FOLLOWING an impressive display against Keighley Cougars, North Wales Crusaders’ Simon Atherton is looking forward to Sunday’s Betfred League One clash away to Workington Town.
Atherton scored three tries, leading the Crusaders to comeback from 24-6 down at half-time to claim a 28-24 victory over the Cougars.
Speaking about the game, Atherton said: “It was a game of two halves, and definitely the same for myself to be honest.
“We all realised that we needed to step-up our efforts in the second-half or the game would go away from us.
“We definitely did that, and I was lucky enough to get on the back end of some good work from the other lads.”
Atherton added: “The result will do us a world of good, especially going into a tough fixture away to Workington this weekend.
“We know now that we can perform to that level, the difficult task is maintaining performances like that week in week out.”
After arriving at the club under Anthony Murray, Atherton is now one of the more experienced players in Mike Grady’s side. Speaking about this years squad, Atherton said: “All the new lads that have come in have settled in really well and have worked hard both in pre-season and to the first two games.
“I think that we’ve improved in quality and numbers from last season.
“At times last year we struggled with injuries and found it difficult on occasions to field a fully fit team.
“Hopefully that won’t be the case this year, and there’s a lot of competition for places so lads are having to step up their performances.
“Our target is the top eight, but we will take each game as it comes.
“Every team in this league offers something different, so we can’t be too forward thinking in our preparations.
“I’m confident that with the squad we have we can challenge more consistently this year and finish in a good position in the table.”
Speaking about his personal aims for the season, he added: “I don’t ever set aims for myself with regards to the full season.
“I just try and help the team as much as I can, and hopefully that contributes to us putting a good performance in.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s trip to Cumbria, Atherton said: “Workington have a strong team with a lot of experienced players so I’m not expecting them to make many mistakes both in attack and in defence.
“So we will need to be on our top game again and put in a solid performance for the full 80 minutes.
“If we do that there’s no reason why we can’t come away with two points and get our league campaign properly on track.”