BARNSLEY RUFC are set for a huge game in their Yorkshire Division Three survival fight when they welcome fellow strugglers Burley tomorrow.

The Shaw Laners lost 35-5 at home to second-placed Halifax Vandals on Saturday so are now ninth, a point clear of safety. Burley won against fellow strugglers Skipton so jumped a point above Barnsley into eighth.

The town team lost their first seven games of the season – having lost all 22 in Yorkshire Division Two last season – but ended that woeful run with a 20-19 win at Burley on November 4.

That started a much better run of form which had seen them lose one of eight, with five wins and two draws, before defeats to the top two sides in their last two games.

Coach Tom Kittrick said: “It’s a big game. We want a few more people in the crowd.

“When Barnsley FC play away, we usually get a few more in so hopefully that will happen on Saturday.

“Burley were a strong side when we played them last time.

“They are students, very fit and all young lads.

“They have won two on the bounce so will be full of spirit.

“It’s just as big for them, as for us.

“It will be a really good game.”

After Burley, Barnsley face West Park Leeds and Castleford who join them in the relegation fight.

Kittrick said: “The next three are all teams around us. We have told the lads they have to step up and win them.

“We want to win with bonus points so we go five points clear of these teams.

“We know if teams win games in hand, we will be back in the relegation places.

“But we play them all.

“We gave everyone a head start by losing the first seven games.

“If you take the season from when I took over, we would be third.

“You can’t give teams that many points.

“But we still have a chance and I am confident we can stay up.

“We have five cup finals.

“I don’t think we will deserve to go down with how we’ve done in the last few months but the league table doesn’t lie and we have a lot of work still to do.”

Scott Edwards scored Barnsley’s try against the Vandals.

Kittrick said: “We had a patched-up team out and we were missing more or less a full 15.

“We had 12 injuries and two or three at Twickenham to watch England because this was originally supposed to be a free weekend.

“The lads gave it good dig. The effort and attitude was there but Vandals were clinical and they are a good side who have not lost in 12.

“We were down to 13 men with two sin bins. That has happened two weeks on the trot.

“We have got to smarten up on discipline.”

Barnsley Ladies also face a crucial match as they visit second-bottom Bishop Auckland in the Championship North on Sunday.

The Shaw Laners are currently third-bottom, 21 points clear of Sunday’s hosts.

The Barnsley team play in the second tier of women’s rugby union in England.

Wath’s men are due to host Ossett on Saturday in Yorkshire League Two after two weeks without a match.

Wath are down to second after North Ribblesdale won their game in hand.

They are still ten points clear in the top two.