Barrow Raiders Ladies are ready to help put the town on the map in women’s rugby league when they kick off Day 2 of the 2022 Betfred Championship Summer Bash, says forward Vanessa Temple.
For just the second time since its inception, the Summer Bash – which hosts all 14 Championship teams for an action-packed weekend of rugby – will feature a Betfred Women’s Super League match.
Bradford Bulls Women toppled Featherstone Rovers Ladies 46-22 at Bloomfield Road in 2018, and now it is the turn of Amanda Wilkinson’s side as the Summer Bash makes its way to Headingley for the first time this weekend.
With the Raiders Ladies on a six-game winning run and joint-top in Women’s Super League Group 2 , they will prepare to face Featherstone with plenty of momentum.
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However, with the Yorkshire outfit just two points and a place behind the Raiders in the league table, it promises to be a battle of real magnitude.
“Everyone is very excited to play at the Summer Bash,” Temple said. “It’s a big crowd, big stadium and big event. The team knows it will be a big game on a big stage.
“Confidence is really high after winning six on the bounce, but we know Featherstone will be one of our hardest games of the season.
“We are building each week as a team, and I think that shows in the recent results that we know how to play better together.”
Sunday’s fixture, which kicks off at 11:30am, will also be a special occasion for head coach Amanda Wilkinson, who returns to the home of Leeds Rhinos – a club where she spent over six years as a community and performance coach.
She admits excitement is growing as she prepares to lead Barrow Ladies on a historic day for the club.
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“I’m really looking forward to returning to Headingley, and what a great opportunity for the ladies to be part of the Summer Bash,” Wilkinson said.
“It will be a good experience for them. The women’s game just keeps growing and growing, and it’s great for Barrow to be part of these big events in rugby league. It can only attract and improve awareness of women in this great sport.”
Looking ahead to their upcoming test, she added: “This week in training, it will all be about focusing on the game and not the occasion.
“We know this is going to be a tough game. Featherstone are a well-drilled, experienced side who will be hard to break down. We will need to be at our best.”
The Ladies’ Summer Bash fixture will be the first of a Sunday double-header for the club, with the men’s team in action against in-form Widnes Vikings at 1:45pm.
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