Sheffield Eagles: Selection key for Aston as Eagles’ hunt top four

Tony Tonks

Tony Tonks

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With a crucial Championship encounter with Workington Town ahead of them, director of rugby Mark Aston admits it is paramount he gets his selection right.

With a tough run-in to the end of the regular season in front of them, on paper Sunday’s clash with struggling Town looks the easiest assignment with several of the division’s big hitters to follow as the race for a top four finish intensifies.

“We need to be a bit tougher on ourselves; I am going to be asking for more from the players because we need to bounce back,” a bullish Aston told The Star.

“I need to pick the right team now because this next month or so is going to be massively important to us. The hard work started straight away (after Leigh) as we look to get the right result against Workington.

“Tonka (Tony Tonks) and JD (John Davies) did 80 minutes against Leigh last week which was a positive. Tonka looked strong, so it was great to see them both back.”

The Eagles sit third but the chasing pack of Halifax, Featherstone Rovers and London Broncos are now just four points behind, with Rovers holding the advantage of a game in hand.

London are the form side having won five of their last six league encounters which includes inflicting the only defeat of the season on Leigh Centurions. They play Halifax on Saturday which will ensure that at least one team will lose ground on a coveted top four place.

Meanwhile, Aston reserved praise for Bradford Bulls loanee Dave Petersen after he scored his first Eagles try last weekend.

The Eagles’ chief confirmed that the Hull-born operator has two games to play on his initial deal, and he will be looking to speak to his Bulls counterpart James Lowes about extending the deal over the next week.

“We have a couple more weeks with Dave which is good,” he added.

“It was nice for him to score a try and he did a great job for us when he went out there and gave us plenty of energy.

“He scored a nice try which he can be pleased with and we will look to speak to Bradford over the next few weeks and look to extend his loan.

“Before that he certainly has the next two games for us.”

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