Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Oldham

North Wales Crusaders had an impressive 23-6 victory at Barrow Raiders last time out.

Coach Anthony Murray said: “It was a great result for us at Barrow, they’ve made it a bit of a fortress this year at Craven Park and we went there and did a number on them, which I was really pleased about. The lads worked hard and we got something out of the game, which was pleasing.

“Obviously Oldham are at the top of the league and are the in-form team in the competition. It’s going to be a real tough game for us. I’m sure they’ll be wanting to get one back on us having beaten them twice this year. I’m expecting it to be a close encounter and hopefully if we stick to our structures and do what we need to do, we’ll get something out of this game. It’s going to be a big challenge and a big ask but one that we’ll relish.”

Forward Stephen Wild is doubtful with a knee problem and Jono Smith is suspended.

Scott Naylor’s Oldham side ground out a win at London last week: He said: “London’s not an easy place to go, it’s a long journey and they are a very big team, probably the biggest in the league. It’s not easy getting there and it’s not easy when you’re there and the weather didn’t help so the result was more pleasing than the performance.

“I think North Wales away is the hardest game of the season. They’ve been beating everybody and I think only Rochdale have turned them over recently and that was only by two points. They are a team full of confidence with some very good players.

“I think they were favourites to win the league before the season started. They are now third in the table so it’s as tough as it gets but if we want to do well in the competition then we’ve got to go to North Wales and give a good account of ourselves.”

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