Eagles ordered to cut out mistakes

Pictured at the EIS Sheffield's Sports awards, Sheffield Eagles Mark Aston
Pictured at the EIS Sheffield's Sports awards, Sheffield Eagles Mark Aston

It’s back to business for Sheffield Eagles after a week off with two games in four days coming up.

Fourth-placed Eagles face the two teams directly below them in top six with a trip to Widnes Vikings on Sunday followed by a home game against Barrow Raiders a week tonight.

“It’s not ideal but professional rugby players can back up well and these are two games that we need and should win,” said coach Mark Aston.

“We’ve put together three wins on the bounce and we just need to keep the momentum going.”

Two wins would put the Eagles well on track for their target of a top three finish with seven Championship games left to play. Aston added: “We need that little bit more consistency and we if can eliminate the mistakes we keep throwing up early in tackles then we will be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.” Widnes are heading for the Super League next season after gaining a franchise earlier this year.

Coach Dennis Betts, who took over this season, released a number of experienced players mid-season and is building for next year but also needs to ensure at least a top six place. Sunday’s game is the Eagles last chance to end a dismal record against Vikings in the Championship.

Aston said: “Widnes is the only team we have not beaten in the league so we have a score to settle there.

“They have got some outstanding dual-registration players from Wigan but have been a bit inconsistent this season and we need to go out and exploit that.”

The Eagles defence will be tested and they need the forwards to take early control of the game and set a platform for Simon Brown’s kicking game.

Team selection is likely to be delayed as Aston waits for the release of his four dual registration players.

Huddersfield pair Kyle Wood and Jamie Cording were left out of the Giants team at the weekend raising hopes they will be released by their parent club.

Centre or wing Jason Crookes played in the last three games for Bradford but his Bulls team-mate winger Vinny Finigan is expected to be available for the Eagles.