Crarey ready for familiar foes Toronto

Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey says Barrow know exactly what to expect from their opponents, Toronto Wolfpack, when they meet for the third time on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders lost by only a 24-point margin when the sides last met in Canada in September and Crarey believes that the conditions at the JF Hornby Stadium will prove to be a leveller.

Our pitch is really heavy, we played them on fast tracks last year and last week against Leigh it was a fast track for them as well. We’ve trained in the mud. It was a culture shock for us last week at London. But the mud and the wet will make it a level playing field.”

Despite conditions potentially playing a part, Crarey is still wary of the threats that Toronto will pose.

“They’re aggressive and powerful and have got a great back three that return the ball well in Kay, Higson and QLT (Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e)  which puts them on the front foot.

“They have a massive pack which roll forward and a good nine and can play from anywhere. They’re a threat across the field.

“Hopefully the weather and the mud will take the threat away from the back three. Take away their footwork and it’ll be just a good old fashioned game in the mud.”

If they are to succeed on Sunday, as some part-time teams have against Toronto, Crarey wants one main improvement from last week’s 56-12 defeat to London Broncos.

Completions let us down, I think we were at 34 per cent for 31 minutes and we were only behind by 12 points. We were just sloppy all round. We’ve also worked on set plays and our process around the ruck because we’re a little bit loose in that area.”

Whilst ready for their next opponents, Crarey is also mindful that perhaps the more important tests for his side are yet to come.

These teams aren’t going to define our season, it’s the teams in and around us at the bottom end of the table which are going to show whether we can survive or not. I think all the part time teams are in the same boat so we’re not going to complain, we’ll work hard.”