Jake Carter: Challenge Cup a welcome distraction

Barrow Raiders half-back Jake Carter believes Sunday’s return to Betfred Challenge Cup action gives the squad the perfect opportunity to bounce back from a tough start to the season. 

The Raiders are winless in their opening five league matches, having been held to an 18-18 draw at home to Newcastle Thunder last time out. 

Now attention turns to the Betfred Challenge Cup – a competition which the Raiders had great success in last season. 

Paul Crarey’s side defeated Rochdale Hornets and Workington Town in the early rounds of the competition before falling to a hard-fought 30-16 defeat to Huddersfield Giants in the fifth round. 

JOIN US: Events at the Raiders

“It’s kind of a free hit almost,” Carter said. “You know, we’ve got our own expectations and we did have a decent run in the Challenge Cup last year.

“We can just put this winless league run to one side and go into this weekend with a few things to fix up. As a squad, we can go out there and express ourselves. 

“It’s at home which is always nice, and hopefully we can get a good crowd and put the wrongs right.”

Carter has featured four times for the Raiders this season and scored his first try of the season against Thunder last weekend. 

While admitting his side should have done more to see out that win, he hopes to see the players turn a corner on Sunday afternoon. 

“Obviously, we’ve had a few losses to start off the year,” he admitted. 

“We were really hoping that it would be the first win at the weekend so we could kick-start the season, but we’re still looking quite positively at it, and a draw is better than a loss. 

SIGN UP: Touch rugby at the Raiders

“Sometimes confidence can be a little bit low when results aren’t going your way, but effort is very high from the team.

“It is a shame that it wasn’t at the weekend because we would have been going into this week with that first one under our belts. 

“We’re a very tight-knit group, and we don’t let any of the outside noise influence what’s happening in-camp. We know what we can do and we know how good we are. 

“I think it is only a matter of time before we click as a team and results start going our way.”

Get kitted out in the latest Raiders merchandise by visiting our club shop!