THE fact we had no game last weekend enabled us to do something different with the players.

The week after the Hemel game we did some really tough training and we feel they earned their rest after a pretty good first 11 games and a very tough week’s training.

This has been a lighter week as we have a game tomorrow against North Wales.

I was impressed with the performance at Hemel because it was good to score so many points and concede none.

On such a tight pitch it is difficult to score that many points, but we stuck to the game plan and ultimately as the match wore on, because of the hot and humid conditions, we managed to gain a stranglehold.

At the end we looked like we could virtually score off of every set, which is credit to the players’ patience, composure and ability to stick to the game plan.

The disappointing thing from Hemel was the two injuries we picked up. Calum Bustin had a really good 15 minutes but picked up a shoulder injury and had to come off.

He is doing his rehab at his parent club, Castleford, and Matty Crowther is liaising with Matt Duke to keep us up to speed with his progress.

He has an outside chance of being fit for the Whitehaven game and we will see how he progresses.

George Flanagan broke his hand and had to be replaced so he will miss a few games, but the plus point is we have two very good hookers in Vila Halafihi and Sam Hallas who will both cover that spot. But the negative is for poor old Reiss Butterworth. He would have been fancying his chances of getting a first team call up had he not been on loan at Batley.

It’s ok saying, in hindsight, he shouldn’t have gone but we felt he needed some first team rugby and we thank Batley for accommodating him and he has played very well in the two games he has had with them.

We have seen quite a lot of this week’s opponents North Wales Crusaders, as earlier in the season, we tended to be following them in the fixture list, so we were seeing them most weeks.

In the early part of the season they looked good and we have since re-watched them against Whitehaven, Keighley and Coventry and they have significantly improved, and I think that in part is down to a change of coach.

I think Anthony Murray is talented and he has put some good structures and systems in place for them. They have some good personnel in there, but the thing that sticks out for me is their enthusiasm.

They work very hard for each other and that makes them difficult to break down. Any team that can go up to Whitehaven, as York will testify, and win up there, which is what the Crusaders did, need to be very much respected.

This week we have seen the second phase of the reserves fixtures come out and I have been delighted with the reserve grade this season.

We have certainly benefitted from that and it has allowed us to get players game time and learn our systems and structures.

It also allows us to trial people like Anthony Bowman, who we have just signed on a month’s trial.

The ex-Halifax and Swinton player has been in Australia for the past couple of years, and we will be having a good look at him this coming month and see if he can add to our squad.

It’s a great opportunity for him and a good one for us to have a look at someone who I feel is a quality player.

I know from my time at Batley, when we tried to sign him but were beaten to it by Halifax, that he’s a good player and let’s hope he hasn’t lost any of his ability while in Australia.