NORTH WALES CRUSADERS return to league action this afternoon following last weeks League 1 Cup semi-final victory over Gloucestershire All Golds.
Ahead of his sides trip to Hunslet, Crusaders head coach, Mike Grady, is hoping his side can take confidence from their cup win last weekend: “It’s always nice to reach a final and we did it the hard way with all our games on the road, he said.
“It gives all the lads a massive confidence boost and creates a bit of a buzz around the squad. That being said it’s back to the league this weekend and we can’t afford to have our eyes set on the final with important league games to come beforehand.
“League 1 is very close this year and the fight to get into the top eight is going to be tighter than ever so every team is looking to push on and start picking up points.
“We’ve got some crucial games coming up and I know that all the lads are up for it.”
With injuries meaning only 15 players from last weekends squad were fully fit, Grady is hoping to see some players return this afternoon: “I’m hoping to have a few back, Dale Bloomfield is back having been unavailable last weekend and we’re also hoping to have Earl Hurst, Blake Turner, Alex Thompson and Kenny Baker back in the squad.
“We’ve coped well when we’ve had a lot of injuries to contend with and I think that full credit has to go to everyone in the squad for their attitude.”
On the challenge that Hunslet pose, Grady said: “I’m expecting a tough game, but it’s an important one with both teams looking to push on and pick up the two points.
“Hunslet are a big club and they have a very good side so we’ll have to be at the top of our game to have any chance of beating them.
“They are a side that has the ability to punish any club in this league, so we can’t afford to start slowly. We’ll have to be ready from the off.
“We’ve shown that we could put in a big first half performance last week so we’ll now look to improve on that and push on this afternoon.”