Big guns back for derby clash
BARROW Raiders are priming themselves for a colossal Cumbrian Clash when they lock horns with Whitehaven at Craven Park this Sunday (kick-off 2pm).
While Barrow drew 22-22 with Championship team Oldham last week, Whitehaven were on the wrong side of a 42-0 hammering by Keighley Cougars.
Raiders coach Paul Crarey is anticipating a reaction Whitehaven – like Barrow – tipped for a top four place, and he will have prepared his team well for the third pre-season friendly.
Big guns Oliver Wilkes, Nathan Mossop, Dan Toal, Ryan Fieldhouse and Martin Aspinwall return for the game in which both sides will be looking to fine tune their squad ahead of the start of the League One season.
“I think it will be a good test, it will be very, very physical,” said Crarey ahead of the game. “They will want a reaction following the heavy defeat at Keighley.”
Haven coach Carl Forster, who watched his side’s embarrassing defeat against the Cougars, is set to play.
“Whitehaven are probably looking at it as a must win game after being defeated by Keighley,” added Crarey. “They will want a big reaction. I think it will be a great game.
“It won’t have any bearing on were we all finish in the league but I just think it will be a good, physical contest and some markers will be put down. There should be some good match ups.
“We will both want to win because it is a local derby. I know pre-season friendlies are about finding your team, but it’s a game I definitely want to win and so will they because of last week’s performance.
“We want a good performance against a team that’s ranked to be up there, a supposedly a top three or four side the same as ourselves, and it will be a good Cumbrian derby.
“We let in some soft tries last week against Oldham and we want to shore ourselves up in that department, but our attack was pretty good, we scored some great tries.”
Furness Raiders academy team suffered a narrow 22-18 defeat at Hopwood Hall in the National College League on Wednesday.