All Golds head coach Lee Greenwood is anticipating a tough test from North Wales Crusaders on Sunday in a game he calls ‘the biggest in the club’s history’.
The All Golds host the Crusaders at the Prince of Wales stadium with the winners progressing to the final of the League 1 Cup in Blackpool on May 27.
Should his side win it would be their first appearance in a final and the All Golds coach says he hopes his players can perform to the standard that has seen them start the 2017 season strongly. He said: “I gave the players a week off after the South Wales game so we’re looking forward to Sunday. It’s the biggest game in the history of the club.
“We’ve had some good wins for far this season and this is another big challenge. We’re looking forward to it but we know Crusaders will be a tough test. They’ve certainly improved since we knocked them out of the Challenge Cup a couple of months back. They’re a dangerous side with a lot of good players. We need to make sure we deal with the threats they carry.
“It would be massive for the club, and great for southern rugby league, if we could win.
“I thought we were really good early on against South Wales last time out but the injury to Steven Nield disrupted our momentum and we had to switch players about. We weren’t at our best after that but we got the win. We’ve got a number of injury doubts for Sunday so there might be a few changes. It doesn’t concern me really though because the players that could come in are more than capable, they showed that in the last round at Workington.”
Alex Gaskell will definitely miss the game through injury. Half back Ben Stead, injured in the opening league fixture at Hunslet, won’t play but is confident of returning from his knee injury in the next fortnight. Front rower James Walter is also expected to miss the game but Harry Kidd and Malikhi Lloyd-Jones could return after they missed the South Wales game on international duty.
Since losing 36-18 to the All Golds in the Challenge Cup the Crusaders have steadied the ship and have picked up several impressive victories. If you take out their defeat to champions elect Toronto Wolfpack last time out they come into Sunday’s game on the back of three straight wins. Their first league points came with a 26-22 win at York and they followed that up a week later with a 24-16 triumph at Newcastle in the League 1 Cup quarter final. They made it three in a row a week later when they took care of Newcastle by an impressive 30-14 scoreline.
The victors will play the winners of Barrow v Oxford.
Kick-off 3pm, Prince of Wales stadium, Cheltenham
Concessions £6 (over 65s, military, NHS, Gloucester City FC season ticket holders)
University of Gloucestershire students and staff £3
Under 16s free