Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston says his side showed great character to change their fortunes around after advancing to the Championship Shield final.
After their meltdown against Bradford a fortnight ago, coupled with the threat of the club going out of business, many would have forgiven Aston’s side for having their mind elsewhere.
But after blowing their opponents away with a stunning first half display, before then showing their mettle to close out the game after the break, Aston says the players have done the fans and the club proud.
“We have talked about pride all week because we let ourselves down against Bradford,” Aston beamed.
“We wanted to make it right, we wanted to do it for the fans but most of all for ourselves and I was immensely proud of them.
“I thought the first 40 minutes we were outstanding. I thought that the intensity that we showed offensively at the start of the game was outstanding, and that is what helped us to go on and win the game.
“We completed very high, that’s what you need to do in semi-finals, I think we ran at 80 odd percent in the first half.
They had a bit of momentum in the second half but fair play to the boys, they have had a lot of adversity this year but today we showed what we are about and showed the ability that is within the team.”
It was the Eagles’ start that set the foundation for a tremendous victory. Cory Aston’s short kick off from the first whistle signalled their intent, before two early tries gave Aston’s side the momentum to surge ahead.
Aston believes it was close to being the best half he has seen from his side this season, and it proved to be crucial as Halifax came back stronger after the interval.
“I thought that we were very strong the other week against Workington, but obviously to do it against Halifax who are a quality team is very pleasing,” he added.
“It was important that we started really well to show that we could bounce back after what happened last week, we certainly got that and that is a credit to the players because there has been a lot of soul searching.
“They have dug in and said that they are not ready to finish this season yet.”
Eagles will face Bradford at Odsal again in the final.