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Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Tuesday, 3 August 2010 07:57 UK

Harlequins game crucial - Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris

Venue: The Gnoll, Neath Date: Friday, 06 August Kick-off: 1800 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live & the BBC Sport website; highlights on the Super League Show

Iestyn Harris
Iestyn Harris played rugby league and union for Wales

Iestyn Harris says the Crusaders must beat Super League strugglers Harlequins on Friday to boost their play-off bid.

Assistant coach Harris saw the Welsh side thrash Salford 60-16 on Sunday and after Harlequins, they face three top-seven sides.

"It probably makes this week's game extremely crucial," he said. "Winning would take a little bit of pressure off going into the last three games.

"It probably means you don't have to win all three."

Harris says that Gareth Thomas is unlikely to be over his groin injury in time for the Harlequins game.

Crusaders follow the clash against Quins with games against St Helens, who are lying third, Hull FC, in fourth, and Hull KR, seventh - the latter with a seven-point advantage over the Crusaders.

"Certainly those last three games are going to be extremely difficult - St Helens, Hull and finishing at Hull KR," said Harris.

You've got to be positive. We're improving week on week, which is the most important thing

Iestyn Harris

"Three very difficult sides are above us in the table."

However, Harris is confident they can make the eight-strong play-offs having won 10 of their 24 games thus far to be ninth, equal on 20 points with Castleford and with a game in hand.

He said: "You've got to be positive. We're improving week on week, which is the most important thing.

"We probably had too much fluctuation in our performances earlier on in the year, we'd have a good one then a couple of poor ones.

"Gradually over the last six or seven weeks we've been improving on some small things and seem to be getting better as a side.

"Hopefully we'll be a bit more consistent in the back end of the year than we were in the middle.

"So if we can carry on with that consistency then we've got a fighting chance.


"But we've got some good teams coming up that we've got to play against and realistically with four games left we need to at least win two if not three of the four to get into the top eight.

"So it's a big job ahead, but certainly feasible from our side.

"We are going to have to be at our best and consistency is the key," said Harris.

"If we can keep that consistency through to the end of the year, then I genuinely do think we will be in the top eight."

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see also
Crusaders 60-16 Salford
01 Aug 10 |  My Club
Thomas makes Wales league squad
03 Aug 10 |  Crusaders
Crusaders bank on Noble's future
01 Aug 10 |  My Club
Salford 22-31 Leeds
25 Jul 10 |  My Club
Harlequins RL 50-22 Crusaders
06 Jun 10 |  My Club
Crusaders 30-24 Castleford
25 Jul 10 |  My Club
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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