Desperate foes spell danger, says James

Old Crossleyans make the short journey to Keighley in North East One tomorrow, with captain James Wainwright wary of opponents battling to escape the drop.

Crocs’ near-neighbours have been scrapping in the bottom three all season, but have earned a reputation as dogged opponents.

“They’re a decent side; they gave us a good game at home and they’ve done the same with plenty of other sides,” said Wainwright.

“They’ve picked up quite a few losing bonus points, which tells its own story.

“We obviously want to win, but they’re fighting for their lives which means it is probably a bigger game for them than it is for us in all honesty.

“We’re confident, but there’s no way we can afford to be complacent.”

Crocs go into the game on the back of a 37-20 win at Darlington with a weakened side, going in trailing at half time before storming clear in the second period.

Versatile back Gareth Sweeney claimed 22 points as the visitors outscored their hosts 30-5 in the second 40 minutes.

“We were a bit rusty,” said Wainwright. “It was only our third game since the Christmas break and we’ll be better for having got it out of the way.”

Crocs should welcome back Manny Riaz, Chris Seymour and Navneet Sembi to give their squad a more experienced look.

Heath coach Kevin Plant has urged his side to get back on track when they travel to Pontefract in Yorkshire One.

The West Vale side were stunned 16-10 at struggling Knottingley last weekend.

“We have struggled there in the past and we struggled there again,” admitted Plant.

“It was frustrating because the dangers we knew were there materialised as we expected but we did not play well enough to deal with them.”

Tomorrow’s hosts sit just a point in front of Heath on the league ladder, giving Plant’s side plenty of incentive to lift themselves.

“There’s plenty for us to play for,” he said.“I just want to see us get back to playing the same rugby we had been doing until last week.”

James Watson and Karl Craven are named after ankle injuries. Charlie Lomas is unavailable but Giles Hetherington returns and slots in at fullback. Olly Collinge starts in the backrow and Olly Wilby rotates to the bench.

The seconds, who are doing well in their league, are at home to Hudds YMCA thirds.