Mellars predicts emotional farewell
New Zealander Vince Mellars expects emotions to be running high at the Racecourse Ground tomorrow when Crusaders RL play their final home game in Engage Super League.
The Welsh club have just three matches left following the decision of the owners to withdraw their Super League licence application for 2012 and tomorrow’s visit of Hull FC will be the last in front of their own fans.
“It will be emotional - for the guys that are playing, not playing, people who have been involved with the club since the start and off-field staff as well,” said Mellars, who has been snapped up by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats for 2012.
“Everyone will want to go out with a bang. The experiences I have had with the supporters have been second to none. I’ve never come across such a passionate bunch of fans before.
“They are really like a second family to us. They make a real effort to show up and it shows what this means to Wrexham and North Wales.
“We’ve also got a lot of fans who travel up from South Wales too so it is important that we put on a show for them this Sunday.
“Whatever happens to this club, I hope they still follow rugby league and get involved at a grassroots level. This is an awesome sport and there is a real appetite for the game here.
“We are like brothers here and that has showed in our recent performances. We’ve played for each other and I have enjoyed playing with this bunch of boys.
“This Sunday will be bittersweet but we want to go out on a high - for the fans and for ourselves.”
While 13th-placed Crusaders be aiming to ensure they do now bow out with the wooden spoon, Hull need the points to solidify a top-eight spot.
They are just a point ahead of arch rivals Hull KR, who have a testing home game against St Helens tomorrow.
Rovers have lost twice to Saints already this year, in both Super League and the Carnegie Challenge Cup, but have won this fixture for the last three years and coach Justin Morgan says his side will take confidence from last week’s 34-8 win at Bradford Bulls.
“I think it’s important to give them plenty of respect but I think we’ve got to be careful not to be too cautious or too respectful,” he said.
“We have to ensure we go out confident and, based on the way we played in the second half against Bradford, we should be confident.
“We’ve got a pretty good record against Saints at home so I’m feeling confident we can get the result.”
St Helens, who will be without injured England prop James Graham for only the second time this year, are aiming to consolidate third place with a sixth consecutive Super League win but coach Royce Simmons is warning his side to expect a battle.
“Hull KR have to win to keep their season alive so will be throwing everything at us,” he said.