ROYCE Simmons says he will not be underestimating Crusaders RL as he prepares for tonight’s match.
Iestyn Harris’ side are currently near the foot of the Engage Super League table but recorded their second win of the season last weekend when they beat Salford at the Willows.
“We have some momentum and we are getting there, but we have a little way to go yet,” he said. “We want to keep on improving because we know we are a long way from the perfect game yet.
“Our scrambling defence and the effort and energy in doing the little things right are coming together and it is only a matter of time before everything else falls into place.
“Our attacking is getting better considering the changes we’ve had in the halves and on the edges too but we aren’t there defensively yet.
“I want to average 16 points a game or under and at the moment we are around 19. I’m not scared to say that.
“We have strung a few wins together now which is good, but as soon as you think you are going right, then it goes the other way. We can’t get over confident.
“Crusaders are a team that worry me. They have four new boys over from Australia and they got their first game last weekend and will be better for the run.
“Witt is back from injury and they have Hanbury and Sammut. They can do some unpredictable things.
“They have two big back rowers and a goal-ticker that usually turns four into six too. They will not be underestimated by this coach.”
On the injury front both Paul Clough and Scott Moore are in line to be considered for the visit of Wakefield next Friday.
Moore will miss the Crusaders trip with a calf injury whilst Paul Clough is still recovering from with the sore neck he suffered at Headingley.
Francis Meli (hamstring) is out for the next two weeks with Leon Pryce (groin) out for at least a month.
Gareth Frodsham (on loan at Widnes – knee), Scott Hale (neck), Carl Forster (shoulder) and Nathan Ashe (jaw) are also unavailable.
On the plus side though Jon Wilkin will return from a freak hand injury tonight.
“There was no tendon damage in his hand so he’ll play and it will be heavily strapped,” Simmons added. “He is a good utility player and can play on the left side. If we lose a six or seven in the match too he can move into that area. We’re glad to have him back.”
Meanwhile, Royce has spoken for the first time about Kyle Eastmond since he returned from suspension.
“Kyle is training well but we have two half backs who are going well and since they’ve come in we haven’t lost a game,” he said. “That’s why Kyle is in the reserve grade at the moment. He is working well with the youngsters and encouraging them. The coaches are happy with him. He trains with the first team during the week and is back with the u20s for their ‘Captain’s Run’ and game.
“We are treating him like any other player at present. Both Matty Ashurst and Andrew Dixon have been in the twenties too, it is just one of those things.
“I wish the crowd wouldn’t boo him though as to me they are booing the St Helens colours.
“You don’t get a big crowd for the under 20s and it is a real big thrill for them to be playing in front of 100 people. When they boo they are booing the red and white rather than encouraging those young blokes.
“The lads enjoy the support and they run back to the crowd and it really gives them a lift.”