Paul Crarey urges improvement after ‘disappointing’ Round 1 display

Head coach Paul Crarey says his Barrow Raiders squad will need to show real improvements after the new season began with a 24-4 defeat at home to Toulouse Olympique. 

A slow start proved costly for the Raiders, who were outscored by six tries to one by their French opposition. 

Ryan Shaw scored the hosts’ only try after a nice shift out wide midway through the first half. 

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“If you run at 65% completion, commit 11 errors, give the ball away cheaply and miss try-scoring opportunities, you won’t do anything in this division,” Crarey admitted post-match. 

“I’m pretty disappointed. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone in and expressed my feelings after the game because I know we’re better than that. 

“Some of the forwards worked extremely hard but we were very wasteful in the backline. I thought we set up and played a bit too lateral instead of rolling through their middle. 

“When we did that after we’d spoken at half-time, we had a spell where we were in control of the game or stayed with them.”

Despite starting the season with a loss, the Raiders head coach says next week’s home game against Sheffield Eagles provides the ideal opportunity for his players to respond from their Round 1 setback. 

And he believes the squad are more than capable of raising their performance levels sooner rather than later. 

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“It probably hasn’t hurt us like people think it has, because they’re a very good team. If you’re to have an off day all over the park, this team is who you do it against,” he said.

“We’ve got a chance to put things right when Sheffield rock up next week. 

“It’s not through lack of effort. It’s just execution, pushing passes instead of knocking out sets and getting up around 85% [completion] which we were last year when we were winning and making the right decisions.”

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