NORTH WALES CRUSADERS head coach Mike Grady is looking for a reaction from his side when they welcome Featherstone Rovers to the Queensway Stadium on Sunday in the fourth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
The Wrexham-based side fell to a 26-10 defeat to Hunslet at the South Leeds Stadium on Sunday, and Grady says he’s looking for a reaction from his side this weekend: “We know that we can perform much better than we did against Hunslet, and that’s one of the frustrating things, he said.
“That game has given us plenty to work on, but one positive we take from the game is our effort, something which I can’t fault the lads for.
“We know that we need to play smarter, and we need to be a bit more creative in attack – if we don’t improve on those things, then it will allow Featherstone to get on top of us early on Sunday.”
With attention turned away from the league, Grady admits that there is excitement in the air ahead of the tie: “The Challenge Cup is a special competition, and one that a lot of clubs want to do well in.
“We’re realistic, and realise the scale of the challenge that faces us on Sunday, but the pressure is on Featherstone so we’ll just be looking to go out and put in a strong performance.”
He added: “In a cup competition, anything can happen. We know what we are capable of, and all the lads are really looking forward to testing ourselves against a top-end Championship side.”
Speaking about Sunday’s opponents, Grady said: “We know that Featherstone have a quality side, and will bring some big names with them.
“We can’t afford to start slowly against them, and we will need to be at it right from the start of the game.
“They have some experienced players in their ranks who will know what it takes to progress in this competition, and they won’t want to be on the end of an upset this weekend.
“Their league form has been good, and I have no doubt that they’ll be challenging at the top end of the Championship come the end of the regular season.”
Grady is also looking forward to playing in front of a fantastic atmosphere at the Queensway Stadium: “The fact that the tie is at home is obviously an advantage for us.
“I’m sure that the fans will be loud and will be looking to push the boys on from the stands. In the third round against Keighley you could definitely sense that the crowd were up for the game and that they were eager to see us progress in the competition.
“I think Featherstone will bring a good number of supporters down as well, so the atmosphere should be great and it will be a fantastic day for the club.”
North Wales Crusaders host Featherstone Rovers this Sunday at the Queensway Stadium, Wrexham, with the game kicking off at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced at £15 adults, £7 concessions and £3 under 16’s. Car parking at the stadium is free, and a bar and food outlets are located inside in ground.