Aston rewards Eagles with extra time off

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SHEFFIELD Eagles players have been able to ease back a little this week before they go into a spell of away games that will decide their season.

With a weekend without a fixture coach Mark Aston . pictured, gave the team a few days off following the win at Toulouse Olympique.

“The lads deserve some time away from the club,” said Aston.

“They have really emptied the tanks in the last month winning three out of three.

“Getting a break now is just about right. There are some big games coming up against some of the best teams in the competition. We start training again on Sunday and it’s hard work from then on.”

The Eagles kept their grip on fourth place in the Championship with the 32-16 win at Toulouse, but ahead is a run of tough away games.

Only one of the six games is at home – the visit of Barrow Raiders to Don Valley on Thursday 30 June, live on Sky Sports.

Before that they have to travel to Widnes Vikings and also face trips to Leigh and Featherstone – all top six teams.

A stuttering performance at Toulouse has got Aston demanding that the squad refocus when they return to training. Olympique twice drew level and it was only two tries midway through the second half that put the game safe for the Eagles.

Aston said: “We will have to play a lot better than at Toulouse. Our completion rate was poor and we made too many handling mistakes. We won the game but the lads dropped their guard.”

Meanwhile, Aston faces uncertainty about the future availability of the players he has on dual registration deals with Super League clubs.

Three of the four – centre Jason Crookes (Bradford), back row forward Jamie Cording and half-back Kyle Wood (both Huddersfield) - played for their parent clubs at the weekend.

For much of the next two months Aston will also be without reserves hooker Pat Smith and forward Sam Scott who leave next week as part of the British Universities squad touring Australia.