CARL FORSTER has reflected on a competitive showing from North Wales Crusaders after their unbeaten start to the League One campaign came to a halt.

Following three wins on the spin to open their season in impressive fashion, Crusaders sampled defeat for the first time in the league with a 22-6 outcome away to fellow unbeaten outfit Keighley Cougars.

There were positive aspects from the visitors over the course of the 80 minutes and Forster was left to rue some mistakes from the players.

Head coach Forster told the club’s website: “Look, I think we come away from here feeling as if we cost ourselves the result today.

“For the first 30 minutes of that game, I thought we were on top, and to come to Keighley and look like the dominant team is something not many will do this season.

“We stood strong in defence, got off our line quickly and really took the game to them in the middle of the park.

“I think the only criticism of the first-half was maybe that we didn’t capitalise on the period where we were on top, and came into half-time level.”

This was the big match of the weekend in League One, with both sides boasting 100 per cent winning records ahead of the contest.

Crusaders claimed the lead when Chris Barratt forced his way over the line in the 13th minute and Owain Abel was on the money with his conversion attempt.

North Wales looked for further scores after this, with Matt Fletcher and Barratt again going close to extending their side’s advantage.

However, Keighley hauled themselves back level in the 26th minute.

Alex Bishop came up with the try and Jack Miller kicked the conversion.

Cru ended the half well, though, and Barratt was again the danger-man when he was inches away from securing his second try of the afternoon.

Forster added: “For me though, the disappointment comes in the second-half, we’ve come out and looked to be going again, but then we’re undone by a play on the last tackle and we seem to lose our way a bit.

“Conceding twice in quick succession, I think you could see heads drop a little bit, and then we were forcing things a little bit and coming up with errors as we tried to find our way back into the game.”

Two tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second period saw the home side move 10 points clear of North Wales.

Billy Walkley scored his side’s second try of the afternoon five minutes after the restart and Miller nudged over the conversion.

It was Walkley at the double just four minutes later, this time with his unconverted try.

Then, with 20 minutes left to play, Keighley made sure of victory with try number four from Lewis Hatton.

Crusaders had chances to reduce the deficit within the last 20 minutes, however a mixture of strong defence from the home side and errors from the visitors saw the Cougars hold out

Home comforts will return for North Wales Crusaders this Sunday for their meeting with Rochdale Hornets, who defeated Newcastle Thunder 68-4 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dan Coates is looking to get back to his “best rugby” as the season develops.

Coates gave a man of the match display in the recent 58-18 win over Newcastle Thunder and he told CruCast: “I want to get back to my best rugby.

“I want to score tries. I want to have a hand in most of the tries that we score and just be more of a leader on the pitch.

“That’s the kind of role that I’m kind of looking forward to be doing for the rest of the year, but mostly just being involved in all the good stuff and scoring more tries myself and getting more accolades and being recognised.”