Old habits came back to haunt Sheffield Eagles with director of rugby Mark Aston left reeling following another defeat against Oldham.
Not for the first time during a topsy-turvy season, the Eagles failed to back up a promising performance after a crucial defeat against their fellow strugglers at Bawtry Road.
The defeat saw the Roughyeds move level on points with the Eagles as the race for survival took another twist.
After a comprehensive victory over top four chasing Featherstone, Aston thought his side had turned a corner, but this latest setback follows a worrying pattern which has plagued the club throughout the 2016 campaign.
“We were not a patch on how we played against Featherstone,” Aston admitted to The Star. “We cannot look for any excuses. We have to be better than that. We’re disappointed but it doesn’t surprise me because we’ve unfortunately got it in us.”
Aston knew a victory would give his side some much needed breathing space in the ever changing fight for survival.
But the Eagles couldn’t match the Roughyeds’ desire with the Eagles chief conceding that their opponents were ‘more hungry’ on the night.
“Oldham had more commitment than us,” he added. “It is a common theme when we come up against teams that are more hungry. We lost our way and you get frustrated. We looked a really frustrated team tonight whereas last week, we looked very controlled and we got the result we wanted.
“Credit to Oldham, they did a job. The game was slow. There was a lot of messing around the ruck area and it was disappointing for us.”
After the performance and result against Featherstone, which Aston described as their best of the campaign, the Eagles looked to have some much needed momentum.
But despite adding some new faces into the squad, failings from earlier in the campaign are still evident much to Aston’s annoyance.
He continued: “I wanted to get a win and get a bit of rhythm and momentum but it’s been taken away from us.
“We worked hard this week and we had a good week preparation but we’ve come unstuck again. People did not play well. Last week, we had 10-12 players playing well, tonight, we had five.
“It is a team game and you have to have a large percentage of your team playing well.”