SUNDAY will see North Wales Crusaders take to the field for the final time in 2017 as Mike Grady’s side host Oxford RLFC at the Queensway Stadium, Wrexham.
The Wrexham based side will enter the game on the back of an impressive 54-6 victory over rivals South Wales Ironmen last weekend, and Grady believes that his squad have now set a benchmark for this weekend: “The performance last weekend was fantastic, especially in the first-half, he said.
“We’ve set a benchmark for this Sunday’s performance now, but we have done that before this season and then not gone on to match it the following week so that is our goal.
“Last week meant a lot to the fans, players and staff, and now we want to finish on a high this weekend and go into pre-season on the back of two wins.
“We’ve spoken about where we need to improve next year already, and plans are starting to be put in place but first we need to finish this season well.”
Grady also believes that the game is important for his squad, despite the hopes over a top two finish being over. He said: “We are obviously disappointed to not still be fighting for a finish in the top two, but that doesn’t take anything away for Sunday’s game.
“Nobody wants to go into pre-season with a defeat hanging over them and after an inconsistent season, the least we can do is send the fans home happy on Sunday.
“I think that there is a positive feeling around next season, we’ve shown in spells this year just what we are capable of, but we’ll push on and improve for 2018.”
On Sunday’s opponents, Oxford, Grady said: “Oxford will come here wanting to finish their season on a high as well.
“They aren’t going to be easy opponents and we can’t afford to be complacent after a big win last weekend.
“Oxford have had a mixed season as well but they’ve beaten Coventry last week so that sends a message to us of what they are capable of.”
Finally, Grady thanked the fans for their support during his first season in charge: “I want to thank all the supporters for their fantastic effort during the season.
“Some results have been difficult to take, but we’ll learn from them and improve next year.
“It’s amazing to have such great support home and away, win lose or draw.”