Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Barrow Raiders

North Wales Crusaders lost their game at Keighley Cougars last week to a drop goal as the hooter sounded.

Coach Anthony Murray said: “We led for large parts of the game and I think at least deserved a point out of it. I think the competition this year is showing that if you’re not switched on for the full 80 minutes then everybody is capable of beating anybody.

“I was pleased with the performance. Not many teams will go to Keighley and be in front for 75 minutes of the game and I am a little disappointed we didn’t kill them off. But full credit to Keighley for coming back into the game.

Looking ahead to Sunday he said: “If you put 86 points past someone, like Barrow did, you’re full of confidence. They are more than capable of racking up points against sides, which they’ve shown on numerous occasions this season. It’s up to us to make sure our defence is bang on and if we stop their key players then hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

“It’s our second home match of the league campaign and one we want to start well to get our season up and running.”

Centre Christiaan Roets is doubtful for the game having picked up has rib and hand injuries.

Barrow Raiders coach Paul Crarey was naturally delighted with his side’s performance against South Wales Scorpions. “We prepared well all week and wanted a reaction from the Rochdale game,” he said. “The goal was not to concede any tries and we did that.

“This week against North Wales will be a totally different game, they’ve got some great personnel and they don’t warrant that position in the table. They were leading against Keighley at the death, so we know what quality they are. They’re in the final of the iPro Sport Cup so have had all these distractions. We’ve got to prepare well and be on our guard.

“At the moment we’ve done really well at home but we want the lads to compete away from home. If we can compete and knock out our sets we can be a force but we’ve got to start doing it and want to do it.”

Second row Matt Heaton suffered a bang to his neck and will probably miss out this week.

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