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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.