Daryl Powell praises ‘uncompromising’ Barrow Raiders as ‘uncharacteristic’ Wakefield Trinity secure 1895 Cup semi-final spot

Daryl Powell heaped praise on Barrow Raiders as Wakefield Trinity progressed into the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup.
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A double from Renouf Atoni and tries from Max Jowitt, Josh Griffin and Harvey Smith helped Trinity to a 30-12 win at the DIY Kitchens Stadium – which means they are only 80 minutes away from a Wembley final – but the “uncompromising” visitors threatened to cause an upset in the second half.

“It was a test and we probably made it more of a test than it should have been,” admitted head coach Powell, who watched his side roar into a 12-0 lead inside the opening five minutes thanks to Atoni and Jowitt.

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But Wakefield, who had been flawless in their first four games of 2024 scoring 51 tries, failed to add to their tally until the latter stages of the first half before Barrow proved to be the dominant outfit in the second half.

Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell.Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell.
Wakefield Trinity head coach Daryl Powell.

Powell said: “We started unbelievably and then it was probably too easy for us at the start. We dropped a couple of levels and made a lot of unforced errors.

“It was loose and uncharacteristic from what we have seen so far and we put ourselves under a bit of pressure. I don’t know how many points we had scored in the previous four games and we scored in our first set and then scored soon after.

“But it doesn’t do anyone any good when things are too easy, even if you might think so at the time. There are some lessons for the boys and for the team. There’s a few that haven’t been in that kind of scenario so I think they will learn a lot from it.

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Wakefield Trinity close in on Wembley final after 1895 Cup win over Barrow Raide...
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“I think it will be good for us in terms of having to deal with adversity and lots of lulls. It was a stop-start game with too many penalties in it and it ended up being a war of attrition in the second half where we made a lot of errors and there was no real flow to the game.

“There are a lot of disappointing bits but we’re in a semi-final and one game away from Wembley. We will learn some lessons from that and we will move on.”

On Barrow’s performance, Powell said: “Credit to Barrow. I thought they were really tough and uncompromising and they stuck at it. After that start anything could have happened but they hung in there and got a lot of joy out of it and will feel pretty good that they competed with us.

“I thought Barrow’s kicking game, in particular, was really dangerous and they got a lot of joy from that and had a sustained spell of pressure in the second half which got them points.

“Even though we’ve won the game, we will feel worse than they do, which is pretty ironic.”