Sheffield Eagles must start flying from the first whistle

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Director of Rugby Mark Aston still believes his side are yet to ‘fire on all cylinders’ despite two impressive victories on the road.

Eagles gave their top four ambitions a huge boost after back-to-back victories at Hunslet and Batley, giving Aston’s side a six point buffer over fifth placed Halifax.

In both games Eagles found the early going tough, before twice coming from behind with scintillating second half performances.

Aston is now looking for his side to hit top gear from the first whistle. “I’d much prefer to start the game right; we’re still not there yet as we are not firing on all cylinders for 80 minutes” he said. “I’m looking for perfection for 80 minutes.”

Last Friday Eagles gave Batley a 12 point head start before turning on the style, and Aston knows his side will have to step up their game if they are to push the likes of Bradford and Leigh, who are now level pegging at the summit of the Championship. “We cannot keep giving ourselves these hurdles to overcome” he said.

“We were 12 points behind and we got it back but if it was 16 or 20, then it would have been harder. We kept our composure, didn’t panic, we got back to basics and built ourselves back into the game. I said to someone during the game, it’s easier to play than coach and it gets frustrating because you know what they are capable of and the potential and quality of the team and when they are not delivering, that is part of the frustration.”

Leigh’s surprise defeat last weekend against London Broncos ended their 27 match unbeaten run.

It allowed Bradford to move level on points at the top following their crushing defeat of Doncaster, with the Eagles a further four points back in third.

Aston’s side begin their two match stint at Castle Park this Saturday against Whitehaven (2pm), whilst work starts on the playing surface at The Keepmoat Stadium.