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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Cumbria facing fight to qualify for RL Nines finals

Cumbria face an uphill battle to qualify for the Rugby League Nines finals at Headingley after losing two of their three games in the penultimate weekly round at Barrow last night.

Darren Holt photo
Darren Holt

They went down 22-10 to group leaders Wigan, who won all three of their matches, and 30-28 to St Helens before beating Widnes 14-8 to bring down the curtain at Craven Park.

And they now face arguably their toughest test in the last weekly round at Wigan next week, against the hosts, plus Saints and last season’s champs Warrington.

“Cumbria were probably a bit unlucky against St Helens but the other mob (Wigan) were too good for everyone on the night,” said Haven coach Don Gailer.

“They blew everyone off the park and ran it strong and quick. That’s the whole secret to this game. Jarrad Stack played and Bradd Crellin was very good on the night and Loz Hamzat scored a few tries.”

Cumbria went in to the Barrow round in fifth place in the West section, with Wigan now certain to qualify for the finals, involving the top eight sides from West and East groups.

Cumbria coach Darren Holt, the Barrow Raiders boss, said: “It’s a full-on competition and the boys have said it is the fastest thing they have ever played.

“A lot of the lads put in big shifts and there was a lot of effort there. I think we were unlucky in the second game against St Helens – I think we could have pipped a win there – but the boys showed fitness in the last game and put in a great performance.”

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