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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Barrow Raiders under no illusions after Doncaster defeat

A SECOND defeat in two games saw Barrow Raiders slip to the bottom of the fledgling Championship table at Craven Park.

In a game returning hooker Nathan Mossop described as ‘a real dogfight’, Barrow were beaten 14-4 by Doncaster – ending their 19-month unbeaten home run.

On a day when torrential rain and a mudbath of a pitch made rugby difficult, the home side were undone by three second-half tries from the visitors, after leading 4-0 at half-time through Dan Toal’s lone Raiders score.

“It was a real dogfight and we knew before the start of the game that it would be, with the conditions,” said Mossop, playing his first game since August after a knee injury.

“It was a bit of a poor pitch and it was mainly played up the middle, but I think both teams gave it plenty of effort and Doncaster just maybe outsmarted us a little. They got to the end with the kick, they didn’t force the ball and they were just that little bit smarter – that’s why they came out with the win.

“I think both sides had plenty of grit and determination, but maybe sometimes we were just a little bit impatient with our decision-making.

“Rather than getting to the end of the set, we tried to force the pass and it didn’t come off and we paid for that in the end as Doncaster punished us with a couple of late tries.”

Barrow had a second-half Toal try disallowed for offside, but saw the Dons cross through James Clare, Bobbie Goulding Junior and Lee Waterman.

The latter two tries both brought howls of derision from the terraces after debated calls from referee Gareth Hewer, but Raiders were unable to cross the line again themselves.

The loss follows the 42-12 opening-day defeat at Hunslet and Mossop said no-one in the Barrow camp was kidding themselves as to the size of the task in front of them.

“We are under no illusions that this year is going to be really tough for us.

“Every game, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the simple things right and try to roll on,” said the 24-year-old Millomite, who last took to the field in the colours of South Wales Scorpions.

“If we can do that, then I’m sure we’ll put things right and if we can correct those little mistakes, then we’ll be okay.”

Coach Darren Holt backed up Mossop’s views on mistakes costing Barrow their chance at victory.

He praised the hooker himself, saying: “I thought Nathan was the difference in the first half, when the pitch wasn’t so bad.

“I thought he took us forward very well, his defence, his line speed and his fitness was there for everyone to see and I think he was a big plus for us.”

But Holt, who will find out tomorrow if knocks to the knee and shin picked up by captain Liam Harrison are serious enough to rule him out of action, added of the overall team display: “The players have all walked into the changing room and I couldn’t tell who was who – that’s an indication of the conditions and everything.

“I’m not making excuses. I said to the boys at half-time, whichever team makes the least mistakes, whichever team completes their sets and turns the other team around, will win the game.

“Unfortunately for us, as it panned out in the second half, impatience got the better of us and we had to try to force the ball.

“They had the breaks – I won’t call them lucky breaks, but they did have the breaks – in the second half and they scored two tries off the back of them.

“They completed the best, they stuck to their game plan and they got the win.

“We said at the start of the year that whereas you got away with it last year – you would make your mistakes and then the other team would make theirs – that doesn’t happen in this league. You make a mistake and the other team will capitalise on it.

“For 70 minutes of the game today, I thought we did it right, but the 10 minutes where we didn’t, where the boys just showed that bit of inexperience and impatience, we made the wrong decisions and they ended up scoring two tries off the back of that.”

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