Tee Ritson: Raiders to take confidence from Jubilee Weekend double-header

Barrow Raiders have the perfect opportunity to build further momentum following encouraging results against Leigh Centurions and Widnes Vikings, according to winger Tee Ritson.

The Raiders fell just short against the 1895 Cup-winning Centurions last week, falling to a narrow 30-28 defeat at the Matt Johnston Prestige Stadium. 

Paul Crarey’s side responded in emphatic fashion however, running in eight tries in Sunday’s 44-4 victory over Widnes Vikings.

That result ensured the Raiders maintained their grip on sixth spot in the Betfred Championship, three points ahead of nearest challengers Sheffield Eagles at the midway point of the season.

Ritson, who scored three tries over the course of the weekend, says his side should be proud of their efforts after such a quick turnaround. 

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“Two games in the space of four days is a massive ask for any part-time team,” he said. 

“It was sort of a free hit against Leigh. I don’t think the fans were expecting much from that game, but in the end we were unlucky not to come away with the win.

“We did some recovery on Saturday morning to keep our bodies fresh in preparation for Sunday.

“We were going into the Widnes with some lads battered and bruised, but once we found our rhythm and gear, it ended up being one of our strongest performances of the year.

“It was a convincing win, and the lads can take a lot of confidence from it because we showed exactly what we are capable of.”

Up next is a trip to Workington Town in the Betfred Championship, with the sides having already met three times in 2022.

The Raiders will also welcome back centre Hakim Miloudi following his recent suspension, and Ritson is excited to link up with the France international once more.

“I haven’t really had a permanent centre partner who I’ve been able to bond with consistently over the last few weeks, but having Hakim back is great,” he admitted.

“I’m looking forward to playing with him again. He’s a winger’s dream to be fair. 

“He can make something come from nothing, he’s really good to play off, and I’ve got a really good bond with him.”

Paul Crarey’s side have been victorious in pre-season, league and cup against Town this year, but Ritson insists they still face a difficult battle at Derwent Park. 

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Last month’s most recent encounter saw the Raiders triumph 26-12 on home soil thanks to tries from Brett Carter, Carl Forster, Ryan Johnston, Luke Cresswell and Dan Toal. 

However, Workington recorded their first victory of the season last week – something which Ritson insists will give them renewed belief and confidence.

“You look at the performances that they have strung together this season, and they’ve not been that far away from a win at all,” he said.

“All of our results against them have been close. We’ve never ran away with things, so we’ve got to go up there expecting a real battle. 

“They’re going to come at us early doors, but we’ve got to be ready.”

Buy your tickets for Sunday’s trip to Workington Town!