Sheffield Eagles: ‘We beat ourselves’ – Mark Aston bemoans Halifax defeat

Not being able to execute the desired game plan was the fundamental reason for Sheffield Eagles’ defeat to Halifax, according to coach Mark Aston.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 1:10 pm
Mark Aston

The Eagles suffered what was a surprise defeat considering contrasting fortunes of the two sides in recent weeks, with Aston, in what has been a rare experience this season, critical of his troops after the game.

The Eagles chief was irked by the failure, in his opinion, of his side to implement the pre-match plan, stating they didn’t give themselves the opportunity to exploit potential weaknesses in the Fax setup.

Aston said: “I spoke to them about going through them all week, but we tried to go around them. That was disappointing, we didn't execute the plan. That's where I'll be stripping them down this week, and talking about. You have to be disciplined, and for me that was epitomised towards the end when we tried to throw the ball out wide, and we threw it into touch. That isn't what we are about, and what we want to do. We knew where we thought we could do well against them, but we didn't do it. At the end of the day, we really wanted to win that. We just didn't match up with either the mental or the physical aspect of it today.”

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Aston’s class of 2019 have made major progress so far this term after back-to-back seasons of struggle, but Aston for the first time this season has issued his disappointment that a plan wasn’t followed to the letter on the field.

It was an issue that he brought to light on many occasions last season, with the 51-year-old stating he is happy to take the flack if a plan doesn’t come together – but at the same time he says his players also have to take responsibility if they choose not to deliver his instructions.

He continued: “We spend a lot of time preparing, if they deliver the plan and it doesn't work, then that's my problem.

“If they don't deliver it and we come unstuck, then they need to face the consequences.”

“I believe we beat ourselves.

“We had a plan. We came in and worked on it, tweaked it on Friday, and we didn't deliver it.

“That was the annoying aspect more than anything as far as I was concerned.

“It is done with though, and we’ll move to the next one.”