Sheffield Eagles: Old boys lie in wait for Aston’s men

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

It will be a case of friends reunited for Sheffield Eagles tomorrow as three of their former favourites lie in wait for Mark Aston’s table-toppers.

The Eagles travel to John Kear’s Batley looking to maintain their 100% start to the 2016 Kingstone Press Championship , but face off against several familiar faces who will be looking to derail the Eagles’ flying opening to the season.

Former stars Dominic Brambani, James Davey and Pat Walker left for Mount Pleasant during the off season, all ending lengthy associations with the Eagles.

Director of rugby Aston knows what to expect from his former stalwarts as Batley look to hit the form which saw them defeat big-spending Leigh on the opening day of the season.

“Batley beat Leigh on the opening day on home soil so we know it will be a tough game there,” Aston told The Star. “They have three cracking players who left us at the end of last season. I know that they will be out to cause us problems.

“What we need to do is to build on what we did against Halifax last Friday night.

“I think we were at around 70-80% last week, we need to be at around 90% on Sunday to get the result.”

Aston must decide whether to tinker with the 17 that defeated Halifax, with Aussie front-rower Steve Thorpe and winger Garry Lo both pressing their case for an inclusion.

Aston has shown he isn’t afraid to change a winning team, and he admits he will continue to keep an open mind as he looks to nail down his best side.

“We also need to look long term and make sure that we keep everyone fresh,” he said.

“We are not at that stage yet when we need to start picking our best 17 week in, week out, because we are still finding out what that best 17 is.”