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Gibson expecting tough test in Leigh cup match

North Wales Crusaders’ preparation for Saturday’s Challenge Cup second round tie at Leigh Miners Rangers will be the same as any League 1 match, says halfback Jordy Gibson.

With Crusaders’ pre-season friendly at Barrow Raiders called off last weekend, this will be the first time North Wales have taken to the field in 2022.

Community club Leigh, who knocked out Milford in the first round, will welcome Anthony Murray’s men to Twist Lane and it’ll be Crusaders’ first cup match since 2020 as they didn’t feature in the competition last term because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gibson, who is entering his second full season with Crusaders after making the step up from the community game himself, said: “They’ll come at us hard.

“If we don’t turn up with the right attitude, we’ll get turned over and it’s as simple as that.

“They’re a strong side with a good coaching set up and there’ll no doubt be a decent crowd there that’ll be right up for it.

“We can’t look past Saturday as we need to turn up there and make sure we’re switched on.

“I know what we’re like as a group and we won’t turn up with the wrong attitude as we’re preparing like we would for any other match.”

After a successful campaign in 2021 that saw Crusaders finish third and reach the League 1 play-offs for the first time since 2015, the Welsh club will be hoping to continue their momentum.

Gibson added: “We’ve got quite a few new players so it’ll be good to see how they go.

“The pre-season attitude has been fantastic and I believe they’ll fit in perfectly to what we’re trying to do at Crusaders.

“We’ve had a tough pre-season and everyone’s bought into what Muzza and the coaching staff wanted us to do.

“Last season showed how well everything worked when we stuck to our structures and I think it’s just a case of doing the same and working hard for each other.

“If we turn up with the right attitude each week, we know we won’t be far off.”

Entry, including a programme, to the Challenge Cup tie between Leigh and Crusaders is priced at £5.

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