Noble hails magical Crusaders

Coach delighted after Crusaders beat his former side

Last updated: 2nd May 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Noble hails magical Crusaders

Noble: Delighted

He got off the plane at 10 o'clock yesterday but it seems like he's been part of the team all season. He can play. He's got the X-factor

Brian Noble on Jarrod Sammut
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Crusaders coach Brian Noble hailed his side after the Welsh outfit shocked Bradford in the opening match of the Engage Super League Magic Weekend.

The Wrexham-based side won 19-0 at Murrayfield thanks to a 15 point haul from Michael Witt, as well as a late try from new signing Jarrod Sammut.

The victory ended in-form Bradford's six-match unbeaten run in all competitions and former Bulls boss Noble was delighted with the way his side bounced back from their 38-10 hammering by Huddersfield last time.

He said: "I'm pleased we responded after last week when we had a lot of players not play to their potential.

"Bradford have been in such good form, I knew we would have to be good to beat them and I thought we were very good."

Noble also hailed former Penrith Panthers utility back Sammut, whose first taste of Super League ended a six-month lay-off due to ankle surgery and came despite the effects of jet lag.

Plane

"He got off the plane at 10 o'clock yesterday but it seems like he's been part of the team all season," said Noble. "He can play. He's got the X-factor."

Noble also praised former Wales and British Lions winger Gareth Thomas, who caught the eye with a series of dangerous runs.

"He looked every part a rugby league player," said Noble. "He's just five games into rugby league career, what a transition!

"Sometimes it takes 12 or 18 months but it shows his rugby acumen and reinforces the fact all our clubs should look at rugby union."

Thomas, who is contracted to the end of the season, was delighted after Bradford were 'nilled' for the first time in four years.

Weird sensation

He said: "It was a weird sensation because I was here a couple of months ago with the Cardiff Blues and I changed in the same place.

"It was a strange old feeling but I'm loving every minute of being part of this team and I'm loving every minute of playing this game.

"It's testament to the boys how far we've come in the last couple of weeks that we kept a Bradford team that's performing pretty well to zero points.

"I think defensively, we've to tap ourselves on the back."

Bulls coach Steve McNamara, who succeeded Noble in the Odsal hot seat, admitted his side had been outplayed.

"Everything went wrong," he said. "I thought Crusaders beat us in every department. It was a real non-performance from us. All across the park we were second best.

"We looked very down and low on energy. We did some very un-Bradford like things like not covering each other. The majority of the 17 players under-performed by quite a long way."