Barrow Raiders boss full of praise for side's first-half display in Toronto
By Mitchell Tierney
11 September 2017 12:35PM
BARROW Raiders again came up short in their second transatlantic trip of the season to Toronto.
But in a 26-2 loss to the league champion Toronto Wolfpack, Coach Paul Crarey sees progress in his team’s performance.
Toronto, who have the best attack in the league by a significant margin, managed only eight points by the time the halftime hooter sounded. The visitors were unlucky to not score themselves in the most competitive half at Lamport Stadium all season.
“I thought we were great in the first half,” said Crarey after the match.
Rowley, credit to him, said it was the hardest game they’ve had all year PAUL CRAREY
“I thought we created opportunities to score and then we panicked in a couple of situations at 8-0 that we could have gotten on the scoreboard.”
The second half didn’t go quite as well for Crarey’s side, as they allowed three tries in nine minutes that gave the home side a flattering score line. The Wolfpack’s win meant them clinching the Kingstone League One Championship, which didn’t surprise Crarey at all.
“[Toronto] was never not going to win this competition, unless by a minor miracle,” said Crarey.
“But we’ve given it a good run for our money and it’s now concentrating on the play-offs for us.”
He said that the quality of players that the Wolfpack possess, mixed with his team’s lack of execution, made the difference in the second half.
“We’ve got to control and manage the game a little bit better in pressure situations,” said Crarey, of what his team can learn from this match.
“At times we dropped the ball on the back three, didn’t knock it out when we could have knocked it out. We just invited them to play.”
He said that tired out his players in the middle, which led to the Wolfpack breakthrough.
Nonetheless, this trip gave a far better account of his side than the last time they visited Toronto, and lost 70-2.
He said his side learned a lot from that trip, and they demonstrated it on Saturday.
The Raiders’ play even earned praise from Toronto Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley after the match, who is a good friend of Crareys.
“[Rowley], credit to him, said it was the hardest game they’ve had all year, so we thank him for that. He always tells it how it is and that’s what he said.”