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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Holt wants home rule from Barrow Raiders

THE Craven Park effect will be more important than ever for Barrow Raiders and boss Darren Holt next season.

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FORTRESS: Raiders coach Darren Holt

Barrow were the only side in professional rugby league to go unbeaten on their own turf for the whole of 2012.

That record was key as Raiders gained promotion to the Championship and reached the Championship One Grand Final, claiming the scalps of all three fellow promoted sides – Doncaster, Workington and Whitehaven – at home.

They also saw off Championship team Swinton Lions in the Northern Rail Cup and go up a level with Holt knowing a similar effort will be essential if they are to compete in a new division.

“I look at Barrow here at home and I still think we are very, very difficult to beat on our own patch, no matter who we are playing against,” said the Raiders boss.

“It really has to be our focus on our home games, with the attitude that it’s our ground and if you want to come here, you have got to perform very well to take the points from us, rather than us just giving teams points.”

Barrow’s first home game is against one of the sides who fell at Craven Park this year, Championship One Grand Final winners Doncaster.

That follows a season-opener on the road at Hunslet Hawks, with Holt aware the side will have to give 100 per cent in every away match if they are to claim any reward.

He added: “It will be vice-versa when we go on away games – we really will have to have big efforts and try and sneak the points, to get as many points away from home as we possibly can.

“It’s all going back to there being no easy games at all.

“Every week you are going to have to be on your mettle and playing to a standard, because there is one thing for sure, nobody is going to give you any points in this league.”

Asked about the 100 per cent home record in 2012, Holt said: “I would be very happy – in fact, I wouldn’t just be happy, I would be amazed – if come the end of the 2013 season, the record remains the same.”

l Sheffield Eagles have confirmed their home tie against Barrow Raiders on Sunday, April 14, will be played at Bramall Lane.

It will be the first time Barrow have played at the home of Sheffield United, having travelled to the Don Valley Stadium for the previous encounters between the two teams.

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