Sheffield Eagles: Aston relishing clash with unbeaten Hull KR

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

Off the back of a heavy home defeat, most coaches would be having nightmares at the prospect of travelling to the unbeaten league leaders in the very next game.

But Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston is looking at Sunday’s showdown with Hull Kingston Rovers (3pm) from the other side of the spectrum.

After being pummelled by Batley on ‘home’ soil last weekend, which now makes it back-to-back defeats for the Eagles, Aston must take his side to Craven Park knowing that relegated Rovers have taken maximum points from the opening four rounds of the Kingstone Press Championship.

Aston though is looking to meet the test head on, and has called on his troops to use the underdog mentality to provide what would be the shock of the season so far by giving the favourites a run for their money.

“I am certainly relishing this game, I think it is a great challenge for us,” an upbeat Aston told The Star. “I’ll be pitting my wits against Tim Sheens, the ex-Australia coach, so I am looking forward to it.

“Hull KR were a Super League side last year, they have recruited well and they have started well. Everyone likes to be the underdogs, and everyone likes to beat what everyone expects to be the champions, and that’s what we want to do.”

After hitting an unexpected height by beating Toulouse in round two, Aston’s side have been brought back down to earth following two poor performances in recent weeks.

Their task over the next fortnight looks daunting with fellow unbeaten outfit Featherstone Rovers set to follow Sunday’s trip.

Aston though enjoys the underdog tag, and he also maintains a solid belief that his squad can give any side in the league a bloody nose on their day.

“We have got to be honest at this moment in time, where we are, no-one will give us a chance,” he added.

“We always have a belief here, I am a dreamer and I think if you work hard then sometimes you get the bounce of the ball. We worked hard in training last week but we didn’t turn that into the performance. I was honest with them over the last couple of days, we went out for a feed as a team. If we can put an honest performance in then we will come away and be reasonably happy.”