Kingstone Press League 1 preview: Rochdale Hornets v Barrow Raiders

Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot is after improvement from his team.

“We went down to Gloucester last week and put in a much-improved performance,” he said.

“We’re going in the right direction but we need to improve a little bit more to compete against teams like Barrow.

“Barrow are in a similar position to us having been relegated and are one of the favourites to be competing to go up again, so we know it’s going to be a real tough game. The coach has come in and done a real good job and got a little bit of local pride back into the club; they’re playing well at the minute.”

Rochdale will be without prop Richard Beaumont (on loan from Leigh Centurions), who has a hamstring injury but winger Wayne English could come back into contention.

Barrow Raiders go into the game on the back of an emphatic 50-12 victory over Swinton Lions. Coach Paul Crarey said: “We got them on the back of playing three games in a week. We were very disappointed with the Newcastle game so we went back to basics. We competed really hard, played really well and scored some great tries.

“Hopefully we can take that into the Rochdale game, which will be tough. I’ve watched them twice, against Gloucestershire where they played really well and came from behind to win, and against Oldham, which was a pretty brutal affair, so they can play tough as well.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge. What we’ve got to do is look after ourselves, complete high and still play some football and hopefully get the result. But it will be really really tough.

“They’ve raised the bar in this division so a win on the road is going to be tough; hopefully we can go there and compete and maybe sneak a win.”

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