Barrow Raiders were ‘gallant losers’ once again against an impressive Featherstone Rovers side who really had the game won at half time with a 22-0 lead, writes Tony Colyer.

To Barrow’s credit, they improved significantly in the second half and reduced the arrears to 22-12 with 13 minutes remaining and were unlucky not to score further tries until lost possession on the hooter gave Rovers a soft try to end the game 26-12.

Rovers' Aussie coach Ryan Carr signalled potential room for improvement when he claimed his side were not "the best version of ourselves" and criticised his team's careless handling and needless penalties, which allowed the Raiders to pile on the pressure in the second-half in their attempts to reduce the deficit.

As expected, ex Bradford Bulls star half-back Dane Chisholm was man of the match, scoring a couple of tries and setting up a couple of others.

Half-back is probably the most important position and we are lacking in this department at the moment and with the release of Gareth Hock this week, you would like to think that a ‘marquee’ half-back is a priority signing.

Upon releasing Hock, who never donned a Raiders shirt, the club stated that they are “committed to doing everything possible to remain in the Championship and the funds that are now available will be used to strengthen the squad.”

That’s good news, but the necessary recruitment won’t be easy as it’s going to take at least four or five significant experienced signings to keep us in the Championship and at this stage of the season, where are they?

As stated last week, we must keep ahead of Rochdale and Swinton. Rochdale are looking for a new coach after the sacking of ex-Whitehaven coach Carl Forster. Ironically, their only league victory against Barrow early in the season.

Swinton were impressive in defeat in Canada against high flyers Toronto; I was impressed by their effort and attitude and I’m not convinced we have the armoury to get a result against them at Heywood Road, based on current form.

Tomorrow it’s Halifax away at the Shay who also sacked their coach Richard Marshall last Friday night when he was told his four and a half season tenure was at an end, leaving player-assistant coach Simon Grix in charge for the away game at Sheffield Eagles which they went and won 32-24.

I was very surprised by the sacking and Marshall is quoted as saying: “It is with regret that my time at Halifax has come to an end. Both parties agree that it is time to part ways.”

If Richard Marshall can’t keep his job, what chance anyone else? The precise background to Marshall’s departure seems likely to remain hazy, but defeats against Bradford and Toulouse over Easter were the triggers as the club’s directors were under increasing pressure to try to do something to change the narrative of a troubled season.

What a fabulous expression “change the narrative of a troubled season” is, but it seemed to work as Halifax-born Grix only had a single hour-long training session with the team prior to the Eagles victory and has now had a whole week to prepare for Barrow.

The Shay has been a difficult gig for Barrow in previous seasons and with a new coach I’m sure it will be even more difficult to return to Furness with any success. Barrow must start were they left off against Featherstone and repeat the second half performance to stand any chance.

Next week is Challenge Cup weekend, so Barrow don’t have a game, which will hopefully allow for some key signings and the return of the injured to prepare for Sheffield Eagles in the Summer Bash at Blackpool the following Sunday and the week after the visit of basement club Rochdale Hornets.