Sheffield Eagles must beware a Leigh backlash

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Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston is hoping to toughen up his side ahead of tomorrow’s assignment with pace-setters Leigh Centurions.

Despite making it five wins from six in the Championship last weekend, Aston wants to see an improved display at the Leigh Sports Village tomorrow (3pm). At the back of his mind he knows that the Eagles will have to step up their game significantly if they are to topple Paul Rowley’s Leigh, who have lost just once all season.

Aston wants his side to be more robust after a lacklustre middle to the game against Whitehaven.“We need to take a real tough mentality into the game because we know what to expect,” Aston said. “It is going to be grubby, hard and physical so we need people out there who are going to stand up. The selection might surprise one or two people, but we certainly need all hands on deck and the big lads to stand up.”

Despite the imperious form of their hosts, Eagles themselves have only lost four times in the league this season, one of which was a narrow defeat to the Centurions.

“We were a little bit disappointed that they beat us at home because we had a real dig at them,” Aston recalls. “I’ve said to the players if we turn up there with the attitude we showed against Whitehaven then we will get beat by 50.”

Aston recently claimed that Leigh have shown signs of a wobble, and his words echoed some truth when they were shocked recently in a defeat to mid-table London Broncos.

Despite beating Batley, Aston is still expecting a potential backlash tomorrow and warned his side to be ready.

“How much will the Batley game take out of them? Three games in a week is pretty tough but they will be firing and will be smarting about a comment I made about them being ready to crack” he said.

“It happened but that will re-focus them like it did to us when we lost against London. They will be up for us on Sunday, they will want to make a mark but so do we.”