Mike Eccles applauded the efforts of Barrow Raiders throughout their return to the Betfred Championship in 2022 and admits he expects a tough final fixture at home on Sunday (3pm).
Raiders won promotion from Betfred League One 12 months ago following a two-year stay in Rugby League’s third tier and have since experienced a positive return to the Championship.
Paul Crarey’s side have won 17 of their 26 fixtures this season and sit fifth in the table, 18 points clear of the Broncos who remain 10th following a positive second half to the campaign.
Eccles predicts a wide and expansive game at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Sunday. And despite his pre-match praise of the Cumbrian outfit, he believes his side are capable of ending the year on a high.
“Barrow had a really positive start to the season, and people dubbed their position in the table early on as false purely because they were new to the league,” said Eccles.
“The league table does not lie, and Barrow have proven themselves as a very capable team at this level. I’ve seen a lot of their recent fixtures, and I believe they will be the most expansive team we play this season.
“They will attack the big open spaces and are very effective at doing it. They have great power, speed and quality so we’ll need to be playing at our best to get something from the game.”
The Broncos enter the game off the back of two defeats to Whitehaven and Leigh Centurions, who will be crowned league champions this weekend.
Eccles expects an improvement in his squad’s overall performance and pointed towards getting the basics right as a key target to complete if Raiders are to be beaten.
“We’ve not given ourselves a chance in the last two games,” said Eccles. “Our completion rate and outcomes have been poor, so we’ve not earned the right to be expansive or play wide like Barrow do.
“We want to get into this game and earn the right to play the way we want to play, which is an expansive and attractive style of Rugby League.
“The opening minutes will be about ticking off the basics of Rugby League – running hard, completing high and getting the ball in the right areas of the field if we don’t score.”
London Broncos’ Betfred Championship campaign concludes on Sunday, September 11, against Barrow Raiders at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
As a mark of respect following the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, a moment of silence will take place before kick-off and players will wear black armbands.