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clwydianrange

Whitehaven away

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This is going to be tight I think but its the sort of match we need to win if we are to avoid relegation his year. After the pleasing start against Barrow I'll go for a narrow Cru win; 18-24

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we could have Massam (injury), Reardon (I match ban) and Platt (disciplinary) all out. All 3 were influencial players against Barrow and could be missed. Hopefully our squad will be good enough to cover these missing players. I'm still confident enough to predict a narrow win 18 - 24 to Crusaders.

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Reardon was excellent against Barrow. We will miss him, but chance for somebody else to claim his place. Think I will be driving up to Whitehaven. Nice drive and a nice drink in Cockermouth.

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Rob broke his leg apparently.

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Sunday 23 February
Kingstone Press Championship

Whitehaven v North Wales Crusaders (3.00pm)


Whitehaven centres Stephen Fox and Scott McAvoy face late fitness tests, but coach Dave Woods expects both to be passed fit for Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship clash with North Wales Crusaders.
Woods is aiming to make the most of home advantage on Sunday, when he hopes to steer Whitehaven to their first victory of the new campaign.
Woods said: “We had a lot of individual errors against Keighley, and I’m sure North Wales will travel with plenty of confidence.
“They’ve a very experienced side and they’ll come here thinking they can get the points, but we’ve got to make it very difficult for them.”
Crusaders duo Rob Massam (ankle) and Gary Middlehurst (knee) will both be assessed before Clive Griffiths finalises the North Wales team.
Griffiths said: “Whitehaven is a tough place to go and it’s not going to be a dry track. It’s going to be a war of attrition, but I’m confident we’ve got the players to handle that.
“It’s an intimidating place, particularly with 1,000 Cumbrians shouting down at everybody, but having said that we’ve grown since the last time we were there. We’re not cocky by any means, but we’re confident we can get a job done.”

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North Wales Crusaders head coach Clive Griffiths insists that he hasn’t got carried away by the opening day win over Barrow Raiders and is taking one game at a time.
 The Wrexham-based side opened their 2014 account with a 34-16 success over the Raiders, despite playing almost the entire second-half with only 12 men after Michael Platt was sent off.
Next up for Crusaders is a trip to Whitehaven this Sunday – and Griffiths says that his side will have to be at their best.
He said: We can’t take anything for granted; it’s going to be a really tough game.
“Whitehaven won’t be looking back and thinking about their loss at Keighley, but looking at us and wanting to beat us.
“And we can’t look back at the Barrow game. Sunday’s a new game and we have to look forward to that.
“We’ve got to take everything game by game. It’s all ifs and buts but, at the same time, it would be great to start the season with two wins.
“We’ll be going up to Whitehaven looking to do a job.”
Looking back at the Raiders game, Griffiths has higlighted how errors at this level can come back to bite you.
He said: “I would have taken a one-point win against Barrow, to open our season with a win.
“The manner of the win was very pleasing with us going down to 12 men, but we made some errors and we were made to pay for them.
“We were 6-0 up and started the game well. You make an error - like we did - and suddenly you find yourself drawing again. The same happened when we went ahead the second and third times.  
“That’s what happens at this level. It’s a tough league and, with no disrespect to Barrow, as  they’re a young, developing side with a very good coach who knows what he’s doing, there’s going to be tougher jobs ahead this season.
“You need to be at your best and that’s what we will aim to do.”
Griffiths will check on injuries picked up by Rob Massam (ankle) and Gary Middlehurst (knee) in last Sunday’s win, although both are looking doubtful.

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I think Gary Middlehurst may miss the game too. He's had stitches across the middle of his knee, so there's another big loss. Im going for a narrow cru win 20-16

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Gary said he should be fine for this game. Dan Birkett is a good replacement for Rob so I think we'll only be missing Stu (fingers crossed!!)

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Will have to rely on twitter as I can't get to the game.

I think it will be very close with the loser getting a bonus point.

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The match has been called off after a refs inspection earlier this morning

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According to the Whitehaven twitter feed the fixture has been re-arranged for 27th April providing both teams have been knocked out of the Challenge Cup before that date.

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