are about. There aren't going to be many teams who will put 40 plus points on the board against Toulouse. They for me are probably the best team in the competition. What they did to Toronto just a few weeks ago, we have just done that to them.”
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Aston will be looking for a repeat showing from his forwards, who he outlined for particular praise in Friday's win.
The result was made all the more impressive after Aston was forced to make changes with no bodies on hand from dual-reg partners London Broncos.
The likes of Sonny Esslemont, Shaun Pick and Rory Dixon, players who have mainly been on the fringe so far this season, all played their part as Aston utilised his squad.
He added: “I thought that the middles, the big fellas, were outstanding. The icing on the cake is Thacks (Anthony Thackeray) and his reads for the tries. I thought we handled them really well. They usually bust through teams, and when they do that, they usually score because they are clinical. They hardly bust through us, and when they did, we tracked back and we handled them."
The Eagles chief says Brad Knowles and James Davey were both rested due to knocks, but both are in contention for a recall against Rochdale today as Aston hinted he may have rotate some members of his roster.