Barrow Raiders v Keighley Cougars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
Date: Sunday 2nd April
Venue: J F Hornby Stadium, Barrow-In-Furness
After falling bravely defeat at home to Toronto, the Cougars return to familiar ground with yet another trip to Barrow as Craig Lingard’s side continue their defence of the League One Cup.
LAST TIME OUT:
Barrow eased their way to a 82-0 thrashing of the Hemel Stags in Cumbria. Ryan Johnstone marked his competitive debut with 30 points on the evening whilst Ryan Fieldhouse helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as the Raiders ran riot on home soil.
The Cougars fell to a 21-48 defeat at home to the Toronto Wolfpack in a thoroughly enjoyable game of Rugby League. Matty Beharrell scored 13 points on the day in a Man of the Match performance with further tries coming through Josh Lynam and Brad Nicholson.
Paul Crarey will be without Brett Carter (Facial Fractures) for several weeks whilst he is still without Max Wiper, Karl Ashall, Chris Fleming and Matty Holmes who are out through long term injuries sustained during pre-season. Danny Morrow (Shoulder) is also missing through injury.
Craig Lingard will be without Nathan Conroy (Ankle) and Emmerson Whittel (Jaw) for this Sunday’s trip to Cumbria. There is a recall to the side for both Davey Dixon and Harry Aaronson whilst Danny Lawton and Nathan Kitson are both unavailable for selection. This week has come too soon for Sean Kelly (Knee).
Jarrad Stack has been a top performer at both Championship and League One level for the best part of a decade since arriving from Australia and his signing was a major statement by the Raiders. He has not failed to deliver so far this season but in Josh Tonks comes up against one of the hardest back row runners in the division. It shall very much be Round Two of the irresistible force against the immovable object.
RAIDERS: Abram; Aspinwall; Bullock; Charnock; Crellinn; Cresswell; Dallimore; Dawson; Duerden; Fieldhouse; Hulme; Litherland; Marwood; Mossop; Stack; D Toal; S Toal; Walker; Wilkes.
COUGARS: Aaronson; Bailey; Beharrell; Brook; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Finigan; Gabriel; Hawkyard; Law; Lynam; Milner; Nicholson; Rawlins; Ryder; Sagar; Tonks; Welsh.
Barrow Raiders Head Coach Paul Crarey: “They have knocked on the door and they have done really well when they come in.
“We want to be solid as a unit and keep giving these lads opportunities when we can. I know the 17 for Sunday and I’m happy with the side we are going to put out.
“It will be very competitive and I just think it will be a great ding-dong battle, it could be a classic really because they played really well last time.
“The scoreline didn’t reflect the game. It was only in the back-end of the game when they got done so they are going to be real tough.”
Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “I have said all along that we have a good calibre of players down here. It is just about putting it all together.
“The jigsaw is just about complete but we are learning things every week.
“Lessons will come along every now and again and we have to learn from them. There was another lesson on Sunday in that we were in a commanding position.”
This Sunday’s referee at the J F Hornby Stadium for this League One Cup Quarter Final tie is Nick Bennett from Sheffield. This will be Bennett’s second Cougars appointment of the season after previously officiating the 50-8 victory over North Wales Crusaders at Cougar Park in March.
The Cougars and Barrow knock each other as well as any two sides throughout Rugby League’s third tier and whilst Barrow eased past Hemel last Saturday, the Cougars came through unscathed and with flying colours despite defeat against Toronto. It promises to be a corker at Craven Park. – COUGARS BY 6.