Barrow Raiders Ladies captain Jodie Litherland is delighted with the way her side have tackled the challenge of Super League rugby head-on following back-to-back wins over Leigh Miners Rangers.

Despite being knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup earlier this year, the Raiders Ladies have bounced back by winning two of their opening three league matches; their sole defeat in that time coming against unbeaten Warrington Wolves.

Consecutive triumphs against Leigh Miners Rangers, who were promoted alongside the Raiders ahead of the 2022 Betfred Women’s Super League season, have left Amanda Wilkinson’s side with plenty of confidence heading into Sunday’s game against Castleford Tigers. 

The Tigers visit the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium having lost each of their opening two league fixtures, but Litherland insists her side must focus on their own positives if they want to continue their upward momentum.

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“I’ve been really impressed with how we’ve stepped up to the challenge of Super League,” she said. “We couldn’t have asked for a tougher start [with the Challenge Cup], and looking back at that, it actually helped put us in good stead ahead of facing the likes of Leigh, Castleford and Bradford.

“I think the new signings have gelled into the team brilliantly, so to have people with Super League experience has been great. 

“I know we were disappointed by the Grand Final loss in the Championship last season, but some of the tough games that we had as a squad in the Championship helped us build a platform to step into Super League with that foundation of core players that have been with us throughout our journey. 

“It’s a really good environment to be in at the moment. Confidence is high, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings.”

Despite their recent on-field success, it has been a difficult time away from the pitch for the club following the recent passing of Ladies assistant coach Alex Broadhead. 

Litherland says recent results have been testament to the camaraderie within her squad following the sad loss of a well-loved member of the Raiders family. 

“There’s no denying that it’s been a difficult few weeks for the squad, but the one thing I always say about the squad is that we’re a very closely-knit group of players,” she said.

“The whole club and everybody involved has really pulled together. I hope that we can have that extra bit of drive, and I hope that our results will do Alex proud. 

“Getting back-to-back victories over Leigh has been absolutely outstanding for the team. 

“The one at home was particularly special, especially with losing Alex a few days before. The way we were able to turn that emotion and sadness into a good performance in front of our home crowd is one of those days that you’ll never forget. 

“Moving forward into our next few games, we’ve got plenty of confidence. We know that if we get things right, we can put on a massive performance, and if things aren’t going right on the day, we have the fighting spirit needed to grind it out.”

Sunday’s game kicks off at 2:00pm at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium!