Crocs skipper wants late winning streak

Old Crossleyans travel to Middlesbrough in North East One tomorrow keen to spark an end-of-season winning streak.

An understrength Crocs lost out 18-12 at second-placed Sheffield last weekend, but with five games to go - including a last-day date with champions elect Beverley - captain James Wainwright is aiming to finish an encouraging year on a high.

“We were a bit unlucky last week, we could have won it in the last minute,” said Wainwright, who said that Crocs hope to have both No. 8 Ryan Hammond and Rory Davies available again after injury and illness respectively.

“We only travelled with 15 players because of injuries and a couple of late cry-offs, so we came away quite happy with our performance.

“They had a really good goal-kicker who finished with six from six, but if we’d been able to make changes to give us a bit of impact I think we’d have won.

“We had been hoping to have Ryan back last week, but I think we’re very confident he’ll be available tomorrow.

“We’re playing a lot better than we were and we’ve got four really winnable games now before Beverley on the last day.

“Even then, they’ll have wrapped up the league by then and won’t have anything to play for.

“We’re pretty confident we can a good run of wins together.”

‘Boro are third from bottom of the ladder and fighting to avoid relegation, the same position Keighley were in a month ago when they handed out Crocs’ worst defeat of the season.

“We’ve got to be wary, but I don’t see them being in Keighley’s class really,” said Wainwright.

France boss Philippe Saint-Andre has shaken up his back division with three changes for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland in Dublin.

After defeats to Italy, Wales and England, France are bidding to regain some pride over their remaining matches against the Irish and Scotland.

To that end Saint-Andre has decided his pack needs no alteration from the loss at Twickenham last time out but the backs require an overhaul, and in come centre Florian Fritz, wing Maxime Medard and fly-half Frederic Michalak with Benjamin Fall, Mathieu Bastareaud and Francois Trinh-Duc dropping out, the latter two featuring among the replacements.