Rochdale Hornets v Barrow Raiders
Sunday 3rd March 2019, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 5
Stats over last 8 encounters
STORY SO FAR
After a close game against the Batley Bulldogs at Mount Pleasant, Hornets fans will be looking to see their side pick up their first two points of the 2019 season when they play host to the Barrow Raiders.
The Hornets have had a tough run in when it came to their opening two fixtures having faced Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique two sides who are favourites for promotion to Super League.
Barrow Raiders sit 11th in the Championship table picking up their only win against the Batley Bulldogs in the opening round of the season coming away with a 22-18 victory.
The last meeting between the Hornets and Raiders took place in the Super 8’s with the Cumbrian outfit coming away 17-10 victors.
Both sides have had a mixed bag of results against each other with four wins each from their last eight meetings.
Hornets will be looking to put the previous three games behind them as they take on the Raiders at the Crow Oil Arena whilst The Raiders will be looking to bounce back from their 20-20 draw against Dewsbury who face the Toronto Wolfpack.
The thorn in Hornets side in years gone by, the former Oldham and North Wales half-back was in fine form last time out, kicking eight vital points that helped guide the Raiders to a 17-10 win over Hornets at Craven Park. He is a great talker and commands his side around the field whilst having a notorious ability of getting under the opponents skin. If Hornets close the dinner suit playmaker down early on, they will be in with a chance.
Wartovo Puara Jnr
A Papua New Guinea international Wartovo is one of three PNG players to sign for the Raiders. Having previously played for Queensland Cup side PNG Hunters he plays as a hooker and is renowned for his quick speed and intelligence with and without the ball.
A former Hornet himself, Cross will be looking to make his Raiders debut at the weekend. He joined Rochdale on a permanent basis in 2018 and was crucial to Carl Forster’s side securing a place in the Championship.
As a centre he is able to run down the middle and play an attacking style as well as being a defensive player.
Barrow head coach, Paul Crarey said his side have to be ‘on the mettle’ to pick anything up at the Crown Oil Arena. Speaking to North West Evening Mail, Cresta said:
"We're away against a side in and around us which hasn't won yet, but were very close against Batley and played very well against them," said Crarey.
"There was nothing in the game and it was an opportunist try from Batley which got them the win. They'll see us as a target and they'll feel they can beat us with dual-reg and players they've got.
"We've got to be on the mettle, but we've upped the ante at training in the last few weeks, and I think the defeat at York has done us good as a group and helped us kick on and focus a little bit more."
By Ethan O'Gorman