CARL FORSTER wasn’t about to take Rochdale Hornets lightly ahead of their League One encounter with North Wales Crusaders.

And the Crusaders’ head coach was correct not to do so as Rochdale won an epic match 37-36.

Ahead of the match, Forster told the club’s website he was cautious of reading too much into Rochdale’s form, with two wins seeing them in fifth spot.

He said: “Rochdale are a very good side who will want to be comfortably within those play-off places come the end of the season, so there’s no way that they’ll be an easy ride. They’re a big club, have recruited well and I’ve made sure the lads know that our standards will need to be right up there if we want any chance of getting the two points.”

Kick-off was delayed as Rochdale arrived late due to a traffic incident and Cru went ahead via Owain Abel’s penalty, however the opening try of the afternoon went the way of Rochdale. Myles Harrop grabbed the converted 13th minute try to see his side into the lead.

Cru’s first try came through Dan Coates and Abel’s conversion made sure the lead changed hands. But, Rochdale regained the advantage with Joe Hartley’s converted score within five minutes.

It was level at 12-12 after half-an-hour with Pat Ah Van grabbing a Cru try in the corner. This time, Abel wasn’t able to add the extras.

Then, Forster claimed his sixth try of the season to give Cru the lead for the third time, with Abel converting.

Back came the Hornets through Luke Forber’s converted score and Martin Furber’s drop goal gave them a 19-18 lead at the break.

Rochdale stretched their advantage out to seven points with Harrop’s converted score 10 minutes into the second half. Crusaders were right back in it once more when Joe Baldwin crossed and Abel converted.

Spectators were getting their money’s worth, with Jayden Dayes’ converted try giving the visitors some breathing space.

In a stunning turnaround, tries from Forster and Jake Burns - both converted by Abel - saw Cru surge in front. Then, on 74 minutes, Hornets were celebrating Lameck Juma’s score and Ridyard’s conversion won it.

Other results: Cornwall 6 Midlands Hurricanes 72; Hunslet 18 Workington Town 30; Newcastle Thunder 6 Keighley Cougars 82.