The All Golds renew rivalry with North Wales Crusaders this Saturday with both teams coming into the game keen to improve on last weekend’s performance.
The All Golds opened their Shield campaign last Saturday with a damaging 28-20 defeat to South Wales Ironmen while the Crusaders were humbled 40-12 on their own pitch by London Skolars. With the Crusaders three points ahead of the Golden Fern anything but a win will surely put an end to any lingering hope the home side has of reaching the Shield final.
Speaking ahead of the game Lee Greenwood says he’s looking to see a marked improvement on their recent performances. He said: “ It’s been a tough run for us, losing against Barrow, Toronto then Doncaster. We had a good opportunity to put an end to that run last weekend but we lost. I thought we were really poor against South Wales. It was a disappointing performance so obviously we’ll need to be much, much better against Crusaders. They’ve shown this season that they can be a dangerous side so it’s important we show them the respect they deserve. They’re a tough northern side who have got a number of players that can cause you trouble. We’ve played Crusaders three times already this season so we know a lot about them and they know a lot about us.
“I’ll have a good think regarding selection, you might see a few of our younger players involved. It’s important for us to look ahead to the future and think about the players who are going to be here next season.”
One player who won’t be featuring on Saturday is Courtney Davies who looks set for an extended spell on the sidelines after breaking his wrist against South Wales. His place in the halves could be taken by Danny Fallon or Jack Mitchell who missed out against South Wales.
The Crusaders are more than familiar with the Prince of Wales stadium having played there three times already this season. The All Golds won the first of those in convincing fashion – a 36-18 victory in the third round of the Challenge Cup back in February. The Crusaders gained their revenge with a 37-28 win in the semi-final of the League 1 Cup but just a fortnight later the Golden Fern fought back from 12-0 down to seal a thrilling 36-28 win in the League.
Kick-off 3pm, Saturday 5 August
Prince of Wales stadium , Cheltenham