THERE is still no victory on the road for Barrow Raiders, after the 22-20 defeat at Dewsbury.

I was on commentary duty and witnessed a good performance from Barrow which should have resulted in two precious points in our quest for Championship survival.

However, as coach Paul Crarey stated post-match, it was ‘game management’ which let us down, with tactics aligned to protecting the lead required – particularly in the kicking department, with kicks to touch to set the defensive line rather than little chips to try and regain possession.

It was an even game and it was very disappointing to leave with nothing, as victory would have put us in a strong position in the table, leap-frogging Batley who were beaten by Leigh into seventh place.

We have three games left in this first phase, all of which are very difficult. The most winnable is next week when we travel to fellow strugglers Sheffield Eagles, followed by the first visit of London Broncos to Craven Park.

Tomorrow, high-flying, talented Toulouse Olympique visit Cumbria for the first time in two years, since they won comprehensively 44-16 on their way to the League One title.

They have progressively improved since promotion and recruited well, earning a reputation for fast, free-flowing rugby.

I watched highlights of their draw last week against London, and one of their backs, Chris Centrose, looked a bit special. He joins the likes of Jonathon Ford, Rhys Curran, Mark Kheiralla, Tyla Hepi and ex-Wigan forward Eddy Pettybourne.

There are six clubs with a shout for a place in the Super Eights, and Toulouse are second They can’t afford to drop any points in their quest for Super League, as next week they have to travel to in-form Halifax, followed by a final home game against Dewsbury, which they should win. Barrow will be considered must-win.

We will have to be at the top of our game to emerge victorious, but after the turmoil of the last few weeks on and off the pitch it is time for Barrow to repay the loyal supporters and recapture the early-season form demonstrated against Toronto and Leigh.

In order to play four home games in the next phase, we must finish eighth. One more win should guarantee that, and if that doesn’t happen tomorrow the Eagles game next week will determine our fate.

I have been researching the remaining fixtures, and I can’t see either Rochdale or Swinton improving on their current tally of eight points. Rochdale play Leigh (h), Toronto (a) and Halifax (a); Swinton play Featherstone (h), Leigh (a) and Batley (a).

The worst-case scenario is that Barrow will enter the second phase with 13 points, five ahead of Rochdale and Swinton. The bottom line is we must beat both in the next phase to avoid a quick return to League One.

As we all try to get back to normal life following the excitement of the England World Cup journey, the RFL had to intervene concerning kick-off for tomorrow’s game.

Toulouse were reluctant to change the time, saying it would impact their travel arrangements.

The change to 2pm should have been sorted when the fixtures were released in February, as we all knew the World Cup final would be kicking off at 4pm whether England were involved or not.

The fact France are in the final may have contributed to Toulouse’s stance, and it’s a pity there couldn’t have been a double header of Barrow v Toulouse, followed by France v England. What were the odds of that?

À demain (see you tomorrow)!