NORTH WALES CRUSADERS head coach Anthony Murray is expecting a ‘tough challenge’ as his side prepare to host Keighley Cougars in the Betfred League One on Sunday 20th May.
The Cougars will visit the Queensway Stadium for a second time this season, and will be searching for revenge having been knocked out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup following a dramatic comeback from the Crusaders.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game, Murray said: “I think it will be a totally different game to the one we saw earlier in the season.
“Both teams have made improvements and will have some more game time under our belts going into what is a vital clash in terms of both side’s play-off ambitions.
“That being said, I’m sure that Keighley will have the Challenge Cup game firmly in their minds, and will be looking for revenge.”
Talking about Keighley, Murray added: “They are a good side, and that’s proven by the fact that they are currently sat in those play-off places.
“The league is really tight this season, and if any side can string a good run of results together then they’ll progress up the table quickly.
“Keighley will visit us on the back of a huge win against Coventry and will be full of confidence.
“Both sides have had a week off following important victories, and I think that we are in for a fantastic game.”
The Crusaders enter the game on the back of two consecutive victories in the Betfred League One, including an away victory over high-flying Whitehaven, something which Murray was delighted with: “A win against one of the top sides was coming, he said.
“We went to Doncaster and pushed them close with four tries disallowed, and then went up to Workington and lost by eight points which all came from penalties, so we knew that we were getting close.
“We have set some internal goals for this month, and we’re well on course to achieve those.
“The victory against Whitehaven was a very important one for us, and hopefully it’s given the lads a little extra self-belief.”
With back-to-back home game against Keighley and Coventry respectively, Murray was also quick to praise the Crusaders supporters: “Our fans are brilliant – the best in rugby league, home and away.
“So to now be looking at two home games at a point in the season where points could quickly move us up the table is fantastic.
“I’m sure that the atmosphere will be fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear them all when we take to the field against Keighley.”
North Wales Crusaders host Keighley Cougars at the Queensway Stadium, Wrexham on Sunday 20th May (2.30pm kick-off). Admission is priced at £10 adults, £7 concessions and £3 under 16’s.