Sheffield Eagles

Raiders vs Eagles preview

8th February 2019, 19:55

Raiders vs Eagles preview

Sheffield Eagles get their away campaign underway on Sunday when Mark Aston's side travel to the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium to take on Barrow Raiders.

The Eagles got off to a perfect start last weekend with a 64-10 hammering over Swinton Lions at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Ten new faces featured for the South Yorkshire club, with four of those scoring debut tries.

Experienced half-back Anthony Thackeray starred with a Man of the Match, four-try, performance as the former Featherstone playmaker put his stamp on the new-look squad.

This Sunday's hosts also got started with a mark in the win column.

Barrow travelled to Batley Bulldogs and came from behind to run out 18-22 winners at the Fox's Biscuits Stadium.

The Cumbrians' tries were scored by forward Jono Smith, half-back Lewis Charnock while Jake Spedding - who featured for Sheffield on dual-registration last season - notched a crucial brace.

It was a significant win for the Raiders considering their away woes in 2018 as well as the fact they hadn't won at Batley in 18 years.

Many have tipped Paul Crarey's side to build on last season as they secured their Championship status easily on the back of a strong home campaign

Barrow's impressive off-season recruitment included the likes of Papua New Guinea trio Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara and Willie Minoga.

Coach Crarey also captured Hull Kingston Rovers duo Josh Johnson and Jordan Walne as well as the experienced Gareth Hock.

The aforementioned Spedding arrived from Super League giants St Helens.

It's sure to be a close and entertaining encounter between the Raiders and Eagles, who are certainly familar with each other after meeting five times last year.

Barrow shaded the head-to-head three wins to two but one of the main highlights of last year for Sheffield came against Crarey's side as the Eagles triumphed 38-22 at the Summer Bash.

On Sunday's game, Eagles' Director of Rugby Mark Aston commented: "They've got a fair team, "It's going to be a tough one, they're always tough at their place, they're big and strong."

Barrow boss Crarey added: "It'll be a bit of a chess game and it will be the smarter side who'll come out on top."

Eagles 19-man squad: 

By Lewis Coleman