Aston hails battling Eagles after defeat to Hull KR

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Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston again was full of praise for his side after running Super League opposition close for the second week running.

Aston’s Eagles took the game to the middle eight pace setters Hull KR, leading for much of the first-half before going down 38-28 at Bramall Lane.

The Eagles continued their brand of free-flowing rugby which served them well at Salford the previous week, and had unbeaten Rovers toiling before the Challenge Cup finalists recovered midway through the second half.

Aston again hailed his side’s application but, just like the previous weekend, bemoaned some of the defending which cost the Eagles in the second stanza.

“I am gutted because the lads are putting the work in but just letting themselves down with the soft tries,” he told The Star.

“We scored five tries, there are plenty of positives. Again I have to say we were great, the effort and commitment was spot on but we were just a little bit short.

“The attitude and commitment is there for everyone to see. We can play football, it is just a shame there are two sides to the game. We just need a little more resilience and pride in our defensive efforts and we can win.”

The Eagles scored the opening try through the departing Eddie Battye and held the advantage for much of the first-half. After getting back into the game just after the break, their failure to hold the ascendency allowed the visitors to take control, much to Aston’s frustration.

“After half-time we got back into it but we let a soft try in when they kicked downfield and went in under the sticks,” he added.

“That took it away from us again; we just need to make sure that when we get into that arm wrestle we learn how to control the game. We spoke about that, but the lads have had a real dig and I thought we played some outstanding rugby league at times, and scored some great tries. To go toe-to-toe and point for point in the second half leaves me immensely proud of my team. It is certainly something to build on.”

Results over the weekend ended any slim hopes the Eagles may have had about sneaking into fifth place for the ‘million pound game’. The host Wakefield next Sunday at Bramall Lane.