Cerys Rice hungry for more after first win of 2023

Barrow Raiders Ladies winger Cerys Rice hopes the squad will be able to build on last week’s victory over Hull KR in the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup.

Rice, who made the step up to the first team this year having been involved with the reserves during the 2022 campaign, made her competitive debut for the Raiders on Sunday, off the back of an impressive showing in the recent Women’s Nines festival in Warrington.

A 20-11 victory at Craven Park saw the Raiders Ladies pick up their first victory of 2023, and Rice hopes to see the squad build on their momentum as attention returns to league action.

“After landing a couple tries at the Nines, I felt confident going into our Challenge Cup game on Sunday,” she said. 

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“I had proved to myself and hopefully my team what I was capable of, and brought the same energy and excitement onto the pitch that I had at the Nines.

“A win always feels good, and it’s something I knew our team was more than capable of. 

“Sunday was our first win of the season, but with so many talented individuals in this team, I’m certain there are more to come!”

Rice initially started playing the game in 2015, before moving away from the sport a year later to focus on her qualifications as a veterinary nurse.

She has so far enjoyed her move from the reserves to the first team this season, having also switched from the halves to the wing.

“The step up into our first team has been nothing but enjoyable for me,” she added. “I love to train hard and bring that same intensity into our games. 

“As a newer player, I think it’s natural to feel nervous before games but that stems purely from the urge to make my team and club proud.”

The Raiders’ focus shifts to their league meeting with Bradford Bulls at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium this Sunday. The fixture kicks off at 2pm, with entry priced at £5.

Amanda Wilkinson’s squad lost their opening league fixture against Featherstone Rovers, while Bradford drew with Leigh Leopards last month.

Rice insists there is no reason why her squad cannot go on and win more matches, having gotten off the mark against KR in their last outing.

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“We are eager to get a win this weekend and we know where we need to improve to achieve it,” the winger said.

“As long as we keep the desire to win and we work for one another, then back-to-back wins aren’t out of our reach. 

“Our team proved what we are capable of last year, and this year’s goal will be to prove that we are deserving of a spot in the league above for next season.”

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