Crusaders must build on momentum

Weller Hauraki believes Crusaders must continue to build on their momentum after Sunday’s stunning 32-26 victory over Leeds Rhinos.
 
Brian Noble’s Crusaders pulled off one of the shocks of the season at Headingley to end champions Leeds’s seven-game winning run
 
A brace of tries from Hauraki and Vince Mellars, as well as one for prop Adam Peek, saw the Welsh outfit record back-to-back wins for the second time this season and put them firmly back in the mix for the play-offs. Brian Noble’s men are currently in 11th, three points behind eighth placed Bradford Bulls having played one games less.
 
The victory over the much fancied Rhinos is arguably Crusaders finest hour after the Welshman had already caused a stir by beating Bradford Bulls – the club where Noble enjoyed so much success as coach – for the second time this season last weekend.
 
And Hauraki, 26, insists his side must continue to build ontheir recent good form.
 
“Obviously we hadn’t been playing well until recently but last week we set ourselves a goal which was beating Bradford,” Hauraki said.
 
“After that game we agreed we needed to build on that and get back-to back wins and create some momentum, which is something we haven’t been able to do this season. We played well against Leeds, the boys hung in, we did our job and we beat a top team.
 
“Leeds are a great side, they have won the championship three times in a row for a reason. They threw everything at us in that’s second half, but we defended well and took our opportunities. Not many teams come here and do what we did so we’re delighted to get the win.
 
Many people were looking Sunday’s game as a marker to see how far Crusaders have come since the two sides clashed on the opening day of the season. The Welsh side have come a long way since that snowy night in Wrexham and Hauraki feels the team is beginin gto gel following a disruptive pre-season.
 
Weller said: “You can’t really look at Sunday’s game as a marker because that first game against Leeds was our first game and we had only been together a few weeks. We knew that once we got the squad together we could compete, and we showed against Leeds that we could hang in there with the best in Super League. We have been building on a game by game basis, trying to put together an eighty minute performance and I think we did that on Sunday.”
 
“I think that was as close as we have come to giving an eighty minute performance this year. Their pack was massive on Sunday, really aggressive. They tried to take us up the middle but we managed to grind it out and mix it with their forwards. We did a job and it all came good. The boys are really happy with the performance and we’ve got to make sure we build on this.”

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