Pressure is on Eagles after loss

Sheffield Eagles V Halifax RLFC. Pictured for Sheffield is Cory Aston and Rob Worrincy.
Sheffield Eagles V Halifax RLFC. Pictured for Sheffield is Cory Aston and Rob Worrincy.
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It wasn’t a happy trip to the seaside for Sheffield Eagles but ‘keep calm and look at the other results’.

A big dipper of a ride saw them plunge to a 46-6 defeat by London Broncos in the Summer Bash games.

Going down to the biggest defeat of the season must have put fans, who made the journey to Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, off their candy floss.

But by the end of the weekend very little had changed. The Eagles remain in third place in the Championship with a four-point cushion only now it’s over Dewsbury and Featherstone.

The worry is that after putting together an eight-match winning run the Eagles have hit a sticky patch mid-season.

The wins over Doncaster and Dewsbury were unconvincing and against London they came up against a team that is finally starting to find form under the direction of former Eagles’ hooker Andrew Henderson.

The composure and control in defence that has been Sheffield’s strength was missing in the eight-try blitz by the Broncos.

The Eagles were 28 points down before half-back Cory Aston weaved his way through for his sixth try of the season. That was to be the only consolation points on a dismal afternoon.

Coach Mark Aston felt the battling win over Dewsbury on the previous Tuesday had left a hangover but admitted he has a lot to ponder: “I won’t take anything away from London, they were good and we weren’t and it’s back to the drawing board.

“Credit to Hendon (Andrew Henderson) he’s done a good job with them and I said they would bring their A game and they did – we didn’t and we looked a tired outfit.”

The squad have two away fixtures ahead to restore the belief and momentum. The trips to Hunslet and Batley offer the chance to claim league doubles but they are far from bankers.

Hunslet Hawks lost 28-14 at the Keepmoat but are edging toward mid-table and tomorrow night (kick-off 8pm) on their narrow pitch will aim to stifle the Eagles attacking flair.

Against London Aston was forced into changes and hopefully will have influential back row forward Michael Knowles fit again. If Kyle Briggs is available that could see a switch at half-back in the continuing search to find a match-controlling pairing.

Trips to South Leeds Stadium and Mount Pleasant represent the gritty, hard graft games that have to be won if a place in the top four is to be protected. After the London performance the pressure is on.