Points to prove for Eagles

Mark Aston (left)
Mark Aston (left)

Sheffield Eagles will go in search of more than just points as they hit the road for back-to-back away games.

Coach Mark Aston is desperate for his team to find the fluency and momentum going forward that marked their surge to Championship title last season.

He felt the team “did enough” to beat Batley Bulldogs 13-6 for their first win of the season in an error-prone game.

“I’ve told the lads what I think,” Aston said.

“‘Great, you have got a win, but our skills, our execution, our decision making, all the things I talk about all the time were none existent’.

“We haven’t had a lot of prep and I’m not looking for excuses.

“We are undercut, we always are at this time of the season, but this year a bit more so. We have a bit more work to do.”

The Eagles open their road trip against Swinton Lions at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.

That’s followed by a journey to newly-promoted Workington Town.

Swinton’s partnership deal with Warrington Wolves gives them access to the Super League club’s players.

But it’s not working so far for the Lions, who have lost both their opening games.

Aston said: “We’ll have to see what team Swinton put out, but hopefully the pitch at Leigh will firm, which will help us.

“We need to get that bit of fluency and momentum back and then kick on.

“But against Batley we just did enough.”

The forwards were strong against Batley, with Peter Green and Alex Szostak continuing the form they showed in the opening game at Halifax.

Try scorers Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Tom Armstrong, on his Eagles home debut, plus winger Misi Taulapapa were the pick of the backs.

But handling errors disrupted the play and a dominant contribution from the new half-back pairing of Dominic Brambani and Patch Walker was lacking.

Aston said: “I’m pretty critical, I wouldn’t single them out for a great game against Batley.

“They have to run that team when they go out on the field. At times we looked clueless and lost for ideas.”

Winger Scott Turner is fit again and centre Matt Garside is pushing for his debut at Swinton.

Pat Smith could make the bench to give extra options at hooker and half-back.