Grady eyeing repeat performance

North Wales Crusaders’ boss Mike Grady is hoping for a repeat performance when his team host Newcastle Thunder in League 1 on Sunday.

The Crusaders were victorious against Thunder when they met in the second round of the League 1 Cup last weekend and Grady wants more of the same.

“It was an outstanding performance – we played for the full eighty minutes, stuck in the game and got our rewards at the end with the right result,” said Grady. “I was really made up to get the win.

“We’ve won two away now, in the league against York City Knights and then last weekend, so I just hope we can do the same this weekend at home.

“Home advantage is good because it gives the lads a rest from travelling, but it’s about whoever puts in a full eighty minute performance on the day.

“It’s a weird one playing Newcastle again straight after. Psychologically we’ve got the first win, but it could work the other way and we could get complacent.

“I’m just hoping the lads will put in a similar performance to last week – we got the win but it’s a whole different ball game and I’m sure they’ll be looking for a bit of revenge this weekend.

“As long as we do what we’ve been doing and play for the full eighty, I’m confident we’ll be there or thereabouts come the final whistle.”

Kenny Baker will miss out due to a broken hand and Corey Lee is unavailable to play, although Crusaders will be boosted by the return of Andy Unsworth and Alex Thompson.

Newcastle, who are currently unbeaten in Kingstone Press League 1, are likely to include Sam Luckley and Tyler Craig this weekend.

Head Coach Mick Mantelli said: “I thought we were good defensively – they scored a few tries from an intercept and then a kick but we were very poor in other areas.

“Our ball handling was poor and we only completed around 55 percent and you can’t do that against any team.

“We’ll be looking for the same defensive effort this week, we just need to be better with the ball in hand and I think we will be.

“The boys were very disappointed with their efforts at the weekend, but we just need to put it behind us now and come out this week and get a win.

“It’s important for us to keep our form in League 1, we definitely need that to continue. We’re not too bad away from home but, we just need to make sure we get back on the horse this weekend and get a win under our belts.”

Sam Luckley and Tyler Craig are likely to return for Thunder this weekend.

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