SCOTT TURNER believes North Wales Crusaders need to show their ruthless side when they head to York City Knights this weekend.
The 22-year-old winger, who scored two tries in the 40-18 victory over Oxford last week, has enjoyed a fine start to Crusaders’ League One campaign, although they face a stiff examination at Bootham Crescent on Sunday (3pm) against a York outfit who have won four of their five fixtures, previously unbeaten prior to being smashed 50-12 by Barrow Raiders last weekend.
Anthony Murray’s side lie 10th after back-to-back wins and could move into the top eight with victory.
Despite suffering an injury-hit 2015 season, Turner still crossed for 15 tries and the former Warrington Wolves academy player is developing a reputation as one of the best catchers of a high ball in League One.
“We went to Hemel knowing we desperately needed a win to get our season back up and running,” explained Turner.
“We’ve been improving each week and got a vital win there, and then followed it up against Oxford. I still don’t think the performances have quite been there, maybe we’re operating at 60 per cent at the moment, so there’s a lot more still to come.
“It was a good weekend, I celebrated my birthday and then on Sunday managed to cross twice and we got the all-important win, so I’ve certainly had worse weekends!
“In certain areas we’re showing glimpses that we can be a ruthless side at our best and we need to show that ruthless streak if we’re going to push the top sides.
“The start of the season was a bit of a nightmare with the amount of players we lost and the problems off the field meant everything was disrupted.
“We couldn’t get any consistency going in training sessions and it was difficult for the group. There were a lot of new faces and inevitably it will take time to gel but I feel we’re starting to see it coming together now on the pitch.
“The board and the players have established a much better relationship off the pitch and we’re bonding as a group on it. It all bodes well for the rest of the season.”
Turner admits Crusaders must improve if they are to come away from Yorkshire with two points but pointed to narrow defeats against Doncaster and Barrow as reasons to be hopeful.
“After the Oxford game we said we didn’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, and no disrespect to Oxford but if we play like that against York we’ll probably come up short,” he added.
“We’ve got to raise our game or we’ll get turned over. We’ve trained hard this week, we hammered our lines and the technical side and had a good run out against Eccles’ amateur side.
“Even in our weakest performances this year, we’ve not been beaten by far against some good sides. We weren’t at our best against Barrow and Doncaster, yet we’ve found ourselves within eight to 10 points of them with around 20 minutes left.
“So we’re not far away from beating these good teams and I’ve got no doubts we can get ourselves into the top eight.
“We’ll only go on improving this season and we just need to get a little bit more ruthless when trying to kill teams off.”
Doncaster face a trip to Coventry Bears tomorrow, while Newcastle Thunder face a tricky test against hosts London Skolars.
On Sunday, leaders Rochdale Hornets visit Oxford, while Hunslet Hawks host French outfit Toulouse.
Keighley Cougars welcome Hemel and Barrow Raiders make the long trip to South Wales Scorpions.
See full story in the Leader