Aston: We must perform for 80 minutes

Sheffield might have recently notched up three wins in a row, most recently defeating Whitehaven 48-16, but Sheffield coach Mark Aston has criticised his team’s first-half performance.

“It was a good win but you’re always looking for an 80-minute performance and we’re not doing that,” Aston said.

“For the first 40 minutes we were poor and at half-time I said a few choice words and we got a little bit better. But why do I have to do that? That’s the frustration.

“We were losing at half-time and that was down to us not completing and that’s what’s cost us in the months gone by.

“We’re getting better and to score 38 points in the second half – again it’s not about ability, it’s about the mental approach.

“There’s certainly an improvement and a confidence and belief. The big plus for me was that in the second 40 minutes, they didn’t score a point.

Sheffield take on Swinton on Sunday. The Lions might be without a win in their last seven matches but Aston is wary of the threat they pose.

“I said at the start of the season I thought that Swinton played some of the best attacking football but they seem to have lost a little bit of confidence and picked up a few injuries.

“We’ve been through that. They can play and they’re desperate now because Workington got another win, so they’re two points away from them.

“We’ve got to be on our game because they’re going to throw absolutely everything at us.”

The Lions suffered a comprehensive 30-8 defeat at home to Oldham last week yet Swinton coach John Duffy admitted they had enough chances to win the match.

“We had enough opportunities in the game, we just didn’t have any respect for the ball and got punished for it.

“It’s tough times at the minute but we’re up for the fight. We’ve got another tough one this weekend because Sheffield are back on form. Mark’s brought in a few new bodies to freshen them up and they look very strong.”

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