Rooney determined to reach NRC final

Jamie Rooney has developed a taste for finals since switching to Barrow Raiders and is desperate to get a step closer to the Northern Rail Cup Final ahead of their televised quarter-final clash against Widnes Vikings at the Stobart Stadium on Thursday June 3.

The game will be a repeat of last year’s Northern Rail Cup Final which saw the Vikings triumph 34-18 over Barrow and Rooney hopes that he can go one better this year.

Rooney said: “I’ve been a professional for a long time now, and that was the first final I’d played in so it was something new for me.

“Now I want to get to more finals, because it was such a big occasion for the club and for the town. I’d love to play in more finals for Barrow.

“You always want to improve on what you did last year, and although we won the Championship Grand Final, we missed out in the Northern Rail Cup.

“The club got to the final last year and obviously didn’t win it, but hopefully this time we can go one better.”

Standing in the way of Barrow reaching the last four of the Northern Rail Cup are Widnes Vikings who have already beaten the Raiders in the group stages of the competition.

In that game, the Raiders’ led 20-10 with three minutes remaining, but two late tries from Thomas Coyle and Shaun Ainscough confirmed victory for the Vikings and the 30-year old is predicting another close encounter at the Stobart Stadium.

Rooney said: “We’ve played them once already this year and got beat in the last second of the game,”

“It was a tough match and we know we’ll have to prepare well again. They’ve been a bit like ourselves so far – up and down, so it could definitely go either way.

Despite only losing three games in all competitions this season, the Barrow stand-off admits that they need a bit more fluidity in their game and some luck on the injury front if they are to progress further in the Northern Rail Cup.

“We haven’t started particularly well but we’re still in the top five at the moment. We want to get a bit of momentum and some more consistency in our game – we’ve been up one week and down the next, and that’s something we’re looking to address,” added the former Wakefield and Castleford player.

“We’ve been down to our last 15 fit bodies at times, the real bare bones. But we had a free weekend recently and hopefully that will allow us to get some players back on board.

“We all want to get to that final again, and have to make sure we prepare the best we can do for Widnes to give us that chance.”

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