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CEO Moulsdale rallies fans to get behind Crusaders against Doncaster

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North Wales Crusaders chief executive Andy Moulsdale has called on supporters to get Queensway Stadium rocking as the Wrexham club continue their hunt for the League 1 play-offs this weekend.

Despite defeat at Oldham last time out, a three-match winning run before that has put Crusaders in a good position to fight for a play-off spot.

And Anthony Murray’s men will be hoping to add to their points tally when they tackle Doncaster at Queensway on Sunday.

Moulsdale said: “It’s a big game as we chase a play-off spot.

“We’ve been playing well lately and it’d be great to see fans new and old down at Queensway to get behind the lads.

“There was great atmosphere at the last home game against Workington and it definitely made a difference.

“If we get a positive result against Doncaster, it’ll put us in a really strong position to kick on for the rest of the season.

“The lads have done well to get themselves in this position and we’re now getting the results that our performances across the season have warranted.

“We didn’t get some of the results we wanted at the start of the season but, as a club, we stuck together and it’s all starting to take shape now.”

Tickets for the match are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

Preview: Oldham v North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders travel to the Vestacare Stadium tomorrow to take on Oldham.

Below is all of the information you need to know ahead of the clash.

UP FRONT

Crusaders are searching for their fourth successive win.

After beating top-of-the-table Whitehaven on their own turf, North Wales picked up back-to-back home victories over Keighley Cougars and Workington Town.

Oldham, meanwhile, will be aiming to respond to their 16-10 defeat at Whitehaven last time out.

They had been on a three-match winning streak before that, beating Keighley, Workington and West Wales Raiders.

LAST HEAD-TO-HEAD (CRUSADERS 14-16 OLDHAM – MARCH 2019)

North Wales Crusaders conceded three tries in the final 20 minutes as Oldham nicked a late win in Wrexham.

For large parts of the game, Crusaders were the better side and made life extremely difficult for an Oldham side that had started the new League 1 season well.

With North Wales leading 14-0 on the hour mark in torrid conditions, it looked as though they were going to see out a win.

However, Lee Kershaw began the scoring for Oldham and they then struck another couple of times late on to bag the two points.  

PRE-MATCH COMMENTS

Read Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray’s thoughts ahead of the match.

THE SQUAD

Murray has named his squad for the trip to Oldham.

FAN INFORMATION

Crusaders’ Supporters Club are running a coach to Oldham. It leaves The Turf at 12.15pm and is priced at £13 per person.

Crusaders’ squad for Oldham trip

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his squad for the clash with Oldham at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday.

Kenny Baker, Lewis Fairhurst and Stephen Wild are all unavailable, while Kenny Hughes misses out as he begins a two-match suspension for dangerous contact in the win over Keighley Cougars.

Alex Eckley and Alex Thompson are both brought back into the squad.

Crusaders’ squad in full: Karl Ashall, Simon Atherton, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Alex Eckley, Dec Gregory, Callum Hazzard, Jack Houghton, Earl Hurst, Rob Massam, Dante Morley-Samuels, Matt Reid, Steve Roper, Ryan Smith, Ben Stead, Alex Thompson, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker.

Murray: “That’s what Crusaders is all about”

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray believes his side’s intensity and enthusiasm shone through in their 30-18 victory over Workington Town.

Murray’s men made it three wins in a row at Queensway Stadium, drawing level in the table with Workington on 12 points having played a game less.

After falling behind inside the opening ten minutes, Crusaders responded excellently and dominated the remainder of the match to secure a deserved win.

“I think it was the manner in which we beat Workington that was most pleasing,” Murray said.

“I felt comfortable all afternoon.

“I thought our intensity was there, our enthusiasm was there and you’ve only got to look at the amount of times we defensively pushed Workington into touch.

“That’s all about enthusiasm and wanting to defend your try line.

“There was some real good team spirit and work ethic and that’s what Crusaders is all about.”

Murray was once again impressed with how side managed the game the longer it went on.

He said: “I’m hoping we’ve learnt from the first-half of the season.

“In games like that, we possibly would’ve come out for the second-half and played like Harlem Globetrotters, but we didn’t.

“We stuck to task and I thought the game management and kicking game from both halfbacks was spot on.

“Our completion rate was really high and our penalty count was low.

“It paid dividends in the end.”

Despite North Wales now being back in the play-off race, Murray isn’t getting carried away.

“We won’t get ahead of ourselves and get too excited,” he said.

“We’ve got a real tough fixture at Oldham and we’ve never taken it further than the next game.

“We’ll just carry on working on the things we have been in training and all we can ask is that the players look to improve week in, week out.

“This kind of form has always been there and the players haven’t stopped working hard.

“They’ve never stopped believing in what we’re doing.

“I can’t fault any of them as the desire and commitment is there.

” It’s a really nice reward for the players to get some points on the board and it just gives you that bit more confidence.

“Rugby league is about loving what you do and it’s great to see the players playing with a smile on their faces.”

Successful fans forum at Maesgwyn

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North Wales Crusaders held a fans forum at Maesgwyn Hall last Saturday, gaining valuable feedback from supporters.

The event started with Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray, assistant coach Alan Hadcroft and team manager and statistician Si Reynolds giving a presentation to supporters.

They went through the journey from pre-season until now and the preparation carried out on a week-to-week basis, showing the preview and review videos shared with players and the level of statistics players receive after each match.

Following the presentation, the floor was opened up for questions and discussions took place on a number of different areas.

  • Crusaders’ Supporters Trust can provide a valuable extra income for the club so ideas were shared about how to encourage more fans to sign up.
  • Possible home venues in the future were talked about and whether it would allow the club to generate more money through larger crowds and increased sponsorship and commercial opportunities.
  • Fans and staff discussed how the club can encourage more fans to attend matches, generating more income that will allow Crusaders to move to the next level and spend a similar budget to other clubs in League 1.

Crusaders chief executive Andy Moulsdale said: “The fans forum was really encouraging and I think everybody gained a lot from it.

“We’re now in a stable position as a club, but we held the fans forum to gain feedback from fans and see how they felt we could continue our progression.

“The presentation from our coaching staff was excellent and it showed how hard they work as a team to give the players the best preparation possible.”

Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Workington Town

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North Wales Crusaders host Workington Town at Queensway Stadium on Sunday, July 7.

Below is all the information you need to know ahead of the clash.

UP FRONT

Crusaders will be hoping to make it three wins on the bounce.

After a victory over top-of-the-table Whitehaven, North Wales recorded a second consecutive win by beating Keighley Cougars last weekend.

Despite falling behind, Crusaders scored 14 unanswered points against the Cougars to pick up an important two points.

Workington, meanwhile, head into the match following back-to-back defeats.

However, those losses came against Oldham and Newcastle, who currently occupy second and third spots respectively.

LAST HEAD-TO-HEAD

North Wales opened their 2019 campaign at Workington, losing 48-18.

Crusaders matched their hosts for large parts of the game but, ultimately, Town had enough quality to take the match away from the Welshmen late on.

After Workington had found themselves 12-0 inside the opening nine minutes, North Wales responded well and were 14-12 ahead with half-time approaching.

Quick-fire tries put Town back in the ascendency, though, giving them a 24-14 advantage at the break.

North Wales were still in the game on the hour mark, trailing 30-18, but three Workington tries in the final 15 minutes put the game beyond doubt.

PRE-MATCH COMMENTS

Read Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray’s thoughts ahead of the clash.

THE SQUAD 

Murray has named his 19-man squad for the head-to-head with Workington.

FAN INFORMATION

Entry to the match is £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

The official matchday programme, The Crusader, will be on sale around the ground for just £2.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad for head-to-head with Workington

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his 19-man squad for tomorrow’s clash with Workington Town at Queensway Stadium.

Brad Brennan, who missed out last weekend with concussion, is back in contention, but Rob Massam is sidelined for another week.

Although Joe Ryan is unavailable, Stephen Wild is included in the 19-man squad.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad in full: Karl Ashall, Simon Atherton, Kenny Baker, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Lewis Fairhurst, Dec Gregory, Callum Hazzard, Jack Houghton, Kenny Hughes, Earl Hurst, Matt Reid, Steve Roper, Dante Morley-Samuels, Ryan Smith, Ben Stead, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker, Stephen Wild.

Entry to tomorrow’s match is £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Keighley Cougars

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North Wales Crusaders host Keighley Cougars at Queensway Stadium on Sunday, June 30.

Below is all of the information you need to know ahead of the clash.

UP FRONT

Crusaders will be aiming to back up their victory over top-of-the-table Whitehaven last time out.

Anthony Murray’s men crossed for two tries in the final five minutes to take the two points home from Cumbria.

It was a deserved win for North Wales as they more than matched Haven throughout in a real tough battle.

Keighley were also victorious last weekend, beating London Skolars 38-26 at Cougar Park.

The Cougars had established a 24-8 lead by half-time and, although London tried to claw the deficit back on a number of occasions in the second-half, the home side always had too much for them and saw out the game.

LAST HEAD-TO-HEAD

Josh Lynam crossed for Keighley Cougars two minutes from time to inflict an agonising 24-22 defeat on North Wales Crusaders.

Anthony Murray’s men had controlled the pace of the game for large spells and led 16-10 at half-time.

However, Keighley had a lot more ball in the second-half and, although Crusaders regained the lead on 65 minutes, the hosts took advantage of Steve Roper’s sin-bin late on to clinch victory.

PRE-MATCH COMMENTS

Read Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray’s thoughts on the win at Whitehaven and the upcoming clash with Keighley.

THE SQUAD

Murray has named his squad for the tussle with the Cougars.

FAN INFORMATION

Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 U16s.

The official matchday programme, The Crusader, will be on sale around for the ground for just £2 and Karl Ashall is this weekend’s cover star.

Crusaders’ squad for Keighley match

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his squad for Sunday’s clash with Keighley Cougars at Queensway Stadium.

Brad Brennan and R0b Massam both drop out of the squad after picking up injuries in the win at Whitehaven, while Stephen Wild is unavailable.

Jack Houghton, who made his comeback last weekend, is included in the 19 again and Simon Atherton is back in contention.

Crusaders’ squad is as follows: Jack Houghton, Kenny Baker, Matt Reid, Callum Hazzard, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker, Kenny Hughes, Karl Ashall, Dec Gregory, Joe Ryan, Ben Stead, Ryan Smith, Steve Roper, Earl Hurst, Dante Morley-Samuels, Dave Eccleston, Lewis Fairhurst, Simon Atherton.

Crusaders to hold fans forum at Maesgwyn Hall

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North Wales Crusaders are holding their next fans forum at Maesgwyn Hall from 5.30pm on Saturday, July 6.

Head coach Anthony Murray will talk about the season so far. There will also be discussions about ways to progress the club by generating further income to help boost the playing budget and how to improve the matchday experience at home games.

As many fans as possible are encouraged to attend so they can put across their point of view.