Barrow Raiders Ladies winger Sam Norman says she is proud to have scored the club’s first-ever try in the Betfred Women’s Super League. 

In a historic occasion at Craven Park, the Raiders Ladies were defeated 32-6 by a Warrington Wolves side expected to challenge for promotion to Super League Group 1. 

Norman’s close-range finish shortly before the half-hour marked the club’s first Super League try since they were promoted alongside Leigh Miners Rangers ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Despite Sunday’s defeat, she admits it feels special to have written her name into the Raiders history books. 

“At the time, it was great to score a try and get some points on the board,” she said. “It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised the significance of it. It feels great to be a part of the club’s history.

“There’s lots to learn. We had a lot of chances in the game [against Warrington] but didn’t execute properly, so we’ve got that to work on. They are a very good team, and we knew it was always going to be tough.”

The Raiders Ladies have already tested themselves against the very best, having taken on eventual champions St Helens in the group stages of the Betfred Challenge Cup back in March. 

Norman – who featured against last season’s treble-winners – insists playing the very best in British rugby league will be beneficial for her side as the 2022 season progresses.

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“That first game against St Helens, the whole experience, was just something else,” she recalled. “They’re unbelievable, and being able to share the field with England internationals was just amazing. 

“And then coming up against Warrington, we can all see the massive improvements that they’ve made. They want to be in Super League 1 and have made some good signings.

“Playing against those top teams will only make us better, so it’s been really good.”

Sam Norman in action against Warrington Wolves.

With the Raiders Ladies now set for a week off due to the bye handed to them in Round 2, followed by another week off due to the Betfred Challenge Cup final, they will not return to the field until a clash with Leigh Miners Rangers at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium at the beginning of June.

The newly-promoted side began their own league campaign with an impressive 28-14 victory over Wakefield Trinity, but Norman insists the Raiders Ladies squad are ready to regroup and bounce back quickly against their upcoming opponents.

“For sure, everyone was buzzing before Sunday. Training had been great and we’d had a lot of time to prepare after the Challenge Cup games,” she said.

“Obviously there was disappointment with the loss, but we’ve got very good team spirit and we’re a close-knit group. There’s still a good vibe in camp.

“It would’ve been nice to go straight into a game this week to get the loss out of our system, but there are a few battered bodies at the moment. 

“It’s possibly a good thing that we’ve got this break to go back to the drawing board, work on some things and then hopefully get the win against Leigh in our next home game.”

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