Coach Lee Greenwood said: “There were some encouraging signs in the game. In the first half you couldn’t really tell which team was which if you were watching as a neutral or a newcomer.
“We were in the lead just after half-time but Crusaders probably stepped up a level and we went away from what was working for us, which was completing our sets and defending well and that’s what cost us.
“We need to get a winning mentality in those games rather than being happy just to be competitive. It’s very easy to be happy what we’ve done there but I’m trying to encourage them to be winners and be disappointed we’re losing.
“There’s still a way to go but there are encouraging signs, we’re not far off.
“I don’t know which way Newcastle will be looking at this week’s game, whether they’ll want to get back to winning ways against a southern team or whether they’ll be nervous.
No southern team has beaten a northern team this season and there’s only five games left.
No northern team wants to be the one that gets turned over.
That’s up to us, we’ve got to start well, stick in the game and make sure that they feel a bit nervous. We want to be in the game with 15/20 minutes to go, then we might have a chance.”
Second row Edwin Okgana-Ajwang is doubtful with a groin injury.
Newcastle Thunder are going through a lean patch at the moment following their 30-18 defeat to Swinton Lions last week.
Coach Stanley Gene said: “It is frustrating, it’s been the same for the last six weeks; we’re giving the other team the opportunity to score two or three quick tries and then we’re playing catch-up football.
“We’ve still got five games, we’ll give it a crack and see where we are at the end of the year. We just need the win now.”
Loose forward Sonny Esslemont is doubtful with an ankle injury.