Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles
Sunday 18th March 2018, 15:00pm
Challenge Cup - Round: 4
Stats over last 8 encounters
Next up on The Eagle Eye are Championship newbies Barrow Raiders, who were promoted to the second tier with Canadian powerhouses Toronto Wolfpack.
They have had to wait a few years but the Raiders are back in the Championship. Paul Crarey’s men booked their place in the second tier with a 10-6 playoff final victory over fellow Cumbrian side Whitehaven at a packed Craven Park. Scottish international Shane Toal was the hero of the hour as he scored the most important brace of his life for the hosts.
The Raiders have prepared for life against tough opposition on a weekly basis and they now know the challenge that is in front of them. Their 2017 squad showed their worth in a promotion push last year, with prop forward Joe Bullock and half-back Jamie Dallimore starring.
To go alongside their promotion from the third division, Barrow also grabbed silverware in Blackpool thanks to a League 1 Cup triumph against North Wales Crusaders. Coming into the Championship after a highly successful 12 months, it’s fair to assume Barrow will have been buzzing with confidence before a ball has even been passed.
Despite a wobble against Rochdale Hornets last time out, it has been a rather successful start to the Betfred Championship season for the Raiders. Holding Toronto to a draw before beating Leigh Centurions certainly points towards a stable season for the Raiders.
However, they won’t be wanting to take their eye off the ball and that includes in the Challenge Cup this weekend. Barrow will be weakened by the loss of Jamie Dallimore due to a ban and Jarrad Stack may join him after a red card in the Cumbrians' defeat against Rochdale Hornets.
Last five results against Barrow
- Barrow Raiders 10-40 Sheffield Eagles – 20th July 2014
- Sheffield Eagles 18-24 Barrow Raiders – 2nd March 2014
- Barrow Raiders 18-20 Sheffield Eagles – 2nd June 2013
- Sheffield Eagles 64-10 Barrow Raiders – 19th May 2013
- Sheffield Eagles 44-18 Barrow Raiders – 14th April 2013
Upcoming fixtures against Barrow..
- Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles at Craven Park – Sunday 18th March 2018
- Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles at Craven Park – Sunday 25th March 2018
- Barrow Raiders v Sheffield Eagles at Bloomfield Road – Saturday 26th May 2018
- Sheffield Eagles v Barrow Raiders at the Olympic Legacy Park – Sunday 22nd July 2018
The Raiders strengthened their squad in the off-season with four new signings. Glenn Riley joined the Cumbrians from Whitehaven and the former Warrington front-rower has had experience of the Championship after stints at Swinton Lions and London Broncos. Jono Smith signed for the Raiders from Rochdale Hornets. The back-row forward, who played Championship rugby for North Wales before he moved to the Hornets, is a powerful customer and an astute signing. Crarey has also acquired two overseas players in the shape of Alec Susino and Dean Parata. The Italian duo bolster the Raiders pack, with Susino having a “big offloading game” according to his new coach while Parata is a hooker. Riley, Smith and Susino will have the job of replacing departures Brad Brennan, Oliver Wilkes and Andrew Dawson.
Dean Parata – Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Glenn Riley – Whitehaven
Jono Smith – Rochdale Hornets
Alec Susino – Mount Pritchard Mounties
None of the current Barrow crop have ever played for the Eagles. Oliver Wilkes, who signed for Workington from the Raiders in the off-season, had a stint at Sheffield in 1998/99.
By Dan Fowler