Crusaders target play-off spot

Crusaders prop Jamie Thackray is targeting a top eight finish ahead of their clash with Catalans in France this weekend.

The Wrexham-based club find themselves in a creditable 11th position, just four points off the current occupants of the final play-off spot, Wakefield.

And they are likely to be boosted by the return of Papua New Guinea back-rower Jason Chan.

Thackray said: “There are seven games left and we’ve played all the top teams now and we’ve beaten a few of them. If we get the little things right we can beat anyone on our day. We’ve shown that already but as I’ve said we’ve got to tidy a few bits and bobs up and take it each game as it comes.

“We’ve never talked about it but we want to win them all. If we can get four or five wins that would great for us. If we look at who we’ve got left they are all winnable games and a few of those teams are also scrapping around for the top 8 as well so it’s going to be interesting. I think the play-offs is definitely a realistic target for us, we’ve got a game in hand as well which could make the difference come the end of the season. It’s about whoever wants it the most now.”

Rhys Hanbury and Jarrod Sammut are expected to continue in the half-backs for the game on Saturday night, but Ryan O’Hara and Gareth Thomas are missing through injury.

Thackray added: “Obviously I’m looking forward to the Catalans game. I love a physical contest, even more so when it’s warm because you can move them around a bit more. When we played them down here back in March, it was chucking it down and it became a real bashathon. It’s going to be warm over there and hopefully our forwards are a bit pacier and mobile than Catalans. They played really well last week against St Helens so it should be a good one.”

The Super League clash is part of a double header in Perpignan, with the respective under 18 sides of the two clubs clashing in the Valvoline Academy championship.

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