COACH Mark Aston intends to make Sheffield Eagles players face a few hard truths after they lost their unbeaten record to Halifax.
Aston wants to see the harsh reality of the 50-18 defeat act as an incentive at Featherstone Rovers on Saturday.
“We have to be really strong for 80 minutes and we haven’t been - I’ve spoken about this to the lads for a while now,” he said. “We were always going to come up against good teams who are going to challenge you.”
The Eagles came back to 26-18 against Halifax before the sin-binning of half-back Dominic Brambani halted their charge and they let in four late tries. With it went the Eagles run of seven winning games – the last unbeaten record in all the professional leagues this season.
Aston feels the yellow card for a late tackle was harsh and came following the intervention of the touch judge on the far side of the field from the action.
“We had got back into the game and if we had kept Brambani on the field we could have won the game,” he said.
“I think it’s poor that the touch judge who was closest to the man supposed to be fouled doesn’t come on but the man on the other side does. That’s bizarre.”
Aston says a much tougher mental approach will be needed at Featherstone in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final, which the Eagles lost 40-4.
“Featherstone will be tough for us but maybe this is the kick in the teeth we needed and hopefully now we will stand up and prepare ourselves better and put in a good performance,” he added.
A 24-12 win at Dewsbury at the weekend took Rovers, coached by former Eagles star Daryl Powell, level with Halifax at the top of the Championship.