After a comfortable win against Kells ARLFC at Whitehaven in the previous round, Toronto Wolfpack head into Round 5 of the Challenge Cup with another trip to Cumbria to take on Barrow Raiders.
No side has more history with the Wolfpack than Barrow, who line up against the Canadian based side for the fourth time in Toronto’s short history. The Raiders pushed the League 1 Champions all the way in 2017 and earned promotion alongside the Wolfpack to take their place in the Betfred Championship and since then have continued to be a thorn in the Wolfpack’s side.
Toronto have dropped only three competition points all season, with the Raiders performing exceptionally well to hold them to an 8-8 draw in an extremely tough encounter played in wet and muddy conditions back in February.
Barrow is a notoriously difficult place to play and the Wolfpack will have to be exceptional to overcome the Cumbrian side and book their place in the next round of the prestigious cup competition. The knock out nature of the competition is set only to ignite the keen rivalry between the two clubs further.
The home side will be looking to go one better than they did in the early season and will certainly raise their game for another battle with the Wolfpack, looking to halt a winning streak that could be extended to nine in all competitions after an exceptional last couple of months in the league.
A win for Paul Rowley’s men has extra incentive this week, with the current Championship leaders having a strong chance of landing a Super League opponent in the next round giving them the opportunity to test themselves against one of the UK’s best clubs on the biggest stage.
However, Rowley was adamant that his side would look no further than the trip to Craven Park on Sunday, with their focus solely on getting the better of the Raiders in what will be another challenging contest. He said:
“To us, we don’t want to have that thought. Barrow will be tough.
“They (Barrow) put us on a pedestal and talk themselves down. Their playing roster is definitely a top half Championship team and we know fully what to expect from them this week.
“They’re a good team, especially at home and they are strong throughout. They will be confident; they have lost one game in two years at home and we’re in for a battle.”
Rowley expressed the importance of another top performance, due to the sudden death nature of the cup. He added:
“That’s the magic of the cup. We get one chance in 2018 and we’ll have to wait another year if we lose. As a player you don’t get too many years so you certainly don’t get many chances to do something in this competition.”
Toronto Wolfpack 19 man squad:
5 Liam Kay
6 Josh McCrone
7 Ryan Brierley
8 Jack Buchanan
9 Bob Beswick
10 Ashton Sims
13 Jack Bussey
14 Andy Ackers
15 Adam Sidlow
17 Blake Wallace
19 Adam Higson
21 Olsi Krasniqi
22 Rich Whiting
23 Nick Rawsthorne
28 Sam Hopkins
29 Jake Emmitt
31 Gareth O’Brien
32 Darcy Lussick
33 Chase Stanley