AN injury has given Carl Forster the opportunity to decide where he wants to direct North Wales Crusaders’ operations over the coming few weeks.

Forster made a blistering start to the League One campaign with try-scoring displays when Crusaders won their first three matches of the season, but he was injured for the epic 25-24 loss to title-chasing Oldham at the start of the month.

Head coach Forster watched on from the sidelines and he told CruCast: “I’m struggling at the minute, just with a couple of ongoing shoulder problems, etc, but it’s food for thought.

“Did the half-backs play better because I wasn’t there or is that me being too critical of myself?

“It’s raised a lot of questions and it was nice to give direction, clear messages at half-time, because, at the end of the day, you’re more educated on the sideline aren’t you watching it as a coach.

“I won’t over-think it, but it’s certainly worth a question to myself and my coaching staff moving forward, but with the way they played, how the hell do I put myself back in?

“Let’s be honest! We’ll wait and see what happens.”

In an outstanding display, tries from Ben Evans, Pat Ah Van (pictured right), Kieran Taylor and Ollie Davies saw North Wales ahead for much of the contest against second-placed Oldham.

However, Danny Craven’s last minute drop goal made sure of a dramatic success for the visiting side.

“To be fair, I was more nervous,” added Forster, reflecting on his position of watching rather than playing.

“Obviously, you send the lads out with the message, the 17 players, to do their job and it’s literally all on them then, isn’t it?

“Where normally I can still influence a game, I’m less nervous when I’m playing, but you’ve got to be calm.

“You go two tries, three tries up against an outfit like Oldham and without sounding too smart, you know the game’s not over against an outfit like that.

“It never is, really, in the game of rugby, but you can’t get too excited, because you score a couple of tries against an Oldham side where you know they’re never going to go away and, unfortunately, that was the case.

“But I won’t try and get too excited when we’re up and I won’t try and get too down when, obviously, things are not going for us.”

The display against Oldham will give Crusaders confidence they can secure a positive outcome when they play host to Workington Town this Sunday.

On the same day, North Wales Crusaders’ women’s team will return to action for the 2024 season when they face Telford Raiders at Colwyn Bay’s Stadiwm CSM.

Following an unbeaten inaugural season in 2023, the women’s team continues to go from strength to strength and they will now return to the field on Sunday to open an exciting afternoon of rugby league.

The clash will get underway at 12.30pm, with the men’s game starting at 2.30pm.