Sheffield Eagles boss may ring changes

Director of rugby Mark Aston has admitted getting the right balance to his Sheffield Eagles side is proving something of a conundrum.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 10:03 pm
Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Challenge Cup: Michael Knowles puts his head down and pushes forward. Picture Dean Atkins

The Eagles squeezed into the fifth round of the Challenge Cup after recovering from a slow start to defeat Swinton Lions at the weekend.

Aston’s side had to show their fighting qualities to ensure a place in the hat for tonight’s draw, but the Eagles boss again struggled to put his finger on another see-saw display from his developing side.

“It’s always nice to win but it was another one of those performances,” he admitted. “It’s proving a bit of a challenge to sort them out at the moment. We are relieved to get the result and be in the next round but I think the best team got beat.”

Eagles almost paid for another lacklustre start when John Duffy’s Lions opened up an 18 point advantage inside 20 minutes at Bawtry Road.

Aston’s troops clawed their way back into the contest before coming through by the skin of their teeth.

After making changes in light of the defeat against Whitehaven, the 48-year-old has threatened to bring new faces into the club to try and iron out Eagles’ inconsistencies.

“At the moment, we seem to be very good at starting games slow and put ourselves in a position where we are chasing games,” he added. “We seem to need a smack around the face to get going and it happened again today. We have a problem. I’ve tried to change the team to get it right, but it’s not worked and I’ll get new personnel in if we don’t get it right.”

Aston has no preference on his side’s next opponents, with the fifth round ties to be played over the weekend of April 16 and 17.

“I’m not really bothered who we get” concluded Aston. “It would be nice to get a big team and make a few quid but we are going to have to play a lot better if we are to challenge in the next round. We have had good cup success in the past and beaten some Super League teams but we are a million miles from where I want us to be at this period of time.”