THE Challenge Cup semi-finals were entertaining and the fact both games were on BBC One all Sunday afternoon ensured maximum exposure, and hopefully engaged with potential future viewers.

It was good to see Catalan Dragons destroy St Helens and it was particularly nice to see Steve McNamara get the reward he deserves for turning round the fortunes of the French club – and don’t forget he also came to our assistance by loaning us three classy players.

It should be an exciting final against Warrington Wolves and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dragons lifted the trophy.

Leeds Rhinos fans must be wondering what has happened to their Grand Final-winning side. There hasn’t been any improvement since the sacking of Brian McDermott and they go into the Qualifiers in very poor form.

Toulouse Olympique visit Headingley today and that should be a real competitive affair, and should inform us of the possibility of Barrow playing Leeds next season.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto, London and Toulouse made it to Super League as this must be the most exciting Qualifiers since its introduction.

In terms of the Super Eights, that is somewhat of a damp squib, with the top four almost guaranteed a semi-final play-off spot in seven games time.

That possibility has initiated plenty of debate about the structure of the play-offs as the RFL once again come under pressure to change the format next season.

For me it’s quite simple. Emphasis needs to be put on the regular season rather than the play-offs. Super League One should have 15 teams so that there are 28 games plus the Magic weekend fixture making a total of 29 games.

The top five should then play-off with the leaders playing second for a place at Old Trafford and then the losers playing the victors from the other games. One team should be relegated.

There should also be a Super League Two (currently the Championship) of 15 teams so that there are also 28 games plus the Blackpool Summer Bash fixture, making a total of 29 games.

The winners get promoted and one team gets relegated to League One, which would become a development League with the likes of Hemel, West Wales and any other fledgling club who fancy their chances.

Funding would have to allocated in a fairer way and as intimated last week, clubs below Super League should be encouraged to become feeder clubs to consolidate their financial status.

Many positives for this structure in particular the fact that all clubs more or less know who they are playing at the start of the season and can therefore plan and market games accordingly.

Back in the real world, tomorrow is the most important game of the season. Basement club Rochdale Hornets are the visitors and it should be a tense exciting affair. Both clubs have had a welcome two week rest and hopefully that means that Barrow should be able to field a virtual full-strength team full of energy.

We are five points ahead of Rochdale and victory puts us in a good place, and probably condemns Rochdale to League One. On paper, we have a better team and we beat Rochdale nine weeks ago 22-6 (our last victory) which makes us favourites.

However, with so much at stake for the Hornets anything can happen and don’t forget they have a dual-registration agreement with Warrington, so who knows who will line up?

So it’s time for a solid professional performance, no penalties, planned fifth-tackle options and aggressive, structured defence. We need leadership and we need the experienced players to step up and take responsibility.

The club is trying everything to generate more revenue and deserve the support of the Furness public. This game is crucial for the future of the club so please get yourself down to Craven Park tomorrow to shout us to victory.