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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Barrow Raiders boss Holt can’t wait for harder pitches

RAIDERS boss Darren Holt is praying for an end to the wet winter to get his team on the hard summer pitches.

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MUD BATH Max Wiper (left) and Raiders team-mate Liam Campbell in defensive action against Doncaster REF: 50044354B005

Craven Park was turned into a mudbath on Sunday as Barrow and Doncaster slogged it out for 80 grinding minutes.

The match was a second in a row played in wet conditions and a second defeat in two Championship outings.

While he knows those conditions will, more likely than not, be replicated in the upcoming games against Featherstone and Batley, Holt is hoping the dry, hard pitches arrive sooner rather than later to give his squad a chance to show what they can really do.

“I think – and it’s not much good in saying this at the moment – we are a hard-track team,” he said.

“Give us a hard track to go on and I think we will go okay.

“We dug deep, we are not a paddy field team, but we battled it out with them. Doncaster are a big, big team and I think we came out on top in that battle, we just didn’t make the right decisions at the right times.

“I would have been very, very confident on a dry track, on a good pitch, of getting the result against Doncaster, but every week isn’t a dry pitch and you have to get used to these things.

“A lot of these young lads haven’t been in a battle on a paddy field and their experiences are only going to improve off the back of it.”

Holt, though, knows a British winter and spring are unlikely to bring those hard pitches in the near future and that his team need to adapt to the conditions.

He added: “I’ve no doubt that for the next month, two months even, the pitches are going to be like this. You can’t use that as an excuse, it’s whichever team plays the conditions best on game day that will get the result.”

Barrow managed to match Doncaster up the middle of the park for much of Sunday’s 14-4 loss, showing a big improvement on their opening-day defeat at Hunlset, when they went down 42-12.

Their forwards, many in only their second game at Championship level, stuck to the task well and Holt believes just a little more composure and experience in key areas is crucial.

He said: “I think the lads in the pack did their jobs and I think they dominated Doncaster in the middle of the park.

“What they had off the back of it was Paul Cooke, a bit of experience, knowing what the game needed and just keeping us turned round.

“We’ve got two young half-backs there and, at times, rather than taking control, they will try something because we think we’ve got to score with every play.

“I’m not going overboard with that, I’m just saying that’s the experience, whereby they just want to take a step back.

“At the end of my career, that’s what I was in the team to do and that comes with experience.

“I keep saying this week-in, week-out – it’s a big learning curve in this league and we have to realise these things have to be done.”

Have your say

I think daz is done a great Job, I've always been a big fan of his he should put his boots back on and show them the way

Posted by Lee Richards on 14 February 2013 at 20:13

Well said Paul

Posted by C Park on 14 February 2013 at 20:12

View all 4 comments on this article

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