Sheffield Eagles’ spirit in derby impresses boss Aston

Action from the Dons-Eagles derby. Picture: Marie Caley
Action from the Dons-Eagles derby. Picture: Marie Caley

Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston was delighted with the way his side held themselves together after coming through a stern test against Doncaster on Friday night.

The Eagles were made to sweat by their South Yorkshire rivals, who were in front for the majority of the first half, before Aston’s side moved through the gears in the last third of the game to record a 30-12 success.

The Dons are still looking for their first win of 2015, but at one stage they looked set to upset the form book in almost monsoon conditions at The Keepmoat Stadium.

Eagles finally took control of the game with a flurry of late tries, and Aston was pleased with his side’s composure as the game headed towards what looked like a tense finale.

“We had to hold our nerve at times, but we worked hard and overall defensively we were better too,” beamed Aston.

“The boys have had a tough five weeks, they have now earned a few days off, they will need to recover now and get ready for what will be a tough second half to the season.

“It was always going to be tough. The conditions were difficult; who would have thought it was nearly the summer?

“Doncaster were always going to come out with some fire in their bellies because it is a derby. They would have been disappointed with the way they played last week, and they wanted to get back to performing well which they did.”

The Eagles will have been relieved to get the job done after a thumping at Bradford Bulls the previous weekend, which threatened to derail their early-season progress. Aston believed it was important to put that loss to bed, claiming the result was the most important factor in the game with Doncaster.

“We just need to hold our nerve and be composed. It wasn’t a vintage display; it was never going to be considering the conditions,” he added.

“We just needed to get the win and put the previous result against Bradford firmly out of our minds, and look forward to the next few weeks. The result was the most important thing; we got it comfortably in the end which was nice. It is easy for me to say when I am sat in the stand but complete and then you can compete.”