North Wales Crusaders win at Hemel Stags provides 'huge confidence boost' says head coach Anthony Murray


Charlie Croasdale

ANTHONY MURRAY believes North Wales Crusaders’ 38-10 victory at Hemel Stags will provide a “huge confidence boost”.

The Wrexham-based outfit have struggled in League One this term but claimed a second win in six outings with their convincing success at Pennine Way as Stephen Wild, Simon Atherton, Kenny Baker, Andy Moulsdale, Lee Hudson and Scott Turner all ran in tries.

With his revamped squad struggling to find their feet in the third tier, head coach Murray was over the moon to see their hard work finally rewarded.

“The players have been working hard to get things right but when you keep losing it goes through your mind whether it’s going to turn around,” he explained.

“They deserve the win for all their hard work and it’s not just two points but a huge confidence boost to the whole squad.

“The players have stuck to their guns and got their just rewards. 

“Hemel is not an easy trip, it’s four hours on a bus from 8am but you wouldn’t know it the way we started. 

“We flew out of the blocks and found ourselves 18-0 up. We were performing to a 90 per cent completion and it made a massive difference. 

“There were less errors and we scored three good tries in that period and could have had more.

“Hemel came back into it so we just told the lads at half-time don’t allow them any momentum.

“We were excellent in the second-half and we grasped the game. 

“To put 38 points on them was very pleasing and in general it’s a relief to pick up a second away win.”

Ex-captain Moulsdale made a welcome return from injury in the weekend victory, coming on at half-time and scoring a try within 20 minutes of his introduction.

Murray was delighted to have Moulsdale back and also praised the impact of the back row trio of Rob Massam, Tommy Johnson and Turner, hailing their experience as ‘invaluable’ for the Wrexham side.

“I introduced Andy at the break and he just has a calming influence on the whole team,” added Murray, who now has a fortnight to prepare his side for their home clash with Oxford. “He showed straight away what a good player he is and he helped us control the game. 

“No doubt he’ll be a bit sore after getting through 40 minutes but he said he didn’t feel any discomfort so that bodes well.

“I felt Lee Hudson was excellent at hooker and Stephen Wild led from the front. Our back row were superb once again. That three of Scott Turner, Rob Massam and Tommy Johnson are the best back three in the division in my opinion.

“Rob has a wealth of experience and then you’ve got Tommy who has over 100 appearances for Cru. It’s great to have that trio in there and their experience is invaluable.”

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