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Harris ready for round 3 against Leeds

Crusaders head coach Iestyn Harris hopes it will be a case of third time lucky when his side take on Leeds Rhinos tonight at the Racecourse ground (KO 8PM).
Harris ready for round 3 against Leeds
by NRL

Crusaders head coach Iestyn Harris hopes it will be a case of third time lucky when his side take on Leeds Rhinos tonight at the Racecourse ground (KO 8PM).

Friday's meeting will be the third time that both teams have clashed competitively this season.

The two previous meetings, including a Challenge Cup 4th round clash, took place at Headingley.

Despite the clashes being close affairs the Rhinos ran out winners on both occasions and Harris is hoping to end the Leeds hoodoo in Wrexham on Friday.

"We've played them a couple of times this season and during both occasions at Headingley we've been in a position to get something out of those games," Harris said.

"For whatever reason we couldn't kick on and we need to make sure we do all the little things right and do them consistently to make sure we are within with a shout.

"Leeds are a quality side. When you've got players like Burrow and Maguire, Sinfield, Peacock and Senior you know that they are going to cause you problems. We just need to make sure that we keep things tight as a group, our defence is clinical and we take the chances that come our way.

"I think the players can take confidence from knowing that they can match this side. I think there are very few teams this season that we haven't matched. Warrington is probably the one side who we didn't match physically and perhaps Wigan at home as well.

"Outside of those two teams we've been in pretty much every game and we've had opportunities to put teams to bed. Leeds are in that bracket, they've played very well against us but we have matched them in both games. We'll be looking to do that this week but hopefully come away with the two points this time."

Crusaders will be determined to get back to winning games following last weekend's 31-18 loss against Catalan Dragons.

Super League's only Welsh club battled back to within six points of the Dragons before a couple of errors at crucial times put paid to any hopes of a victory.

And Harris has demanded that his side cut out the silly mistakes if they are to secure the two points in Wrexham.

He said: "I thought we were well in the mix for the whole game against Catalan. We had a good spell in the second half but they scored two quickfire tries off our mistakes.

"We coped well with their attacking threats and we matched them physically but a lack of confidence probably hindered us from kicking on and winning the game.

"Hopefully we can get the bounce the ball here and there and build a bit of momentum. Catalan are a tough side to beat but it was another game that got away from us.

"What's frustrating is that little errors are costing us week in, week out. Against Catalan we didn't retain the kick-off when we were within six points of them and that is a momentum killer. They went to score on the next set of six.

"From that error we were 12 points down and ultimately that was the game. We keep getting ourselves into good positions during games but just don't kick on with things. I think there is a lack of belief within the group at the moment.

"We've not been miles off in a lot of our games this year. If we played a bit smarter then some of those games could have swung are way but unfortunately that has not happened for us so far.

"We just need to keep working hard - that is the only way we are going to get ourselves out of this rut. The boys are rolling their sleeves up and there are good signs that they are trying to improve their position. I'm confident we can turn that effort into points and finish as high up in the table as we can."


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