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Change in mindset has lifted Sheffield Eagles

Cory Aston, Sheffield Eagles. Pic: Alex Coleman ADC Photography
Cory Aston, Sheffield Eagles. Pic: Alex Coleman ADC Photography
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The team mentality has been called into question on more than one occasion this season, but director of rugby Mark Aston admits he has seen a shift in culture over recent weeks.

The Eagles coach has pulled no punches at times this season, calling on his side to show greater resolve after some heavy and confidence sapping defeats.

In recent weeks though there has been a noticeable swing in Aston’s rhetoric after what was an improved showing in defeat to top-four chasing London Broncos, followed by the Summer Bash victory over Barrow Raiders.

With the return of Cory Aston, plus the signing of Mike Weldon, alongside the continued improvement from the likes of Mark Offerdahl, Shaun Pick and Jon Magrin, the Eagles look to be on the up during what has been a predominantly difficult campaign.

Aston has acknowledged a difference in mentality, but knows only too well the potential pitfalls of what can happen if the status quo is not maintained, with a huge four-pointer against Swinton on the horizon on Sunday at the OLP.

“I think there has been a massive change in their mentality, the challenge for me now is how long we can keep it up for,” Aston explained. “There is always a time when there’s a change. You hit a bit of form or you have a bit of luck, that’s what I talked about when I went through the video with them last week.

“You make your own luck. We saw that in the Barrow game when Makelim tried something with the grubber kick that hit the crossbar and it rebounded straight to Cory Aston for a try. If you work hard, sometimes you get the bounce of the ball and we got that last time out.”

“We need to maintain the mentality. The good thing for me now is that if I see anyone not keeping it up, there are players who can come in.”

With the likes of Makelim and Cory Aston running the game to great effect in their last outing, Aston has previously commented on the duo’s ability to keep their teammates on their toes with their leadership qualities.

“They are talkers and doers, and we saw plenty of the latter against Barrow,” he added.

“The likes of Makelim and Cory, they will push people into the right areas and lead. To have them nailed down was certainly massive for me.”