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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Holt frustrated in bid to get Barrow Raiders extra game time

BARROW Raiders’ chances of arranging a third and final pre-season game for this weekend are slim at best.

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MATCH PRACTICE: Barrow Raiders in action in their first pre-season friendly of the season against Keighley earlier this month HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50042979B003

The club were left looking for opponents after their scheduled game against Whitehaven was postponed due to a frozen pitch at Craven Park on Sunday.

That leaves coach Darren Holt’s side with only two fixtures under their belts in preparation for the Championship campaign, which starts with a trip to Hunslet Hawks next weekend.

There had been hope opponents could be found at short notice, but Holt accepts that is now unlikely to be the case.

“We’ve tried to arrange a game, but with the weather dipping again to freezing, it’s looking unlikely the pitch would be playable anyway,” he said.

“Also, most other teams have games organised for this weekend.

“It’s not looking good. We are trying, but as of yet nothing has been confirmed.”

Barrow have so far played both Keighley Cougars and a BARLA Great Britain amateurs side at Craven Park, losing the first game 23-20 and winning the second 22-20.

Holt used those matches to take a look at the majority of the players in his 27-strong squad, but had been hoping to give them a final once-over before picking his first competitive team of the season.

He is now left to try and lessen the impact of the missing fixture in training, and said: “You can try and make up for it in training, but there is nothing like actually being on the pitch and having that game time. You can’t really simulate it.

“We will do the best we can if we can’t get a game – we will just have to make do.

“We’ve had two games under our belts. Ideally, we would like a third one, but if we can’t, then we can’t.”

He added: “That’s why another game would have been very helpful to us – to have a final look against someone who we are going to be up against in our division.

“We played Keighley and did very well against them for a first run-out, I thought. It would have been nice to see us up against another team at our level and have a further look at players, but it is what it is. People have made a claim in the first two games and other people will have things to work on.

“We will just have to take into account the two games we have played and when it comes to our first team selection, make decisions accordingly.”

l Barrow Raiders are running supporters’ coaches to first game of the Championship season at Hunslet on Sunday, February 3.

Coaches will leave Walney Promenade at 10am and seats cost £14, adults, and £12 for children aged 14 and under.

Contact the Rugby Shop, Scott Street, to book a place, or call 01229 820273.

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