Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris calls for more control

Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris
Iestyn Harris has struggled in his first year as coach with Crusaders

Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris says his players need to show more composure in the closing stages to end the recent trend of wasting winning positions.

The Wrexham-based Super League side conceded a late try on Friday to lose to Salford, a week after slipping two tries at the death in defeat to Leeds.

Harris, without a win in five games, said: "The last plays are immensely important.

"For the last 20 minutes of the game we gave some cheap possession away."

Those two defeats mean Crusaders, who began the season with a four-point deduction for going into administration, stay rooted to the foot of the table on four points, having accumulated four victories from 19 games.

Harris' side led 18-16 with two minutes to go against Salford, but Adam Sidlow's try at the Racecourse Ground meant they slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat.

"We just kept giving them more opportunities to stay in the game," added Harris, who took over from Brian Noble before the start of the season.

"But it's important that we learn from that and next time we're in a position where we're two or three points up with 10 minutes to go that we do strangle these teams out."

And former dual-code Wales international Harris believes his side will begin to turn narrow defeats into victories if they maintain their belief and desire for the remaining eight games of the season.

"I thought we more or less did everything we needed to get the result, but unfortunately it was a case of déjà vu from last week with us losing in the last minute again," he said.

"But we've just got make sure that we don't lose our focus and that we keep trying to improve and don't get frustrated.

"These results are going to start to come at some stage and we've just got to keep working at them.

"Hopefully they'll come early enough before the end of the year so we can get off the bottom of the pile."