Barrow Raiders ready to give Toronto Wolfpack a warm reception

IF there is one thing the Barrow Raiders squad can promise it is hard graft, commitment and the willingness to support each other.

Coach Paul Crarey will be looking for all three from his players who go into round two of the Betfred Championship against promotion hopefuls Toronto Wolfpack at the JF Hornby Stadium this Sunday (3pm).

Despite seemingly overwhelming odds against a side containing ex-Super League and NRL players, Crarey is looking forward to seeing how is side look to contain last season’s League One title winners and recent 34-12 victors over Leigh Centurions.

He pointed out the exploits of York City Knights, who defeated Toronto last season and also Keighley Cougars, who shared the points.

Barrow however, expect to be missing least two players from last week’s opening encounter at London Broncos with both Lewis Charnock and Andy Litherland ruled out with injury.

Despite the setback, Crarey was looking forward to the Toronto clash and said: “We have got to be a little bit smart, we have got to be smarter than we were in London, have high completion rates, loads of support and a great kicking game, and hopefully play off the back of that.

They beat us twice last year but we never played them at home. Hopefully the weather will be a leveller, so it’s about skills from both teams, processes and sticking with them. Whoever makes the most mistakes will probably lose the match, so hopefully it won’t be us.

Defensively we have got to be good, they have got a brutal defence, very aggressive and we have got to match that. They are a well coached side and if you are not on your game in any area they will find a weakness and exploit it. The players have got to prepare mentally for the game and get ready for it and take something positive out of each game we play.

Everybody reacts differently under pressure so we just want to find a weakness. York beat them last year and Keighley drew with them so it’s not beyond anybody, especially at this stage of the season and they will have had a tough game last week both mentally and physically, there will have been a lot of passion in that game, and so it is very difficult to back that up two weeks running.”

He added: “It is the first game home in the Championship we are expecting a big crowd against a high quality team. It is great for our fans to see these stars of the game rock up and play.

Barrow, who lost 56-12 in the capital, face another tough game on February 17 when Leigh come to town

Crarey said: “The first month for us is about finding our feet, getting used to the speed of the game and trying to fix ourselves up.

We haven’t shown all our cards yet, we are in the process of finding our feet so we will get better each game, cut out the silly mistakes get into the grind and then try and put a little bit of pressure on them rather than them putting us under pressure.”

Entrance is £15 adults, £10 concession and £5 children.

Get to the ground early, have a pre-match chat, and enjoy a drink or something to eat from one of the Raiders outlets.

See you on Sunday and enjoy the game.

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