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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Kurt: Barrow Raiders will put it right against Dons

LINE-BUSTING forward Kurt Haggerty has promised there will be no repeat of the opening day calamity at Hunslet when Raiders host Doncaster on Sunday.

Barrow welcome the Dons to Craven Park looking to bounce back from the 42-12 loss at the South Leeds Stadium.

Haggerty accepts the side were ‘poor all over’ in their loss to the Hawks, but vowed much better on home turf against the side who defeated Raiders in the Championship One Grand Final last term.

“We were poor all over to be honest,” said the former Widnes Vikings Super League second-rower, one of few men to impress at Hunslet.

“We had prepared right all week, but I think it was just the first-game syndrome and we kind of underestimated what we were coming up against, so Hunslet gave us a bit of a lesson.

“We will definitely put it right this week.

“We can’t afford for the same thing to happen again – especially against the teams like Doncaster and the local sides, the Whitehavens and the Workingtons – these are the games we’ve got to win and get points from so we’re not fighting at the bottom of the table come the end of the season.

“We’ve got to be pushing teams like Hunslet as well, so we have learnt a lot from that game.

“It was definitely an eye-opener, especially for the lads who’ve not played at that level before and who played in Championship One last year.

“I think a few of them underestimated the step-up and that game was a real eye-opener for all of us.”

Haggerty scored one of Barrow’s two tries at Hunslet at the weekend – Adam Clay grabbed the other – but generally the team failed to live up to expectations.

One thing the ex-Leigh man believes will be key this weekend will be Barrow’s home advantage.

Doncaster were unable to use that factor themselves last weekend when they too suffered an opening-day loss – 22-16 against Dewsbury Rams – but Haggerty feels Raiders can combine the Hindpool crowd with small adjustments to their game to yield results.

“It’s the little things we can put right this weekend – line speed, our wrestling defence – we’ve just got to be smart near the line,” said the 24-year-old.

“We’re at home as well. That’s going to be key for our season, the home games.

“We’ve got to get as many points as we can at home – we’ve got to be aiming to win them all and that’s how we’ve got to see it.

“We’ve got to have that attitude that it is our fortress and that is what it has got to be.

“We know what we’re going to get from Doncaster. We spoke about Doncaster at training and we’re going to do some more video work, so we will know exactly what to expect.

“I think we’ve got a few things that we’re going to throw at them that they won’t be expecting, so it should be a good clash.

“When we trained on Tuesday night, everything that we did wrong in the game Darren (Holt), Acky (Phil Atkinson) and Deano (Dean Marwood) put right.

“The lads were buzzing again, the vibe was back up and we were all smiling – we could have played Doncaster on Tuesday night, we were that buzzing.

“We can’t dwell on what happened. It was an eye-opener for us, a lesson learned and we just can’t afford to have it happen again, or else it is going to be a very long season.”

l Kingstone Press Cider were yesterday unveiled as the new title sponsors for the Rugby League Championship and Championship One for the next two seasons.

RFL chief operating officer – and former Ulverston amateur – Ralph Rimmer said: “This exciting competition continues to grow in stature and with a new geographical footprint for 2013, it’s clear that it has become an even more attractive commercial proposition.

“Every year the Championships deliver some of the most enthralling and enjoyable action in British sport, with the competition’s Grand Finals day a true highlight in the rugby league calendar, and I am sure fans can expect even more entertainment with the Kingstone Press Championships.”

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