Despite the Crusaders beating community side Widnes West Bank 60-12 in their last outing coach Anthony Murray was entirely happy with the performance.
“It might sound a bit daft but there were elements of our game that we were happy with and elements that I totally wasn’t,” he said.
“Fair play to Widnes West Bank, they came out in the second half and knocked us off our game plan and we went away from what we needed to do. But we got through the game.
“Sunday is a massive game for us, it’s going to be the toughest test we’ve had to date. Rochdale are a good side and they’ve recruited well in the off season. I know Ian Talbot quite well, he’s a good coach who will have them well-drilled and well prepped, and so we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them.”
“We were never comfortable but the lads just stuck at it. I don’t think we were ever in danger of losing and came through in the end. We had to stick to the task and have faith in what we were doing.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game with Rochdale he said: “We have had an intense rivalry over the last couple of years which is borne out of mutual respect. We got promoted together and relegated together and have the same ethos in how the game should be played. It’s good to renew our rivalry.”