ANTHONY MURRAY hailed North Wales Crusaders’ new-found belief following their impressive 30-18 home triumph over Workington Town.

The Wrexham club re-ignited their promotion push with an assured display at the Queensway on Sunday to clinch a third successive League One victory.

After falling behind to an early converted try, the Cru upped the tempo and tries from Ben Stead, Steve Roper, Dante Morley-Samuels (2) and Kenny Baker secured the points.

Reflecting on the performance, head coach Murray said: “I thought it was a very solid 80 minute display from us and that we came away from it with the result our performance deserved.

“Defensively I thought we very disciplined on the whole, and the fact that two of Workington’s tries came from unforced errors on our part was my only complaint really.

“But when we’re playing with a completion rate of 78 per cent and carrying so much attacking threat I always feel like we’re capable of beating any team in this league.

“From my point of view, our quality has always been there this season - it’s maybe a little bit of belief that’s been missing at times.

“But in these last few weeks we’re playing with a real confidence.

“The technical aspects of our play have been strong and our game management is much better than it has been, which is really pleasing to see.”

The result leaves the Cru eighth in the league standings with a game in hand over several of their play-off rivals.

Murray believes that his side are now reaping the rewards of an intense pre-season fitness schedule, insisting his side are in far better shape than at the same stage last term.

“There’s a big difference, I think”, he added

“Last season we didn’t see the fitness levels among the squad that are needed to be competitive.

“That’s why preparations for this season were so intense. We laid the foundations for a long hard season and right now it does seem to be paying off, because we’re fresher now. The final third of the Workington game felt like it became an arm wrestle, but as the fitter team we had the edge.

“We capitalised on that by keeping the ball infield and maintaining the intensity right to the end.

“That’s something we need to show consistently in the games we’ve got left.

“The play-offs are still the target, but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves and we still need the focus on game by game to make sure we get there.”

Pacesetters Whitehaven preserved top spot with a slender 16-10 home victory over title rivals Oldham.

Sunday’s other clash saw second-placed Newcastle Thunder remain within two points of Haven after a 26-12 win at Hunslet.