Aston presents his case for the defence in stark warning issued to his free-scoring Eagles side

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High-scoring Sheffield Eagles are piling up the points but coach Mark Aston has challenged his players to tighten up their defence.

With important games in the league and cup competitions coming up, Aston is concerned the players sometimes “switch off” when dominating games.

That failing saw Whitehaven run in two soft tries mid-way through the second half of the Eagles’ 56-18 win last weekend.

“We can play, we score points, we’re top of the league and in Cup semi-finals, but we have got to defend a lot better,” he said.

“It’s the softness we’ve got in us.

“We’re averaging 18 points (conceded) per game, and that’s not good enough if we are going to get to finals.

“I suppose scoring 50 odd points means our points difference is little bit better, but we can’t afford to slip up.

“I challenged the lads to keep it to 10 points, and Whitehaven got 18 – that’s not good enough.”

Eagles face the first leg of a potential Cup double when they play Dewsbury Rams in the semi-finals of the Northern Rail competition at Don Valley tomorrow night (kick-off 8pm).

A trip to third-placed Batley Bulldogs in the league follows next Thursday and early next month they face Super League strugglers London Broncos in a Challenge Cup semi-final.

Eagles have try-scoring power with only Halifax – who they lead by two points at the top of the Championship – having scored more and a better points difference.

Centre Menzie Yere claimed two tries to take his total for the season to 35 in the win over Whitehaven.

Fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae claimed a second hat-trick in successive games and is now just one try behind Yere this season.

Peter Green, who was making his 350th professional appearance, Scott Turner, Dominic Brambani, Patch Walker and Tom Armstrong also scored tries with Brambani kicking eight goals.

Tomorrow’s game will be the third time Dewsbury have come to Sheffield this season with the Eagles winning in the Challenge Cup third round (30-16) and the league (36-18).