Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey has praised the performance of Jarrad Stack in the face of personal adversity, with his Australian second row now back in his home country to look after his ill mother.

Stack flew back the day after the Raiders’ 21-8 victory against Halifax that rekindled their survival hopes and the 31-year-old gave a typically towering performance that confirmed why he is such a key player at Craven Park.

Crarey believes the fact that he soldiered on in spite of everything going on in his life off the pitch helped inspire his teammates to put in what was Barrow’s best collective performance of the campaign.

He said: “We probably used Jarrad as a motivation for us all. We class this as one family because we are a big family down here - nobody breaks into us, nobody upsets us and also we embrace the local community.

“It’s a massive family, this area, in rugby league and you go to any ground and we’re well received and I think all the bridges have come down on that.

“For Jarrad to go through what he’s going through, we used it as a motivational tool before we even went out to warm up.

“Jarrad wanted to play for this team before he jumped on that plane on Monday and anything could have happened - he could have broken his leg or ended up in hospital, but it wasn’t going to stop him playing and putting in a star performance.”

Stack’s absence means there will be at least one change for Sunday’s match at Featherstone Rovers, the first match of what will be an intense week for the Raiders, across two competitions.

The clash at Post Office Road is also set to bring a first Barrow outing for half-back Ben White, who signed until the end of the season from Halifax last week.

Crarey said: “I’m going to play Ben this week. We’ve got three games in seven days, which is mad, especially as Toulouse aren’t in the cup competitions.

“They’ll be smarting from their defeat [against Swinton] and I think they’ve got Toronto this week, so we’ll be getting them off the back of a plane journey and that will help us.

“Anybody that comes here will see the effort we’re putting in and the bodies we’re throwing into tackles and they won’t be coming for an easy ride. Whether it will be good enough to win or not, I don’t know until Jarrad gets home and we get a few more back.”