NORTH Wales Crusaders may have been demoted from the Kingstone Press Championship but that only makes Keighley player-coach Paul March wary ahead of their match tomorrow at Cougar Park.
March, whose side are targeting a fifth-place finish, said: “They’ve been confirmed as relegated, so they’ll be playing for pride and have no pressure on them, and when you’re playing like that you can be a dangerous team.
“We’ve got to be on our guard against them, but hopefully we can get the points. It’s all about how we approach the game.”
However, March has been dealt a major blow with the news that Brendon Rawlins will miss the rest of the season with a broken hand.
Luke Haigh is still not 100 per cent fit after the injury he sustained at Halifax, but Olly Pursglove, Ben Sagar and Lewis Graham are all in contention to face Crusaders, with March setting his sights on a strong finish to the regular season.
He said: “We want to get into the play-offs and hopefully achieve something.
“The situation that we’re in now means that if we play to our ability and get three points tomorrow, we’re not then looking over our shoulders but looking forward instead.
“By my reckoning if we win every game from now, we can get as high as fifth. We’ve a lot to play for.”
Cougars claimed a third straight win when beating already-relegated Barrow last weekend, Paul Handforth earning a place in the Championship Team of the Week, whereas Crusaders coach Anthony Murray is still searching for his first win in charge of the club.
March, meanwhile, has confirmed that Ross Peltier remains part of his long-term plans, despite being sent to Hunslet on a month’s loan.
Cougars winger Gavin Duffy is also on loan at the Hawks and was named Championship One Player of the Week after he scored a first-half hat-trick to help them secure a 34-16 win against Hemel Stags.
Duffy has repaid the faith shown in him by Hawks coach Barry Eaton.
Ex-Cougars boss Eaton said: “I know what Gavin can offer from my time at Keighley. He was just what we needed, and he’s settled in very well.
“He’s playing particularly well and has already scored a few tries, but against Hemel he was outstanding.
"A couple of his tries were brilliant finishes, and he’s doing exactly what we need from him.”