THINGS are likely to get tough for the North Wales Crusaders over the coming few weeks.

Boasting six wins from their first six matches to sit at the top of League 1, Anthony Murray's charges now head into a run of fixtures that are likely to define their season.

However, it's important Crusaders continue to take it one match at a time, with Sunday's trip to the Keepmoat Stadium to tackle Doncaster foremost in their minds.

"Doncaster are always tough, especially away," said Crusaders' scrum half Brad Billsborough.

"It doesn't get any harder than Donny.

"We need to be at our best and cutting out all the silly little things."

Doncaster are well in the mix for the play-offs, lying fourth after winning four of their first six matches, including last weekend's thrilling 16-12 success over Oldham.

While Doncaster were involved in a fierce battle, things were more comfortable for the Crusaders, who eased to a record 84-4 win over the West Wales Raiders in their Celtic Shield encounter.

Rob Massam and Matt Reid bagged four tries apiece during the big triumph.

Billsborough added: "We spoke about being ruthless and we have got a tough five-or-six games coming up.

"We couldn't go into this game being relaxed.

"We had to train hard and play quick.

"We didn't have the best of games versus Midland Hurricanes and we knew we had to fix up a few things."

The week leading up to that match was a bit more relaxed for the Crusaders, with players doing light training in the build-up.

"Looking at it, we have had 10 games, maybe more with the Challenge Cup," stressed Billsborough.

"We have already played double what some other teams have played.

"Against Midlands, some fatigue maybe kicked in."

Doncaster head coach Richard Horne was delighted with his side's performance to come from behind twice to beat Oldham 16-12.

He told the club's website: “It was a really big team performance.

"We’ve worked hard for each other and it's the first time probably this season we've been in an arm wrestle game and we've come out the other side of it and yeah, just really really happy for the boys.

“They've worked hard in training all this week on the line speed and contact collision because we've been off that in the last couple of weeks and that just gives you a chance. to not make errors.

“Not making errors as well, I think we were 100 per cent in the first half and so were they.

"So we were two teams competing really highly.”

Horne added: “It's a big step forward for us.

"Now the challenge is to maintain that because we've got a big week coming ahead.

“We're a big believer in how we train is how we perform on a weekend.

"The boys had a really good week of training.

"So we've set up and challenged them to make sure that they bring the energy and the intensity that they brought this week for next week.

"If we do that, you know again, we'll give ourselves an opportunity to get the job done.”

Crusaders are likely to have dropped the table by the time they take to the field on Sunday.

Second-placed Keighley Cougars are also unbeaten and they will take over at the summit with victory at West Wales Raiders tomorrow.

Rochdale Hornets, in third, will go second with a 20-point triumph tomorrow at home to Midland Hurricanes.

On Sunday, Swinton Lions welcome London Skolars and Cornwall pay a visit to Hunslet.