Sheffield Eagles’ coach Mark Aston doesn’t want to be left fretting on the sidelines when his team face Keighley Cougars, writes James Collins.
Aston suffered a frustrating first 40 minutes before the Eagles kicked into gear against Dewsbury Rams in the Challenge Cup.
It left him warning the squad that they can’t afford to gift teams early tries and always expect to come back.
“We can be a bit disrespectful of teams at times and you can’t afford to do that in this league,” he said.
“We are a good team and we can score points but we have to work hard to get things.
“We’ve got to stick to the core values.”
Eagles need the win at struggling Keighley on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) if they are to stay up with the pack chasing league leaders Halifax.
Aston added: “It’s a fine line. One mistake can cost you, and I’m not copping that. I’ve got a strong squad with people waiting for their chance.
“Keighley is never an easy place to go. We have to pick the team that has the right mentality.”
The Cougars have struggled with only three wins in the league this season and were hammered 74-4 by Challenge Cup holders Warrington in the fourth round.
But the Eagles lost their last away game at Whitehaven, another side in the bottom half of the table.
Eagles have a tough fifth round tie against Halifax as a reward for their 30-16 win over Dewsbury. The West Yorkshire team are top of the Championship and beat the Eagles in the opening game of this season.
It looked like Dewsbury were going to be in the draw as they were gifted three tries to take a 16-0 lead early in the first half last Saturday.
Substitutions by Aston steadied the Eagles with forwards Mitch Stringer and Colton Roche outstanding and crucially Dewsbury didn’t add to their lead before the break.
Quentin Laulu-Togagae set the Eagles on their way with tries from Patch Walker and Matt Garside taking them ahead going into the final 20 minutes.
Touchdowns from Stringer and Misi Taulapapa punished a tiring Rams and Dominic Brambani converted the five tries.