Sheffield Eagles made a giant step towards securing their Championship status last weekend, but you won’t see director of rugby Mark Aston content until he sees a much-improved performance.
The long-serving coach admitted it was the results that mattered most in his post-game debrief, but there was still some finger pointing to be done after what was a struggle for both the Eagles and a below-par Barrow outfit at the OLP.
The fact remains the Eagles have hit Aston’s target of 14 points before the end of season split, and they have now put themselves in a great position to secure their place in the second tier for next season.
Despite showing his frustration, Aston did concede a major part of his survival bid had been ticked off, as he looks to take his side to Leigh this Sunday knowing any points gained would be a welcome, but unexpected, bonus.
“We have got to enjoy this week, go and challenge Leigh and have a bit of fun,” Aston informed The Telegraph.
“Then we have a week off, we are going on holiday, we will get them away to chill out ready for a really hard seven weeks.
“You can be as critical as you want, but it is all about winning the game, and we did that last weekend.
“We were not disciplined enough again, it’s there for all to see on the board, discipline, game plan, respect, yet we still go away from it.
“It certainly isn’t enjoyable at the moment, it’s hard work. It is testing my heart rate significantly.”
Aston admits that his side are lacking creativity at present, and were largely indebted to Castleford loanee Cory Aston for securing the vital success over the Raiders.
Two moments of individualism gave the half-back a brace of tries, and Aston Snr conceded the flashes of brilliance in recent weeks have proved the difference as the Eagles inched their way closer to the survival line.
“I have to say that we are not creating a great deal, we are playing with one half-back and you can tell,” he added.
“When Cory pinched the ball for his first try and then showed a little bit of class with the show-and-go for his second, that was really needed.
“We need these little flashes of inspiration, we also had it with Jake Spedding’s interception try the week before.
“What we need to do is to try and build the game and play to the plans, and open up defences. We are not doing that at the moment which is a little frustrating because in training we look okay but then when it comes to matches and there is some fatigue, we go totally away from what we talk about.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles board are set to meet this week to discuss a plan going forward to ensure they see out the season after their latest off-the-field issues.
Chief Operating Officer Liam Claffey explained: “We are confident we’ll be okay. We have plans to ensure that we see out this season, we are confident that will happen. We then have further meetings with Scarborough Group to see if we can finalise some plans for next season.”