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Holty: ‘Barrow Raiders were like rabbits in the headlights’ in Hunslet defeat

BARROW Raiders boss Darren Holt was left bemoaning a side caught in the headlights as they crashed to defeat on the opening day of the Championship season.

The promoted Craven Park outfit were soundly beaten 42-12 by Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium as all thoughts of 2012’s successful campaign were quickly banished.

Only a four-minute spell when Kurt Haggerty and Adam Clay crossed the line stopped Barrow suffering a whitewash as they were given a hard lesson on life in a higher division.

“I guess that’s what you call a learning curve,” said Holt after his side conceded eight tries – including a brace for Leeds Rhinos dual-reg man Jimmy Keinhorst – to the team that finished second-bottom in the division last year.

“I didn’t see it coming. The way that we’ve gone in pre-season training, I did not see that performance coming.

“I’m going to have to take a little bit of time to reflect and look at the DVD, but my gut feeling is that we were like a rabbit in headlights.

“Five minutes into the game, when we realised we were playing Championship rugby, that these guys run a bit harder, the lads just folded away.

“The one thing that I ask from the boys in any game when they go out on the field, is a bit of pride, a bit of passion and a bit of heart.

“I might be overstepping the mark, because I haven’t reviewed the game yet, but it just wasn’t there and after 15 minutes there was only ever going to be one result and it was damage limitation.

“It pains me to say it, and I don’t like saying it, because we are a close-knit team, but there was just no fight.”

Barrow were behind in the fifth minute when Danny Grimshaw scored the first of his two tries of the afternoon and the home side never looked back.

Tommy Haughey, Steve Lewis, Luke Helliwell and David Clayton also crossed the whitewash as the Barrow defence failed to cope with the threat the Hawks posed.

Despite the scoreline, Holt did not put the result down to the step up in a division from Championship One.

Instead, he felt the performance would have yielded similar rewards at any level and he added: “I’ve still got this this thing in my mind that if we had played like that last year in Championship One, we’d have got beaten by 30 points.

“It’s not so much a learning curve for me as for the boys. This week in training, when they are gearing up for the next game, they have to sit there and think ‘right, we can’t just be slow out of the blocks, we can’t not be up for the game, because this is what will happen to us’.

“If they do that next week at home, it’s going to sting a whole lot more.

“The step up isn’t as big as everybody makes out, but it looks that way if you put a performance like that in.”

Holt also lost Lee Haney to suspected knee ligament damage and the only positives he could draw were the performances of Haggerty and half-back Sean Casey – whose kicking and defence impressed on his competitive debut.

“Kurt again was everywhere and Sean, in a beaten team all over the pitch, defended really well,” the Barrow boss said.

“What I’ve seen from them two players, that really impressed me, was the effort and desire.

“They are probably the only two people talking on the park and if you look across the rest of the pitch, we were like rabbits in headlights.

“But we’re a young team and that’s going to happen, but what I will say is that it has to be a quick learning curve for these boys, because we will be halfway through the season before you know it.

“I didn’t foresee this coming against Hunslet, but all we can do now is get back to drawing board and put a performance in next week that makes amends for this.”

Have your say

Spot on Neil

Posted by Ron Banks on 5 February 2013 at 13:55

We cannot say too much after one game. Look at the football three weeks ago who would have thought they would have won another game. The coach is Ok the team is Ok I have aways said that you do need out of town players especially in this division. Unfortunally our best young prospects are taken away at an early age. We have the talent in Cumbria just need the money to keep it. Lets give this team the support it needs for a few games before we slag them off. Good look Barrow RLFC and also to Barrow AFC.

Posted by neil on 5 February 2013 at 11:52

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