Category: News

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD v SWINTON PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V SWINTON PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY

As was probably widely expected, Salford Red Devils concluded the first of this season’s three friendly games, with a comfortable 48-12 victory, at the A J Bell, on Sunday afternoon, over their historic, local rivals, Swinton Lions.  The scoreline might have appeared that way, but the plucky visitors, at times, tested their hosts to the hilt, particularly at the commencement of each half.

The opening ten minutes to the encounter saw the Lions firmly established in the Salford twenty metre area, where they launched foray after foray of attacks on the home team’s line.  Although there was nothing on the scoreboard to show for it all, they did force a couple of goal-line drop-outs, and were somewhat unfortunate to lose the ball in the act of crossing the line, on one occasion.

There is nothing like back-to-back tries, however, to put aa team in the driving seat, and it was not a case of two, but three scores in a five-minute blitz, between the 11th and 15th minutes, which put the Red Devils 14-0 up and firmly in command, thereafter.

The Lions’ period of ascendency, at the start of the second half, however, was rather more protracted, and considerably more rewarding in terms of points.  It was fifteen-minutes into the half before the impasse was broken with the first of their two tries, when Salford failed, close to their line, to secure a loose ball from a Swinton kick.

Unlike their Super League opponents, however, they were unable to make their scores back-to-back, with the Red Devils cancelling out this first one, four minutes later, with a try of their own sandwiched between the Lions’ pair, the second of which came as a result of Salford players being foxed by a tricky kick-off, and former Salford U19s forward, Will Hope, took advantage to double their score.  Indeed, Swinton had had an earlier success in reclaiming the ball from one of their own kick-offs, in the first half.

For Salford, though, the outing was more one for performance, and in this respect there was much to please the home fans, with the left flank looking absolutely unstoppable and most incisive on attack, and indeed not only did those first three back-to-back tries come down that edge, so too did a couple of others, later.

Not to be outdone, however, the right side also featured, courtesy of Ken Sio’s brace, coming singly in each half, and he would appear to be every bit as reliable in crossing as he was in last season’s leading SL try-scoring feat. With three defenders left straggled on the ground for his first, it might have seemed to have been as a consequence of weak tackling, but we are all only too aware of the surprising power in his hit-ups against much more experienced opposition to be lulled into that kind of thinking.

True there were a few issues, which, so early in the season, and with so many newcomers into the side, is hardly surprising.  Many of these appeared to be around timings, as exemplified by Sam Luckley’s premature run onto Brodie Croft’s chip kick and the consequent disallowing of his try between the posts.

It was particularly encouraging to see so many of the tries going to new players in the team, with Brodie Croft, Ryan Brierley, Deon Cross, and Shane Wright joining established Salfordians Andy Ackers, Matt Costello, and Rhys Williams, who all also crossed for a try apiece.

The visit of Halifax, this coming Friday evening, will see an upping of the intensity before a full-on Super League level clash, at Warrington, KO 7.30pm, concludes the preparations for the 2022 season.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 48-12 SWINTON LIONS | SATURDAY 15TH JANUARY 2022

Salford Red Devils ensured today’s double header against Swinton Lions ended in style, with a dominant 48-12 victory over the neighbours.

This was Paul Rowley’s first game as head coach of Salford and the first time that a handful of players would don the shirt, and it was all smiles come full-time.

Our new number 6, Brodie Croft, was first to score a try in 2022 for Salford, in the 11th minute. The Red Devils broke down the left and with Swinton outnumbered, Croft had no problem in strolling over for the first time in a Salford shirt.

Marc Sneyd converted for Salford – it’s been a while since we read those words.

lifelong Salford fan Ryan Brierley went over down the left a few minutes later, for his first try in a Salford shirt.

Two minutes later, Swinton were exposed down the left again and it was Man of the Match Deon Cross who scored.

2021’s Super League top try scorer, Ken Sio, obviously had to get in on the action and he did so in the 28th minute, crashing over down the right after a neat pass from the skipper Elijah Taylor opened up a path for our number 2.

Andy Ackers pulled out his trademark try from dummy half, in the 34th minute scooting over to the right of the sticks following a show and go that dumbfounded the Swinton defence.

Halftime: Salford Red Devils 26-0 Swinton Lions

Swinton got themselves on the scoreboard in the 56th minute through Mike Butt, who grounded the ball in the right corner for the first try of the second forty.

Matt Costello went over down the left on the hour mark, with Swinton’s Will Hope responding with a try of his own four minutes later.

Shane Wright picked up his first try for Salford two minutes later, and then sets Ackers up for his second try of the afternoon minutes later.

Academy product Jack Stevens came on in the 70th minute for Brodie Croft, a minute before Rhys Williams darted over to the left of the sticks to extend Salford’s lead.

Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 48-12 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils: Brierley, Williams, Cross, Costello, Sio, Croft, Sneyd, Vuniyayawa, Ackers, Akauola, Wright, Taylor (C), Luckley, Burke, Atkin, Johnson, Escare, Gerrard, Stevens.

Swinton Lions: Abram, Butt, Roberts, Lloyd, Lepori, Else, Hansen, Hope, Waterworth, Hatton, Gregson, Cox, Meadows, Jones, Spencer, Charnock, Brown, Case, Hayes, Brogan, Brickhill, Kenga.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS WOMEN 30-4 SWINTON LIONESSES

Salford Red Devils Women breezed past Swinton Lionesses this afternoon, in what was the team’s first ever rugby league match.

Vanessa Hadley put herself in the record books as the first woman to score a try for Salford, powering over down the right in the 11th minute to give her side the lead.

Salford’s Sam Boyes bundled over the line in the 25th minute – her strength proving too much for the Swinton defence to handle.

Halftime: Salford Red Devils Women 8-0 Swinton Lionesses

The visitors scored their only try of the game in the 46th minute, Chloe Birkett going over in the right corner.

Salford then went on to score three tries within the next 10 minutes, Lauren Ellison, Abi Collins and the captain, Louise Fellingham, all getting themselves on the scoresheet. Demi Jones became the first woman to score a conversion for Salford, following Collins’ try.

Casey Naylor scored the last try of the game shortly before the final hooter, powering over under the sticks to top what was an outstanding performance from our girls at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 30-4 Swinton Lionesses

Salford Red Devils Women: Abi Collins, Casey Naylor, Charlotte Cross, Darcey Price, Demi Jones, Eponine Fletcher, Erin Tong, Gabrielle Chaplin, Genevieve Parkin, Hannah Wicks, Helena Walker, Jena Monks, Kayleigh Bradshaw, Kia Doyle, Laura Bent, Lauren Chaplin, Lauren Ellison, Lauren Hunter, Louise Fellingham (c), Megan Condliffe, Olivia Miah, Sam Boyes, Steph Gray, Tamzin Corcoran, Vanessa Hadley (VC), Victoria Kini (VC), Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor.

Swinton Lionesses: Eve Ashcroft, Mia Atherton, Patrcyja Baronek, Isabel Birds, Chloe Birkett, Kara Breeze, Leah Christian, Maddison Corrigan, Ashley Deas, Holly Grimes, Emily Haley, Maddison Higson, Abbie Parkes-Holden, Skye Johnson, Chloe Latham, Jo Mullins, Helena Riley, Rebecca Roden, Mollie Scotson, Catherine Sweeney, Emily Swift, Carla Taylor, Ellie Thirkell, Ellie Walsh.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Excitement builds in the Women’s camp ahead of first fixture

Tomorrow morning will see our Women’s team compete in their first ever game, facing off against Swinton Lionesses at the AJ Bell Stadium, and our girls are eager to get out on the field.

The Women’s team open up tomorrow’s double header at 11:45am and have been working hard in training to ensure they put in a solid performance.

Salford Red Devils Women’s head coach, Chris Bates said: “Pre-season has been really good, I’m amazed at how this team has turned out. The way the girls have come together and tackled challenges, developed as a team and really learnt to understand each other, is class really.

“The girls are really looking forward to Saturday. We don’t know much about Swinton as they didn’t play in a league last year, so we’ve mainly focused on our own game.

“This game’s a fantastic opportunity and all the girls are really excited.”

Salford Red Devils Women’s captain, Louise Fellingham, commented: “Training has been going really well, everyone has been working hard and improving week on week. Since we’ve come back in the new year, you can tell the intensity has ramped up a notch.

“The team are excited at the prospect of pulling on the Salford jersey for the first time and taking to the field in front of a home crowd. We can’t wait to play at the AJ Bell.

“Playing against the Lionesses will be a valuable challenge for us, but with the experience we have in the squad, we are confident that we can put on a good performance – which we can then build on going into the season.”

Join us at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow, to catch our Women’s team in action for the very first time! Grab your tickets HERE.

 

SALFORD SIGN PROP ALEX GERRARD

Salford Red Devils are pleased to announce the signing of Alex Gerrard on a one-year deal.

The experienced prop began his career at Widnes Vikings, where he spent eight years between 2010 and 2018, before moving to Australia to play for Queensland outfit, Mackay Cutters. Gerrard then returned to the UK in 2020 to sign for Leigh Centurions.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Gerrard said: “There’s a good squad here at Salford, I’m looking forward to working hard to get into the 17.

“I want to be consistent in my performances and contribute positively to the group.”

Gerrard knows assistant coach Kurt Haggerty well through his time at Widnes, where Kurt was a player for two seasons. Haggerty was also assistant coach and then head coach at Leigh Centurions, whilst Gerrard was a Leyther.

“I know Kurt (Haggerty) from when I started out at Widnes. It’s always nice to see familiar faces and I’m looking forward to working with Kurt again.”

Salford Red Devils assistant coach, Kurt Haggerty, said: “It’s great to be working with Alex again. His ability as a front rower and his work rate will be really beneficial to the team moving forward. It’s great to have him on board for 2022.”

Head coach Paul Rowley commented: “I’m really pleased to add Alex to the squad, he’s got lots of experience at the top level and will add much needed depth and competition to the team, which we all understand will be paramount during this season.

“One of our strengths at Salford is the team spirit and Alex will fit in very well.”

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “It’s great to bring Alex in with his wealth of 1st team experience and he will now add some more depth and strength to our pack for the forthcoming season.”

Join Gerrard in 2022, by purchasing a season ticket HERE.

HALIFAX PANTHERS FRIENDLY ON SALE

Tickets are now on sale for Salford Red Devils’ friendly against Halifax Panthers, on Friday 21st January kick-off 7:30pm.

We host the Betfred Championship side at the AJ Bell Stadium and this will be a good test for new head coach Paul Rowley, a former Halifax man during his playing career.

Young Salford hooker Amir Bourouh, who recently turned 21, spent time with Halifax during the 2021 season so will be very familiar with the opposition come Friday 21st January.

Only the West stand will be open, with Halifax fans situated on the side closer to the North Stand and Salford fans allocated seats towards the South Stand.

At as little as £10 for an adult ticket, you don’t want to miss this one!

Friday night under the lights returns, and you can show your support of Salford Red Devils in 2022 by purchasing your match ticket HERE.

2022 PRE-SEASON FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce our pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2022 season.

Preparation for the 2022 campaign will begin on Saturday 15th January against Swinton Lions, kick-off at 2 pm, with our Women’s team playing their first-ever game against Swinton Lionesses on the same day, at 11:45 am, in what promises to be an exciting doubleheader at the AJ Bell Stadium.

On Friday 21st January, Paul Rowley’s men will host Betfred Championship outfit, Halifax Panthers, a team that our head coach represented for six years during his playing career and the side that our new hooker, Amir Bourouh, spent a spell on loan with during the 2021 season. This clash will kick off at 7:30 pm at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Our last test of pre-season comes in the form of an away trip to The Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday 4th February to play Warrington Wolves, kick-off 7:45 pm, in what will be former club captain Lee Mossop’s testimonial game. Tickets are sold through the Warrington Wolves website, Salford Fans should note the seating arrangements for home and away supporters before purchasing.

Tickets are available now for all three of our pre-season fixtures.

Support of Salford Red Devils by purchasing a 2022 season ticket HERE.

PAUL ROWLEY NAMES NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley has chosen a new leadership team to guide his side in 2022, with Elijah Taylor named captain and Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft taking the vice-captain roles.

Taylor arrived from Wests Tigers, where he was co-captain, ahead of the 2021 season, and despite missing parts of this year through injury, has impressed in a Salford shirt.

The 31-year-old has brought a vast amount of experience into the Salford squad since his arrival, with nine years in the NRL and a Rugby League World Cup with New Zealand.

Speaking on becoming captain of Salford Red Devils, Elijah Taylor said: “I’m humbled and yet excited for the opportunity to captain the team.

“Salford has a rich rugby league history and we’re all working extremely hard at training to lay a strong foundation for this coming season.”

Taylor is highly regarded amongst the coaching staff and squad as a natural leader, and the Kiwi will have the support of vice-captains Brodie Croft and Marc Sneyd, the latter spending 2021 as co-captain of Hull FC before returning to the Club that kickstarted his professional rugby league career.

A two-time Challenge Cup and Lance Todd Trophy winner, Sneyd returns to Salford with valuable big-game experience and is well respected within the squad for his leadership qualities and rugby league knowledge.

Number 7 for 2022, Sneyd said: “I’m happy to be vice-captain under ET (Elijah Taylor) and I’ll do my best to lead as best I can.

I’m just excited to get on to the field now and start playing games.”

Finishing up the leadership team, Brodie Croft also takes a vice-captain role at Salford.

Although still relatively young, Croft is a World Club Challenge winner and has played in an NRL Grand Final.

Our new number 6 will be working very closely with Sneyd this season in the halves, which will only strengthen their co vice-captaincy relationship as well.

Speaking on becoming vice-captain, Croft said: “It’s certainly a huge privilege to be named vice-captain here at Salford.

When Rowls (Paul Rowley) pulled me aside last week to ask whether I would take up vice captaincy with Sneydy, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m constantly growing as a player but really cherish the responsibility that comes with this role.

Hopefully I can lean on a lot of my experience I’ve had so far in my career, particularly at Melbourne where I was learning under some of the best players to have ever played rugby league!”

Get behind your new Salford Red Devils leadership team in 2022, by purchasing a season ticket HERE.

2022 SEASON TICKET DIRECT DEBIT

Spread the cost of your 2022 season ticket with Direct Debit over 6 months.

You have until Wednesday 19th January to get your season tickets on the 6-month plan, after this date the Direct Debit prices will be spread over 5 months.

Payments will come out of your bank account at the start of the month.

All season tickets priced below £50 are only available to purchase in full, in order to prevent additional costs from being passed onto supporters. Under 2s season tickets are available free of charge and along with disabled+carer tickets, must be purchased with an email to: ticketoffice@ajbellstadium.co.uk

Supporters can save more by purchasing season tickets in full and details on that can be found HERE.

Salford Red Devils would like to thank current season ticket holders for their overwhelming display of dedication throughout the 2021 campaign. The players will do everything they can to reward that support in the coming season.

If you have any more questions regarding Season Tickets, or email: enquiries@salfordreddevils.net

Anyone who has trouble with the above process should email their client reference number, name and address to: ticketoffice@ajbellstadium.co.uk. They will then receive a call back from the ticket office.

Anyone who is unable to email, should call 01617861570 and choose option 1 for tickets, then option 1 for Salford Red Devils. If there is no answer, then please leave a voicemail and the ticket office staff will get back to you. The ticket office open hours are:

Monday – 1 pm – 8 pm

Tuesday – 10 am – 4 pm

Wednesday – 10 am – 4 pm

Thursday – 1 pm – 8 pm

Friday – 10 am – 4 pm

Saturday / Sunday closed

RUGBY LEAGUE’S QUALITY STREET GANG (8) – PAUL CHARLTON (PT 3)

Part 3 –HIS INTERNATIONAL CAREER

The absolute highlight of Paul’s career came with his elevation to the international stage, with Great Britain.  The first of these occasions came when they faced New Zealand, at Bradford, in the second test of the 1965, three-test series.  At the time, the fullback position was securely in the hands of, then, Swinton fullback, Kenny Gowers, but he had been injured, and so Paul was brought in to replace him for that one test match, which Great Britain won 15-9.

Gowers was fit enough to return for the third test, and Paul then had to wait until he had joined Salford before he was recalled for the 1970 World Cup, and, even then, it was in something of a peripheral role, with Widnes’s, Ray Dutton, holding down the fullback slot for the majority of the games, probably for his additional ability to kick goals, in which he was prolific.

“I was included in the squad for the tournament, but I didn’t play in it, very much.  The one match I did get on for was against New Zealand, at Station Rd, Swinton, which we won.”

The whole competition was based on a league basis, in which the four competing countries played each of the others, with the two top teams proceeding to the final, at Headingley.

“It was most beneficial to me because it gave me a foretaste of the whole international environment, ahead of my full involvement in the 1972 World Cup held in France.  The progress I had made, in just a few years, was quite considerable, but the opportunity I got this time was due to having been at Salford.

“It just showed what a good move it had been for me to have gone there, because without that, I’m pretty sure I would have been in and out of the international side, again and again.”

With a fair proportion of the GB squad for that 1972 World Cup tournament being made up of Salford players, particularly in the backline, having Paul as one of them made the utmost sense, when they all had such an in-depth understanding of one another, and each individual’s strengths.

“I’d really got to know, by this time, how each of them worked as individuals, and as a group, on the field.  Had I been coming in from another club it would have been quite a steep learning curve for me.

“Another thing which is of great importance is getting on well with your teammates.  Having a good camaraderie with them is essential, because it does so much to building up the team spirit, and we at Salford had an absolutely tremendous one.  We all knew that we could rely on one another.

“We got to the final, where we had to play Australia, again, having won all of our qualifying games, including the one against them, 27-21.  The final ended in a 10-10 draw, but because we had the better scoring average overall, we were crowned winners.   I personally think that that was a little unfair, and I do believe that the game should have been replayed, as would have happened with any other drawn final, in those days.

“I can clearly remember the occasion to this day.  I remember coming out of the changing-room, totally unaware as to just how big these Aussies were, until we all lined up alongside each other to go out onto the field and I found myself standing next to Artie Beetson.  He was head and shoulders above me, and something like ten stone heavier.  Over the years, I got to know him quite well, and, believe me, he was an absolute gentleman.”

Paul had now become firmly established as first choice fullback for the international side, with his next being included in the 1974 Great Britain tour of Australia.

“We flew into Cairns for the first of our tour games, and then, by means of planes and coaches we travelled down the east coast, calling off at venues such as Rockhampton, and quite a number of outback settlements.  Wherever we went, the receptions we got from the local inhabitants was absolutely fantastic.  Eventually we arrived in Brisbane, where we played the first test at Lang Park, which, unfortunately, we lost 12-6.

“From there we set off on our way down to Sydney, in a similar mix of road and air travel.  What also was exactly the same was the tremendous, friendly, welcome we received, wherever we stopped off.  I was absolutely taken with the beautiful country we travelled through. I can remember thinking that I would love, one day, to come to live there and that I must bring my wife to see it for herself to see whether she felt so too.

“The second test was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and after the defeat in Brisbane, one or two selection changes were made, with Kenny Gill being brought in, to partner Stevie Nash, and Roger Milward moving onto the wing.  This did the trick, and we went on to win 11-16.

“Sydney Cricket Ground was also the venue for the third test, but the result that afternoon went 22-18 in favour of the Australians, after which we flew to New Zealand, where we won two of the four fixtures, but the test match there, at Carlaw Park, Auckland, was one of the pair we lost, in this case by 13-8.

After an international career, which earned him a total of twenty international caps, his last representative honour came when he became a member of the newly formed England side, which played their first match against France, in February, once again at Headingley, where they got off to a winning start, ahead of the imminent World Cup tournament, later that year.

“That game proved to be my last international game because George Fairbairn had been being groomed for the position for a while, and they made the decision to go with him, thereafter.”