Rooney wary of Hawks threat

Jamie Rooney is urging his Barrow Raiders team-mates to respect the magic of the Carnegie Challenge Cup when the giant-killers face Hunslet Hawks on Sunday.

The Cumbrians reached the last 16 with a famous fourth round victory over Engage Super League club Castleford Tigers and will start as strong favourites this weekend against opponents from the division below them.

However Rooney insists the 2009 Co-operative Championship champions will not make the same mistake as Castleford by underestimating Hunslet, who are riding high at the top of Co-operative Championship One.

“We pulled off a shock at Castleford and Hunslet will feel they have what it takes to turn the tables on us,” said Rooney, who scored 18 point at The Jungle in Barrow’s 34-28 victory.

“Hunslet have already beaten Halifax this season and will fancy their chances. They are enjoying a revival under their coach Paul March who I know well from our Wakefield days together.

“I’ve also played with his twin brother David, Richard Chapman, Tommy Haughey and Steve Dooler.

“Paul has assembled a very useful side. They will be no pushovers but we are glad to be at home.”

Barrow have not appeared in a Challenge Cup final since losing to Rooney’s home-town club Featherstone Rovers in 1967.

But the last time the Challenge Cup went back to Barrow was in 1955 when Willie Horne’s side beat Workington Town 21-12.

“We are not getting carried away with the Castleford win,” said Rooney, who played for Featherstone and Wakefield before moving to Cumbria last summer.

“We know if we reached Wembley it would probably be the biggest shock in the history of the competition but the Cup run has been great for the town and the fans.

“Jermaine McGillvray has probably been our stand-out player this year and Liam Campbell has done well since coming back from injury.

“We have a top coach in Steve McCormack and who knows what could happen if we beat Hunslet.”

Rooney, who has signed a contract with Barrow until the end of next season, has experienced Challenge Cup disappointment in recent years.

“When I was at Wakefield we reached the semi-final against Hull in 2008 but I was dropped,” recalled Rooney.

“That was hard to take because I still think the Challenge Cup is the biggest competition in the sport.”

Wakefield were beaten 32-24 by Hull, who went on to lose to St Helens at Wembley.

“Beating Castleford was a sweet victory,” added Rooney who was released by the Tigers after a three-game trial spell nine years ago.

“We caught Cas on a poor day and had to play at our best.

“We know we will have to repeat that performance against Hunslet to reach the quarter-finals.”

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