CRUSADERS head coach Anthony Murray has welcomed the return of 'the 18th man' as fans get behind the side at new home Eirias Stadium this weekend.

After a 497-day wait, North Wales Crusaders will play in front of supporters for the first time at the 5,500-seat Stadiwm ZipWorld in Colwyn Bay after their move in April.

Murray took plenty of positives from the European third tier side's narrow 38-28 defeat at Rochdale Hornets last weekend and is hoping to build on that against Keighley Cougars on Sunday.

“We played well and matched them, but we just need to be a bit more clinical on those last tackle plays," he said. “We didn’t always end our sets well enough, gave away some seven-tackle restarts and they punished us.

“When we get into those good positions, we need to finish better, be a bit more clinical and build pressure on the opposition’s line.

“There wasn’t a lot in the game at all and we had two tries disallowed.

“We’ve come up with some positive responses lately against Coventry and West Wales and we need to do the same on Sunday.

“We need to keep in those high margins of completion that we’ve been in over the last couple of weeks as we’ll be compete with any team in this division."

The Wrexham club confirmed in April that it will play its home matches at Stadiwm ZipWorld following concerns over Covid-19 restrictions at its former ground Queensway Stadium.

Crusaders signed a deal with Conwy County Borough Council to play at the Stadiwm ZipWorld in 2021. They had moved to the Queensway Stadium permanently since 2017 after leaving the Racecourse Stadium due to costs.

Murray added: “Our fans are our 18th man and it’d be great to see a decent crowd watching us.

“It’ll be tough against Keighley as they’ve signed a host of experienced players and started the season well, but our fans always give us that extra push.”