Crocs must heed the lessons

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Old Crossleyans director of rugby Howard Cooper has said he hopes last weekend’s 39-20 reverse at Malton and Norton will serve as “a wake up call” to the North One East outfit.

Crocs were left point-less for the first time this season in North Yorkshire, despite their opponents twice being reduced to 14 men due to sin-binnings.

And Cooper was clear that, for the first time this season, Crocs’ failings had been of the most fundamental kind.

“The simple fact is that they played with much more spirit and endeavour,” said Cooper, whose side host neighbours Rochdale tomorrow.

“They worked harder than we did on the day and as a result we were beaten by a better side and can’t have any complaints.

“We were in the game at half time but we needed to step it up after the break and we didn’t, whereas they just kept coming at us.

“I just hope it serves as a wake up call for us; it’s a timely reminder there are no easy games in this competition.”

Cooper regards tomorrow’s foes as being particularly dangerous, given their relatively modest league position is largely the result of a pre-season points deduction.

“They started on minus eight because they fielded an ineligible player last season,” he said.

“If you take that into account, they’re up there with us and they beat Pocklington last weekend, which shows they’re a dangerous team.”

Cooper hopes that playmaker Gareth Ott, who scored a fine individual try last weekend before limping off, will be fit to play, although Chris Seymour is on stand-by to deputise.

Neil Richardson is expected to return in the centre, while former player-boss Chris Jones - whose anticipated comeback from a hand injury failed to materialise last weekend - could also be in the frame.

Second row Kev McGill, who was a late withdrawal at Malton after injuring his groin in the warm up, faces a fitness check.