Crusaders confident ahead of Salford clash

Crusaders RL captain Ryan O’Hara insists the Welsh club have grown in confidence despite losing their first two Engage Super League matches of 2010.

And the Australian prop is warning that the Crusaders’ newly-assembled squad is improving with every passing day and looking forward to Friday night’s trip to Salford City Reds (8.00pm).

“It was always going to be tough in the first couple of weeks because of our disrupted preparation and because we were up against two of the strongest teams in the competition,” said O’Hara.

“Even though we were up against it, we went into both games believing we could win and the defeats hurt. That’s good because we all know we haven’t yet done ourselves justice.

“Friday is a big game for us, and it’s also a big game for Salford. We are two hungry teams and I’m sure it will be great match.”

O’Hara, the Crusaders’ player of the year in 2009, said coaches Brian Noble and Jon Sharp had put all the players through the mill in training at Wrexham this week, when the focus has been on defence.

“We know we have to sort out our defence and the best way to do that is to roll up our sleeves and get stuck into each other,” said O’Hara.

“Our defence at Wigan wasn’t up the standard we had set during most of our opening match against Leeds and that was frustrating.

“In attack we’re still not anywhere near where we’d like to be but we’re getting there. Your half-backs, hooker and full-back need time to build combinations and the signs are that we’re getting close.

“That won’t happen in a few weeks, it comes from playing and training together over weeks and months. We have only been together a matter of weeks but there’s plenty of talent and experience in this squad and we’re confident we can go to Salford and get the win.”

Tickets for Salford City Reds v Crusaders RL at The Willows on Friday night are available from the Salford Ticket Hotline on or by visiting www.reds.co.uk or calling 0161 736 6564.

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