Sheffield Eagles: Pace the key to beating Town

Rugby League
Rugby League

SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston is backing his team’s extra pace to carry them to victory at Workington Town.

The hard tackling Cumbrians on Derwent Park’s narrow, potentially heavy pitch doesn’t look the ideal scenario for the Eagles attacking style but Aston’s confident. He wants the squad to build on the second half surge that carried them to a 52-20 win at Swinton.

“Potentially it is a different challenge but we want to play quick,” he said. “Town are big and strong but there are areas in their game that we can exploit and target. We’ve been doing a lot of work on that.

“We got it right at Swinton last week in the second half but that was on a ‘terra firma’ pitch where we could play at speed. It might be heavy and boggy at Workington and we’ll have to adapt to that.”

Pitch conditions for Sunday’s game could influence Aston’s selection with prop Liam Higgins power off the bench earning a recall. The coach also faces a dilemma over the hit and miss form of centre Menzie Yere.

Aston said: “We will have a look at everybody – there are a few that didn’t do themselves any favours.”

Town have a core of former Super League players in ex-Hull FC forwards Ewan Dowes and Jamie Thackeray, ex-Crusaders half-back Peter Lupton and former Wigan winger Mark Calderwood.

Newly promoted Workington opened with a win at Swinton but have lost their last two games including a 26-4 defeat at Doncaster last Sunday.

Aston said: “We have to be smart and disciplined and if we do that they will get frustrated with us.

“Town’s forwards are not massive. Downes isn’t a big man but he has a good work ethic. Jamie Thackeray is dangerous at any level but we’ve always handled him quite well.

“The thing with Jamie is his discipline and they pulled him off at Doncaster because he gave three penalties away. This competition is tough.”