WELL, what can you say? Credit to all who donned a Barrow Raiders shirt last Saturday in Canada, and a special mention to ‘amateurs’ Ben Garner and Chris Fleming, who answered the SOS call from the injury-ravaged club.

I watched the whole game on TV and it wasn’t a great experience. Damage limitation was the game-plan, but Toronto Wolfpack were far too strong and fast for Barrow, and it ended 64-0 with still no try scored at the Lamport Stadium – and to be honest it never looked likely.

Barrow struggled to complete their sets and were second-best in all departments. Toronto are pretty invincible and unbeaten on their own artificial turf though, and even a full-strength Raiders would have struggled to come to terms with their pace and power.

Toronto are looking odds-on for promotion and if they achieve their Super League objective we won’t have to go across the pond to Canada for a very long time – or maybe never, which is good news.

Let’s see how the likes of Wigan Warriors and St Helens cope with a six-hour flight and a five-hour time difference next season. It is a massive advantage and I wouldn’t be surprised if the full-time elite travel early in the week for maximum preparation.

I am not exactly sure what will happen in the Super Eights at the end of this season, but I assume that Toronto will play four home games in alternate weeks, which could be a severe challenge for the Toronto squad going back and forth.

Or will the RFL allow them to play their four home games on consecutive weeks?

The last two weeks have been very disappointing with depleted squads, but now is not the time to dwell on the reasons why. We must stay positive and look to win as many of the remaining 12 games as possible to survive in the Championship, because I do fear that relegation would be the death-knell of the club.

The run-in starts tomorrow with the visit of in-form Halifax to Craven Park. I was on commentary duty in the away fixture at the Shay and although Fax won reasonably comfortably, 30-4, I wasn’t that impressed.

However, they have improved significantly since then and are on a bit of a roll; only two defeats in their last 10 league games, and they were away to Leigh Centurions and Toronto.

This week they added to their squad with the signing of French back rower Walid Bouregba from Lezignan Sangliers until the end of the season.

Bouregba, 24, has impressed during his spell with Lezignan and also has international pedigree, having featured for the France under-23’s.

Halifax retained their place in the Championship top four after they convincingly won 50-12 against Batley Bulldogs last Sunday.

The emphatic victory, Fax’s highest points total in over a year, leaves them in fourth place, a point behind Toulouse Olympique and Featherstone Rovers, and a point clear of London Broncos and Leigh.

Hopefully, we will have a refreshed, full-strength Barrow team (apart from the suspended Ryan Fieldhouse) and I am looking forward to seeing Jonny Pownall make his home debut.

We will need to produce a typical Craven Park performance to have any chance of success, but we have excelled at home thus far defeating Leigh, Sheffield Eagles, Dewsbury Rams and Batley, and gaining a couple of draws against Swinton Lions and Toronto.

A glorious day of sunshine is forecast so get yourself and a friend to the match, have a couple of cold beers and cheer on the lads to a crucial victory.