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Martyn Reilly on Barrow loss and upcoming Bradford fixture


Sheffield Eagles forward Martyn Reilly admitted an opening round defeat to Barrow Raiders was one which disappointed him and the Eagles squad, but insisted the group have taken positives from the loss. 

Reilly, who signed for the Eagles in the off-season from Oldham, made an impact from the interchange bench with strong running and tough defence.

He was also complimented by Director of Rugby Mark Aston in his post-match reaction.

Reflecting on the 22-10 defeat, Reilly said: “It was a disappointing result,” 

“I think it was more disappointing because we came off the field and we knew that we had more than enough to win the game.

“We can’t be too disappointed though, it’s early on and we showed glimpses of what we can do but it was frustrating.”

The former Dewsbury man agreed with Aston’s post-match view that Sheffield needed to ‘complete to compete’ but acknowledged how difficult the second half challenge was for the side as they battled with the elements in Barrow.

“With where our completion rate was at, there was a lot of dropped ball and we couldn’t get into it,” 

“In the second half it wasn’t the greatest playing conditions.

“In the first half when we were on their line, we looked dangerous.

“We ran in two good tries in the first half and in the second half we fumbled it over the line. 

“That could’ve changed that game around.”

Reilly praised the Eagles’ defensive resolve in a game where the hosts were kept from scoring a try in the second half.

“When you look at it they didn’t really break us down,” he added.

“They scored one off the back of one of our errors, the first (Barrow try) was possibly a bit of a debatable one but it is what it is and their third was a bit of off the cuff stuff.”

The 26-year-old forward looked ahead to the Eagles’ next test, a trip to Bradford’s Odsal Stadium.

“They (Bradford) are coming into it off the back of a good result so they’ll be full of confidence,” he said. 

“They put a lot of points on Dewsbury.

“We need to worry more about us, we’ve addressed the weekend, we know what we need to fix up. 

“I think if we stick to our game plan, go there and focus on ourselves then there’s a chance to take the spoils this week.

“There’s some real quality in our team. 

“I’ve played against a lot of them over the years but to be now playing with them and seeing what they can do is really good. 

“Hopefully, we can keep building and do something good this year.”

By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman