Aston wants Eagles to believe against Broncos

Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston believes his team turned in an improved display against Bradford Bulls last week, despite losing 25-14 at home.

Aston thought his players showed more commitment to the cause, and he is hoping for similar at the Summer Bash this weekend in Blackpool, where his team face London Broncos.

“We were a lot better,” he said.

“Our attitude was better, there was commitment and we played well and had an opportunity to win the game.

“We created it but didn’t execute it, which is something we’ve spoken about. Our attitude was 100 per cent better and that’s what we’ve been waiting to get right.

“London are a good team and Hendo’s got them playing really, really well so we need to improve and make those small, little steps. We challenge ourselves to get a little bit better week-in week-out.

“This is not about our ability, it never has been; we can play. There’s only one or two teams that have actually dominated us and one of them is London and they certainly gave us a lesson in how to play the game.

“We’re smarting from that and also smarting from the time we played them at Summer Bash last year.

“We’ve got to start believing in ourselves. Confidence is a wonderful thing – if you’ve got it, it’s great, if you haven’t it’s hard to find.

“That’s what we’re looking for. We took a lot of confidence out of last week, we’re looking to build on that and take another step forward.”

Eagles are without prop Steve Thorpe, who is out for up to 10 weeks with a facial injury.

The Broncos beat Whitehaven 62-4 at home last week. Coach Andrew Henderson was pleased with the way his team bounced back from disappointment the week before.

“It was a perfect response to what was a disappointing day at Featherstone the week before,” he said.

“The players and the staff were all hurting after that loss so the Whitehaven game was all about out-enthusing the opposition, competing hard and playing with some intent and purpose and being disciplined, professional and ruthless.

“We ticked all those boxes and delivered probably the best all-round team performance I’ve seen from us this season.”

Henderson is also well aware of the threat that Sheffield will pose in Blackpool on Saturday afternoon.

“It was a great day for the team last year and for me personally coming out of retirement and helping the boys get that result against Sheffield,” he said.

“It was a great day and a great occasion, it was a well-supported event and we loved it.

“It’s different this year because last year it was a must-win game whereas this year we’re in a lot better position.

“We face Sheffield who are probably in a similar position to what we were last year, they are desperate and need to get a result.

“Sheffield have some quality players that can hurt you on the day. Yes, their form has been indifferent recently but we’re under no false illusions that they are going to turn up and play.

“It is another league game, but it has got a bit of a big-game feel to it, so I’m sure both teams will be going there to showcase their wares. We know that Sheffield are going to turn up to play, so we need to be ready.”

The Broncos will be wearing a special Jamie Thackray testimonial shirt to celebrate the prop’s 20 years in the game.

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