Crusaders RL prop Ryan O’Hara is determined to put last season behind him when the Welsh club kick-off the 2010 Super League campaign against defending champions Leeds Rhinos at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground on Saturday January 29.
The 2009 season proved to be a troubled first season in Engage Super League for the Crusaders but the former Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers front rower believes that with the new additions to the coaching and playing staff, the club are better prepared to meet the demands of playing in Rugby League’s top flight.
O’Hara, an ever-present in the Engage Super League last year, said: “It’s been a difficult last 12 to 16 months but now with the move up to Wrexham, new owners, new coaching staff and new players I think we’re building some momentum heading into the season.
“It’s a big positive for us. We’ve had so many negatives, so we’re glad the ball’s rolling.”
Crusaders RL will host Leeds in the first game of the season and the 29-year old is hopeful that Brian Noble’s new-look team will pose some problems for the Rhinos, who won their third consecutive Engage Super League Grand Final last October.
“We put up a good fight week in, week out, but we just didn’t have the calibre of players or superstars to get us more points than we did. Although we worked hard in games, we didn’t have the X-factor,” said the Crusaders’ Player of the Year in 2009.
“The injuries and off-field problems we had didn’t help, either. Hopefully this year with the new signings and some depth we can keep that toughness and build the pressure needed to convert that into some wins.”
Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground will host Crusaders RL’s first game of the season against Leeds on Friday January 29 kicking off at 8.00pm. Tickets can be purchased through the club’s Ticket Office on 01978 262129 or by visiting www.crusadersrfl.com