North Wales Crusaders boss Clive Griffiths is looking forward to this Sunday’s clash against Rochdale Hornets in what he believes will be a crucial game.
The Welsh side enter the game on the back of two victories in their opening Northern Rail games, while the Hornets will be looking to get back on track after a defeat at the hands of Oldham in their last outing.
Several players have made the switch from Rochdale to North Wales over the off-season, which only adds to the hype of a game that could have a major influence on the final standings in the northern group.
“Whoever wins this game are going to be favourites to get to the final, so it promises to be a real humdinger of a game on Sunday”, Griffiths said.
“We’ll do our homework on Rochdale ahead of the game as we always do no matter who we play, and I’m sure they will do exactly the same with us.”
As a result of their partnership with St Helens, the Hornets have had the luxury of fielding some quality Super League players such as Lee Gaskell and Tommy Makinson, who scored a hat-trick in the win over Gateshead Thunder, so far this season.
But Clive Griffiths is just concentrating on his own squad despite the difference that the dual-registered players can make at this level.
“They’ve stacked their team with dual-registered players in the past few weeks”, he said. “And I expect them to do the same against us, so we’ll just have to see what kind of team they turn up with.
“Some of the players they’re bringing in are Super League standard players, so they should stand out head and shoulders above the rest at this level. The pressure is on them to perform.
“We’ll come head-to-head with these players, and it’s a good individual challenge for us. When we do well it’s pleasing for us at our end.
“We had a good win last week against Gateshead at Hull Kingston Rovers on a bitterly cold day, and they had four good dual-registered players who we dealt with.
“I don’t really like the concept [of dual-registration] but that’s where we are, and we’ve got to work with it as we’re going to have it all year. We need to use it as a challenge.
“We don’t need to worry about anyone else; we’ve got a great group of lads who enjoy their rugby league and want to play.”
Hornets’ Danger Man – Wayne English
English, who has been at the club for a number of years, is one of the elder and more experienced members of the squad at the age of 32, and that is one of the main reasons that he has the captaincy of the side.
He will be an important player for the Hornets in 2013 and will be looking to maintain his form from last year, where he scored 10 tries and assisted in many.
Form Guide (Last 4 – 2 NRC, 2 pre-season)
Rochdale Hornets – LWLW
The Hornets began their competitive 2013 campaign with an encouraging victory over Gateshead Thunder, but they then fell to defeat at Oldham last week.
After their pre-season defeat against the Roughyeds in the Law Cup, Rochdale would have been looking to get one back on their neighbours, but the defeat leaves them with some ground to make up if they want to progress into the knock-out stages of the Northern Rail Cup and seal a day out in Halifax for the Bowl Final.
Tickets are on sale at £14 for adults, £8 for concessions (OAPs and students) and £5 for U16s, while U7s are free. A family ticket, which admits two adults and two children or one adult and three children, is also available at the price of £30, and all of these tickets can be bought in person at the Glyndwr Sports Centre or on the gate on matchday. We are still currently having technical issues with our online ticketing system.
Hospitality is now available at £199 for 10 guests, and you can make the most of this offer by emailing email@example.com or calling 08432 896 407.
Our special edition newspaper, which includes plenty of interesting features, will once again be on sale at the stadium for £1 on Sunday. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you grab your copy!
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