Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston has hailed the character and maturity of new boy Joel Farrell after he was tested during the encounter with Batley on Friday.
Farrell, one of four ex-Bulldogs who lined up against their former club for Eagles, bagged his fourth try of the campaign as Aston’s side maintained their 100% start to the season. The Jamaican international has been known for his fiery temperament, with Aston stating on his arrival that the 24-year-old must find a calmer on-field persona if he is to stay part of his Steel City revolution.
Farrell was often targeted by his former employers, with Batley’s Dane Manning sin-binned during the second-half following a crude high-tackle. But Aston was impressed with how Farrell held his nerve, as the Eagles went on to win 44-16.
When asked if some of the challenges crossed the line, Aston replied: “I thought so. Faz got plenty of treatment. A couple of years ago he’d have lost his composure and probably got himself sent off. We spoke about it this year, and what he can bring to the club. I told him what I want. I want an 80 minute footballer, and to be fair I thought that Faz was class against Batley. He handled everything they threw at him, he played with a smile on his face and scored a cracking try as well. I am delighted with him, he's been a breath of fresh air to us.”
Farrell’s try against the Bulldogs was his fourth in as many games, already more than he managed for Batley during the entirety of last season
If those of a Batley persuasion thought the second-rower would be the one to crack, they ended up losing Manning at a crucial stage of the game, as the Eagles moved through the gears to secure a comfortable win.
Aston added: "It is always going to be a physical game, especially when you consider the connections. They lost their heads, we kept our nerve and that is something we have talked about. We are priding ourselves in professionalism and respect.”
The Eagles travel to Featherstone this Sunday, kick-off 3pm.