Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crunch Time for Thunder Play-Off Chances

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Crunch Time for Thunder Play-Off Chances

Article excerpt

Gateshead Thunder travel to Barrow tomorrow to take on the Raiders in a game crucial to both sides.

Barrow need to win to keep their place in the play-off zone, while a win for Thunder would give them the springboard to launch an assault on those positions.

Coach Paul Fletcher is in no doubt his side are in for a tough clash but takes heart from the improved performance a week ago at home to Swinton Lions.

Barrow, meanwhile, suffered a last-minute loss at Sheffield, where they conceded 43 points.

The Tynesiders are confident, with Fletcher feeling his side is working well in training and ready for the task ahead.

Fletcher revealed his game plan will be to slow down Barrow's big forwards and then use their own pace in the back line to exploit gaps.

He said: "It's crunch time for my young side. We need to win five out of our remaining seven games if we are to make the play-offs and tomorrow is a good time to start."

Thunder welcome back to the squad Chris Fletcher following his successful tour with Scotland A and may also be boosted by the return from Australia of winger Richie Barnett, who has scored five tries this season. …

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