Barrow Raiders captain Jarrad Stack says his side should be proud of what they have achieved so far since returning to the Betfred Championship. 

After a difficult run of recent results in April, Paul Crarey’s side have bounced back with consecutive league wins over Workington Town and Dewsbury Rams.

Those results have left the Raiders flying high in sixth place in the table after 12 rounds, one point behind Halifax Panthers in fourth. 

Having been promoted to the second tier ahead of the 2022 season, Stack insists his side have plenty of reasons to be positive heading into the second half of the campaign.

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He also believes that the squad have more than defied their underdog status, despite being written off by some corners of the media upon their return to the Betfred Championship. 

“It’s always good proving the critics wrong, especially when they come out publicly and say it,” he said. “There’s no better feeling than looking at the table and seeing what the team has achieved.

“We haven’t got millions like some other top-end Championship teams, but what we do have is a team that wants to graft for each other.

“We have a great coach who gives us the freedom to play. You’ve got to give Cresta [Paul Crarey] a lot of praise for the work that he’s done and the players that he’s brought in.

“At the start of the year, a lot of the teams might’ve written us off. All you’ve got to do is look at Workington; they haven’t been able to pick up a win, even though we both came up at the same time. 

“I can’t praise the squad enough. They’ve given everything they’ve got and we’ve battled out those wins away from home. 

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“Notoriously, we’ve never been good travellers since I’ve been at the club, but we’ve got some good points on the road, and we’ve backed that up with some good victories at home.”

Last Sunday’s victory at the Tetley’s Stadium came despite a number of setbacks, with centre Gary Wheeler and Stack himself going off in the first half for HIA assessments. 

Barrow Raiders forward Anton Iaria.

Prop forward Carl Forster also missed part of the action with a knee injury, while Italy international Anton Iaria was sin-binned just three minutes into the contest. 

Despite this, the Raiders were able to secure a 20-18 victory, with a Stack double – his first brace since September 2021 – adding to Jarrod Sammut’s opener and another try from full-back Luke Cresswell. 

“Straight away from the outset, we were faced with adversity, but I thought we were in control of the game,” Stack said when reflecting on the contest. “We’ve got a problem at the moment where we let teams creep back in after good starts. 

“A win’s a win though, especially at Dewsbury. It doesn’t come round often that we get a win at their place. 

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“I think it was 19 years since we last beat them there, so we did quite well to hang on for the victory.” 

The Raiders can enjoy a weekend off from competitive action, with the 1895 Cup and Betfred Challenge Cup final taking centre stage at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon. 

However, two home games in the space of three days await the Raiders, starting the following Thursday against in-form Leigh Centurions, followed by Sunday’s clash with Widnes Vikings at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium. 

Stack admits the mini-break will help his side recharge and reflect on what has been an action-packed few weeks.

“We’ve probably played some of the harder fixtures recently,” he added. “Especially with the Challenge Cup [against Huddersfield] and playing Featherstone in the 1895 Cup

“As a squad, I don’t think the break could’ve come at a better time.”

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