Thursday, 3 September 2015

Saturday's Coming - Barrow

And so we come to the last league away trip of the season.

Having admitted that they’re already building for a promotion push next year, Barrow have all-but conceded their 2015 challenge. Assistant coach Dave Kendall has stated that the raiders are deep in talks with ‘four championship players’ that the club needs “… to hopefully win the league next year.”

With that in mind, Hornets travel to Craven Park on Saturday (6.30 KO - thanks Barrow), with our own playoff hopes now in the hands of North Wales. Craven Park has, over the years, been a graveyard for Hornets ambitions (the Bobbie Goulding circus two years ago a distinct low), but with two wins required - plus a cock-up by the Crusaders - to get Hornets a ticket in the promotion raffle, this becomes the archetypal ‘must win game’.

Over the last seven meetings, victory has come with home advantage - and the games have been high-scoring affairs yielding 53 tries and 42 goals! The last seven results are:

18th April 2015: Rochdale Hornets win 48-12 at Spotland
13th July 2014: Rochdale Hornets win 54-22 at Spotland
1st June 2014: Barrow Raiders win 38-18 at Craven Park
19th August 2012: Rochdale Hornets win 24-18 at Spotland
22nd April 2012: Barrow Raiders win 44-18 at Craven Park
27th July 2008: Rochdale Hornets win 38-6 at Spotland
16th May 2008: Barrow Raiders win 36-10 at Craven Park

So Hornets will have to break a bit of a historical hoodoo to come away with the points.

But Barrow come into the game on the back of some pretty ordinary form - having lost their last two games - one of them by a point at Keighley - and shipping 66 points in the previous three games against Oxford, Hemel and Coventry (34-22/44-22/44-22). So having a go does, it seems, yield points.

19-man quads named for the Barrow game are:
English, Paterson, Bloomfield, Crook, Yates, McClurg, W. Thompson, Case, Trumper, Tilley, D. Jones, Bridge, Hargreaves, Smith, Ratu, Dandy, Hull, Hadden, Fozard.

Barrow Raiders
Campbell, Crellin, Hankinson, Fleming, Pitman, Bate, Ward, Bullock, Mossop, Dolan, D. Toal, Briscoe, Hambley, Nicholson, Harrison, Tracey, Dawson, Marwood, Litherland

Hornets prop Danny Jones previously played for Barrow - so should be able to offer some insight. Indeed, we’d imagine they’d rather have him in their side than playing against them.

Sorry today’s preview’s a bit late and a bit of a rushed affair: we’ve been travelling with work - but we got there in the end. See you at Barrow, folks.

RFL Match Preview

Barrow coach Paul Crarey wants to use this game to measure his team's progress in 2015.
“I’m looking forward to the game to see how far we have come against a team that hammered us at the start of the year," he said.
"Our form has been good but we have just been edged out in terms of results. We need to concentrate and perform for 80 minutes to stand a chance of winning. We want to put on a show for our loyal fans.”
Hornets go into the game just outside the top five.
Coach Ian Talbot said: “It’s a massive one for us. We need to go and get a win if we are to have any intention of getting into that top five.
"Unfortunately it’s out of our hands. We hope that York do us a favour at Crusaders but we’ll keep fighting until the end.
“It’s never easy going up to Barrow. We beat them at our ground but it’s a totally different prospect going up to their place. I’ve never found it easy with any team I’ve taken up there, so it’s going to be tough."