Smarten up or we will be on the road to nowhere

Michael Knowles heads for the line to score
Michael Knowles heads for the line to score
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Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston is desperate to point his team in the right direction with a vital away league game coming up.

But his time for route planning is limited with the Eagles at third-placed Batley Bulldogs tomorrow.

The Eagles struggled to find their way in the 26-16 win over Dewsbury Rams in the Northern Rail Cup. “It’s like when you get on a bus there’s somebody sat at the front who takes you where you want to go, well.. he wasn’t on the bus” said Aston. “We struggled for direction. The game plan and what we are about wasn’t there.”

Aston made a trip to watch Batley in their 30-4 win over Workington in the Rail Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. He expects the Bulldogs to try to exploit the slope on their pitch.

“Batley were all right, I didn’t get excited but they play well on their field,” he said. “They were strong and use the slope but we know to expect that.”

The Eagles go into the game defending their top place in the Championship with Batley three points behind.

They beat Batley in the opening game of the league season 13-6 with all the points coming in the second half.

He said “Every game now teams want to beat us but this is a big one for both teams. We’ve won the last 12 and they say every game in a run is closer to a defeat.

The lads did the rehab at the weekend and we’ll prepare for a tough game against a really good team at Batley.”

Aston is checking on the fitness of back row forward Michael Knowles, who scored two tries in the win over Dewsbury, and centre Menzie Yere but he expects both to be available.