It was a soulless, heartless performance, blasts Eagles chief

ANGRY coach Mark Aston described Sheffield Eagles' 54-10 defeat by Batley Bulldogs as embarrassing.
Batley's Tom Holmes goes over to score against Sheffield. Picture Jonathan GawthorpeBatley's Tom Holmes goes over to score against Sheffield. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Batley's Tom Holmes goes over to score against Sheffield. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sheffield conceded 10 tries and have now lost three of their opening four Kingstone Press Championship fixtures leading into back-to-back meetings with unbeaten Hull KR and Featherstone Rovers.

“We didn’t compete,” Aston admitted. “We were embarrassed.

“I can’t hide the fact that the last couple of weeks I’ve seen something I don’t like.

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“At this moment in time I can’t do a great deal about it because we haven’t got a massive squad and we’ve got two or three people unavailable.

“I am gutted we can turn in that sort of soulless, heartless performance.”

It was all square at the end of the first quarter, Elliot Minchella crossing and Simon Brown adding the extras to cancel out Alistair Leek’s try and the first of Cain Southernwood’s seven conversions for Batley.

But Bulldogs added four tries in 18 minutes before the interval, though Brad Day, Tim Holmes, Wayne Reittie and Day again to take a 26-6 lead.

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It got worse for Sheffield who had Will Hope sin-binned for tripping soon after Dominic Brambani had increased Batley’s advantage.

Reittie, Macauley Hallett and Holmes crossed against the 12 men and Michael Hayward also went over before Dane Chisholm scored a consolation try seven minutes from time.

It was an impressive response by Batley following the previous week’s 32-6 home loss to Featherstone.

“I thought it was a good, disciplined performance,” said coach Matt Diskin.

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“For 70 minutes of that game we carried out what we practiced, for the first time this year.

“It was always going to be a bit scrappy at the back end, when you get those scorelines, but we built a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes and we learned from the experience last week, when we got frustrated.

“This week we were really disciplined, carried out our plan and the points came because of that,” he added.

Sheffield Eagles: Chisholm, Lo, Yere, Whiteley, Blackmore, Brown, Fozard, Wheeldon, Burns, James, Straugheir, Scott, Minchella. Substitutes: Millar, Trout, Hope, Foster.

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Batley Bulldogs: Scott, Reittie, Smeaton, Hallett, Hayward, Southernwood, Brambani, Gledhill, Leek, Maher, Manning, Day, Farrell. Substitutes: Holmes, Chandler, Harrison, Rowe.

Referee: A Sweet (Castleford).