Sheffield Eagles have to come to terms with spoiling tactics from visiting teams aimed at frustrating their attacking style.
Coach Mark Aston says the Championship title holders must react faster than they did against Barrow Raiders when the teams were level at half-time.
“Teams are coming here and they are messy,” said Aston. “The game was boring in the first half.
“In the second half, the referee started penalising Barrow for messing about and we got into our rhythm a bit. We have played games here against some of the promoted teams who come to slow the game down and we haven’t adapted quickly enough.”
A 12-12 score at half-time led to some “home truths” from the coach and the Eagles responded with six tries to run out easy 44-18 winners. Aston’s warning comes as the Eagles prepare for a home tie against another of the Championship’s strugglers, Dewsbury Rams, in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup in the first game to be played on a Saturday this season. Aston says the narrow Don Valley pitch makes it easier to adopt negative tactics.
“It’s a tight pitch and what we’d like is a big field where you can put the ball on the edges,” he added. “Here it’s condensed and teams can quickly cover a mistake but on an open field we can get the tempo we want.”