Crocs look for home glory

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Old Crossleyans host Middlesbrough in North East One tomorrow with a return to winning ways on the agenda following last weekend’s 22-20 loss at Morpeth.

The Broomfield side’s strong start to the season hit a bump after the double sin-binning of Jack Hammond and Chris Jones - yellow carded for technical offences within minutes of each other - handed the winning initiative to the Northumbrians.

“We were very disappointed,” said director of rugby Howard Cooper.

“We felt we were the better side across the 80 minutes and that makes it particularly frustrating.

“I don’t like criticising referees, but the penalty count was 17-5 in our favour and yet they just seemed to be getting warnings while we were picking up sin binnings.”

Tomorrow’s visitors have made a modest start to the year, leaving Cooper confident but not complacent about Crocs’ prospects.

“They haven’t been going too well, but we do not underestimate any team,” he said.

“At the same time, I think we would be bitterly disappointed if we did not get a result.”

Crocs should have captain and No. 8 Ryan Hammond back on deck tomorrow after he missed last weekend’s fixture.

Glasgow wing Sean Maitland admits it is time the Warriors started justifying their automatic entry into the Heineken Cup.

The RaboDirect PRO12 leaders have won all five of their league games so far but will face their toughest test yet on Sunday when they travel to France to take on reigning European champions Toulon as the new Heineken Cup campaign gets under way.

Glasgow’s record in the competition is abysmal. They won just one of their six pool games last year and have not escaped the group stages since 1997-98, when they qualified for the now-defunct quarter-final play-offs.

The New Zealand-born Scotland back said: “I suppose there is a pressure on us to justify our place in the competition.”