North Wales Crusaders face Thatto Heath Crusaders on Saturday (2pm kick off) as they play the third fixture of their 2013 pre-season calendar.
The two sides met in pre-season last year at Eirias Parc, Colwyn Bay when North Wales Crusaders ran out 60-28 winners against the then National League Conference Premier Division champions.
Crusaders will be looking to contine where they left off after an impressive victory against Championship side York City Knight three weeks ago.
But they will be without Gary Middlehurst and Andy Moulsdale because of groin and leg injuries respectively, and, therefore, Clive Griffiths doesn’t want to take Thatto Heath lightly.
“We certainly won’t be understimating them. We played them last year and saw what they’re capable of, so we won’t be underestimating them”, he said.
“Some boys haven’t started yet for one reason or another so we’ll be looking to give them a go. We want to see them before the Northern Rail Cup.”
And preparations have ran smoothly since the last outing against York City Knights, despite the weather conditions of late. “We haven’t been hindered by the weather at all really – we’ve only had to cancel the one session”, Griffiths said.
“We’ve been mixing the training up – doing a bit of outdoor work on the pitches at Widnes, and then we’ve been using the gym there and at the Lions Den in Wigan, which has been hard work for the lads to say the least. They work them hard there.
“So everything is going to plan. We’re just looking forward to trying some new things out, and we’ll certainly rotate as it’s pre-season and we need to see some of the boys.”
Thatto Heath’s Danger Man – Shaun Quinn
Quinn, who plays at full back, was vital for Thatto Heath Crusaders in 2012, scoring 13 tries as well as being reliable with the boot. He won many Man of the Match awards during the season for his consistency, and he will be out to cause North Wales problems when the two sides come together.
Form Guide (Last 6)
Thatto Heath Crusaders – WWLWWW; 2012 was another succesful season for Thatto Heath Crusaders as the St Helens-based club finished fourth, just two points off league leaders Wath Brow Hornets, who went on to win the Grand Final at the Stobart Stadium. Thatto Heath finished the season strongly with just one defeat in their last six league fixtures, with the one defeat coming against the side that also knocked them out in round two of the play-off series, Myton Warriors. They started 2012 as the current champions after winning the competition in 2011, so they will be looking to get their hands back on some silverware in 2013.
There is no entry fee for this fixture at Crusaders Park, but there will be a Gold Coin Bucket collection at the game where supporters can leave a donation.
Unfortunately North Wales Crusaders Supporters Club will not be running a coach to this fixture.
Address: Close Street, Thatto Heath, St Helens, WA9 5JA
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