Date: Saturday 18th April
Venue: Spotland Stadium, Rochdale
After disappointing opening day defeats both these sides bounced back last time out, who will make it two from three in Lancashire?
Last Time Out
The Hornets were made to fight hard for their 38-18 victory in Cheltenham.
Trailing 10-6 after fifteen minutes, the Hornets had to dig deep to pick up the victory with five tries in the last twenty minutes to pull clear of the All Golds and go home with the two points.
Barrow stunned League One with a comprehensive 50-12 victory over highly fancied Swinton Lions at Craven Park.
After a close first half the Raiders only lead by four points but they took advantage of a tired Swinton outfit to blitz them in the second half with six unanswered tries which saw hooker Nathan Mossop and Dan Toal grab a brace each.
The Hornets come into this one with Leigh loanee Richard Beaumont who is set to miss out through a hamstring injury. Wayne English could come back into contention for Ian Talbot’s side after his return from the treatment room.
Paul Crarey saw four players return from injury in the Swinton Lions game and with no fresh injury concerns could go with the same side at Spotland.
Barrow’s front row is ferocious to say the least with Joe Bullock and Danny Jones charging through to pave the way for hooker Nathan Mossop. The Hornets will have Warren Thompson, one of the star performers of two years ago, and Paul Crook joined by most probably Matty Hadden, the hard hitting Irish international.
What The Coaches Say
Rochdale Hornets Head Coach Ian Talbot: “We went down to Gloucester last week and put in a much-improved performance. We’re going in the right direction but we need to improve a little bit more to compete against teams like Barrow.
“Barrow are in a similar position to us having been relegated and are one of the favourites to be competing to go up again, so we know it’s going to be a real tough game. The coach has come in and done a real good job and got a little bit of local pride back into the club; they’re playing well at the minute.”
Barrow Raiders Head Coach Paul Crarey: “We got them on the back of playing three games in a week. We were very disappointed with the Newcastle game so we went back to basics. We competed really hard, played really well and scored some great tries.
“Hopefully we can take that into the Rochdale game, which will be tough. I’ve watched them twice, against Gloucestershire where they played really well and came from behind to win, and against Oldham, which was a pretty brutal affair, so they can play tough as well.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge. What we’ve got to do is look after ourselves, complete high and still play some football and hopefully get the result. But it will be really really tough. They’ve raised the bar in this division so a win on the road is going to be tough; hopefully we can go there and compete and maybe sneak a win.”
Barrow traditionally don’t travel well, however, confidence will be sky high after the victory at Swinton last time out and I fancy the Raiders to just nick this one. – Barrow by 6.