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Preview: North Wales Crusaders v Whitehaven

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North Wales Crusaders host Whitehaven at Queensway Stadium in League 1.

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

FORMBOOK

After picking up back-to-back wins against West Wales Raiders and Doncaster, North Wales fell to an agonising 19-18 defeat at London Skolars last time out.

Despite dominating for the vast majority of the match, Crusaders left empty-handed as the Skolars scored a try and drop-goal in the last five minutes.

Whitehaven, meanwhile, will be looking to respond to their 48-12 defeat at Oldham in the 1895 Cup, a competition North Wales opted not to be involved with this season.

That was only Haven’s second defeat in eight matches across all competitions as they currently sit second in League 1.

LAST HEAD-TO-HEAD

Josh Eaves’ second-half try for Whitehaven proved to be the difference as they won 22-14 at Crusaders.

After Jordan Burns had given the visitors an early lead, North Wales hit back through an Olly Ashall-Bott try and two Danny Walker goals, nudging themselves 8-6 ahead.

But Dion Aiye crossed shortly before half-time to make sure Haven had the advantage.

The game continued to go back and to but, in the end, the Cumbrians proved too strong and the aforementioned Eaves try gave them an eight-point lead that they never relinquished.

COACH COMMENTS

Read Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray’s pre-match thoughts.

THE SQUAD

Murray has named his squad for the clash with Whitehaven.

FAN INFORMATION

Entry is priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

The official matchday programme will be on sale around the stadium for just £2, including a big interview with Rob Massam, Warren Thompson’s Best XVII and much more.

Crusaders’ squad for Whitehaven clash

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his squad for tomorrow’s League 1 match with Whitehaven.

Ryan Smith returns to the squad and Dante Morley-Samuels, who picked up an injury in the win at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago, is back in the frame.

Jacob Thomas, on loan from Dewsbury Rams, is named in the 19 for the second week running and will be hoping to make his debut.

Jack Houghton, Alex Thompson and Alex Eckley are currently carrying injuries, while Jonny Walker, Stephen Wild and Gavin Conroy are all unavailable.

Crusaders’ squad: Karl Ashall, Simon Atherton, Kenny Baker, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Lewis Fairhurst, Callum Hazzard, Kenny Hughes, Earl Hurst, Rob Massam, Dante Morley-Samuels, Matt Reid, Steve Roper, Ryan Smith, Ben Stead, Jacob Thomas, Warren Thompson, Chris Worrall.

Tickets for Crusaders’ clash with Whitehaven are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

Anthony Murray: “We need to be a lot smarter than we have been”

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray is hoping to get back to winning ways when his side host Whitehaven on Sunday (2.30pm kick-off).

Murray’s men almost made it three wins on the bounce in League 1, but London Skolars scored a try and drop-goal in the last five minutes to condemn Crusaders to defeat.

North Wales had beat the Raiders in the Welsh derby and won at Doncaster before that.

“When you look back at the start of the season, we’ve lost three games against Oldham, Keighley and London where we’ve been leading right up until the final minutes,” Murray said.

“We need to be a lot smarter than we have been.

“I can’t fault our general performance and the commitment from the lads, but our game management needs to improve when we’re in those situations.

“It’s a really close league this season and a couple of wins can take you right up the table.

“We’re only two points off sixth and four points off fourth.”

On the challenge Whitehaven will bring, Murray said: “We know it’s going to be a really tough game, but we need to get back to winning ways and start to climb the table.

“Most games have been close so far this season no matter where teams are in the table.

“When you play the side at the top of the table, you need to prepare exactly the same way you would against a side towards the bottom of the table.

“They were beaten in their last match so I’ve no doubt they’ll want to put a few things right and respond to that defeat.

“They’ll want to keep hold of that top spot.”

Tickets for Crusaders’ clash with Whitehaven are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.

Flashback: Crusaders’ clashes with Whitehaven

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As North Wales Crusaders host Whitehaven at Queensway Stadium on Sunday, we take a look at some of the most memorable clashes between the two sides over the years.

Crusaders and Haven have come head-to-head on seven occasions since North Wales formed back in 2012.

Whitehaven 0-34 North Wales Crusaders – April 2014 – Championship

Clive Griffiths’ Crusaders stunned Whitehaven as they won 34-0 in Cumbria, picking up their second win of the Championship season.

Rob Massam’s hat-trick paved the way for the victory, while Stuart Reardon, Jamie Durbin and Adam Clay also got themselves on the scoresheet.

It was the zero points conceded that was arguably more impressive than the 34 points North Wales had put on Haven.

North Wales Crusaders 22-21 Whitehaven – June 2014 – Championship

Crusaders completed the double over Whitehaven in the Championship, edging a narrow contest 22-21.

In Griffiths’ final game in charge of North Wales before Anthony Murray took over the reigns, Gary Middlehurst grabbed the winning try three minutes from time.

The drama wasn’t finished there, though, as Jessie Joe Pay crossed in the corner on the full-time hooter, only for Tom Carr to miss what would’ve been the match-winning conversion.

North Wales Crusaders 12-12 Whitehaven – July 2017 – League 1

The two sides played out an entertaining 12-12 draw at Queensway Stadium, with the majority of the action coming in the second-half.

After Haven had led 8-0 at half-time thanks to two tries from Jordan Burns, Crusaders scored twice in nine minutes through Joe Bate and Taylor Prell to go 10-8 ahead.

But the visitors soon responded and nudged themselves in front again as Dion Aiye crossed.

When Crusaders were given a penalty in the closing stages, however, they opted to kick for goal and Tommy Johnson earned the hosts a point.

Whitehaven 22-25 North Wales Crusaders – May 2018 – League 1

Crusaders held off a late Whitehaven comeback to secure an important victory at the Recreation Ground.

The visitors went into the final eight minutes 25-12 ahead, but Haven pushed them all the way as Dave Thompson and Dan Abram crossed late on.

It made it three wins out of four for Crusaders since Anthony Murray had returned to the club for his second spell.

Get behind Crusaders this Sunday as they take on Whitehaven in League 1. Tickets are priced at £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s. Look out for flyers around town with some special offers for the match.

 

Preview: London Skolars v North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders travel to London Skolars tomorrow (May 11) as the League 1 season resumes.

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

FORMBOOK

Crusaders will be aiming to make it three wins on the bounce at London.

Following the 70-8 success over the Raiders in the Welsh derby, North Wales went up to Doncaster and recorded a 12-10 win.

But the Skolars are also in fine form, sitting third in the table at present having won three games on the trot.

Following an impressive 34-32 victory at home to Workington Town, they picked up a win on the road at Coventry Bears.

However, they saved the best for their last outing, beating then top-of-the-table Hunslet 42-26 on their own turf.

LAST HEAD-TO-HEAD 

When Crusaders travelled to London earlier this year in the Challenge Cup, they ended up 31-18 victors.

After the Welsh side had led 24-6 early in the second-half, the Skolars hit back and came within six points.

However, a late Steve Roper drop-goal and try from Simon Atherton secured the win.

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 trip down south.

FAN INFORMATION

Tickets for the match can be bought online.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad for trip to London

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his 19-man squad for tomorrow’s trip to London Skolars.

Dante Morley-Samuels and Jack Houghton will both miss out as they are carrying knocks, while Stephen Wild is unavailable.

Alex Eckley comes back into contention and Jacob Thomas, who has signed a short-term loan from Championship side Dewsbury Rams, is also included in the 19.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad: Karl Ashall, Simon Atherton, Kenny Baker, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Alex Eckley, Lewis Fairhurst, Callum Hazzard, Kenny Hughes, Earl Hurst, Rob Massam, Matt Reid, Steve Roper, Ben Stead, Jacob Thomas, Alex Thompson, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker, Chris Worrall.

Anthony Murray eager for Crusaders to build on back-to-back wins

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray wants his side to continue their recent run of good form when they take on London Skolars this weekend in what he expects to be a close encounter.

Murray’s men have picked up two wins on the bounce in League 1, while London currently sit third in the table following impressive victories over Workington Town and Hunslet.

“We’ve had two decent wins back-t0-back and it was really important that we started to build a bit of confidence,” Murray said.

“We went up to Doncaster, picked up a very good win and even had three tries disallowed.

“I think it’s going to be a really close game against Skolars.

“London have beaten Hunslet and Workington recently so they’ll no doubt fancy themselves.

“They’ll want to cement their place in the top half of the table.

“We’ve set ourselves some goals in camp about what we want to achieve in the space of a month, including the game at Doncaster.

“The division’s really tight this year so a couple of wins can take you right up that table.

“We’ve not been far away all year and we need to learn from those close matches when we ended up the losing side.

“We need to make sure we put ourselves in a position where we don’t lose those matches.”

Preview: Doncaster v North Wales Crusaders

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North Wales Crusaders travel to the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow (April 28) to take on Doncaster in League 1.

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

FORMBOOK

Crusaders picked up their first league victory of the season last time out as they beat the Raiders 70-8 in the Welsh derby.

Although West Wales took the lead early on, Crusaders were far superior throughout and played some enterprising rugby league.

North Wales found themselves 42-6 up by half-time, scoring five tries in a ruthless 14-minute spell before the break.

Doncaster, meanwhile, will be looking to respond to their 26-18 defeat at Keighley Cougars on Good Friday.

However, the Dons have had a sound start to what has proved to be a competitive League 1 campaign.

Although they sit in sixth place, they are one of a number of clubs currently on six points and are just one point behind London Skolars in third.

HEAD-TO-HEADS

Read more about some of the most memorable clashes between the two clubs over the years.

PRE-MATCH COMMENTS

Find out what new signing Dante Morley-Samuels had to say about his debut, joining the club and future matches.

THE SQUAD

Anthony Murray has named his 19-man squad for the trip to Doncaster.

FAN INFORMATION

Crusaders’ Supporters Club are running a coach to the match. Visit their Facebook page for full details.

You can save money by booking tickets in advance through Doncaster’s ticking website.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad for Doncaster clash

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray has named his 19-man squad for Sunday’s trip to Doncaster.

Following Good Friday’s 70-8 victory over West Wales Raiders, the 19 is nearly identical to the one named ahead of the Welsh derby.

The only change is that Simon Atherton has been brought into the squad in place of Alex Eckley.

Crusaders’ 19-man squad: Karl Ashall, Simon Atherton, Kenny Baker, Brad Brennan, Dave Eccleston, Lewis Fairhurst, Callum Hazzard, Jack Houghton, Kenny Hughes, Earl Hurst, Rob Massam, Dante Morley-Samuels, Steve Roper, Ben Stead, Alex Thompson, Warren Thompson, Jonny Walker, Stephen Wild, Chris Worrall.

Morley-Samuels: “A lot of people have recommended the club”

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New signing Dante Morley-Samuels is hoping North Wales Crusaders can build on Good Friday’s 70-8 victory over West Wales Raiders.

Morley-Samuels made a dream debut for Crusaders in the Welsh derby, scoring a brace of tries two days after his switch from Coventry Bears had been announced.

With a trip to Doncaster next up for North Wales on Sunday, the youngster wants his new side to kick on and gather some momentum.

“The last couple of weeks in training have been really good and everyone wanted to get that first league win under our belts,” he said.

“We completed ten sets on the bounce against West Wales and some of the good attacking plays came on the back of it. We showed what we can do.

“I wouldn’t say we need to set any targets on places or where we want to finish.

“We just need to carry on where we left off against West Wales and continue to improve.

“There were still a couple of mistakes on Good Friday that we can learn from.”

On his debut in a Crusaders shirt, Morley-Samuels added: “It was a perfect debut and I was fortunate the lads set me up with the opportunities to score.

“A lot of people have recommended the club as a good place to go and play so I’m really pleased I’ve joined.

“The location is ideal for me and I knew a few of the lads who were already here.

“I want to learn here because there are some experienced players in the team.

“I’m hoping I can progress along with the team.”