Category: Rugby

Marshall – “We’ll have to be at our best”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall is looking to build momentum from his team’s first Betfred Super League win of the season when his side take on Castleford Tigers this Friday.

Salford ran out 34-8 winners over Leigh Centurions last Friday. Yet Marshall knows that his team will have to be at their best come their next tie.

“It will be a tough game, they’re a good team,” Marshall said.

“We’ll have to be at our best, our defence will have to improve, our ball control will have to improve. But I think there’s a lot more improvement with this squad, we’ve gave ourselves a chance and we’ll be going to compete.”

Castleford lost their first game of the season 22-12 last Thursday to Wigan Warriors. The Tigers sit 4th in the Betfred Super League standings and will be looking to bounce back from their loss when Salford welcome them at the AJ Bell stadium.

But spirits will be high in the Salford camp after their first league victory for not only the club, but the head coach as well.

“We feel good,” said Marshall. “We know we have to play better over the next couple of weeks.

“We’re all in it together. It’s not about me. For our club and our supporters, we owed them a performance. When you do that you usually win the game, so we look to concentrate on the performance first and as a result of performing really well.”

Marshall will have some thinking to do ahead of the clash with Tigers, with a number of regulars potentially unavailable for Round 5.

Marshall added: “We had a couple of injuries from the Catalans game. Kallum Watkins he’s got a small fracture in the hand; we don’t think it’s too bad, but he may miss next week (this Friday).

“Pauli Pauli rolled his ankle, so he wasn’t fit. Elijah (Taylor) has a shoulder problem that we can’t keep on top of.”

You can watch Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers live on Sky Sports, kick-off at 7:45pm, or on Our League if you’re a season ticket holder.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD v LEIGH

You just never know how a game is going to unfold, and throughout any match all a team can do is to hang on in with the opposition so that when the decisive moment comes, if it goes in their direction, they will be in a position to take advantage of it and secure the result for themselves.

That philosophy could never have been more aptly fitting than to Salford’s victory over Leigh, on Friday evening, when a finely balanced contest swung completely out of the grasp of the spirited Centurions, and suddenly the scoreboard was working overtime to keep track of the home side’s newfound dominance.

That crucial moment came almost exactly midway through the second half, when a most threatening Leigh attack, via their left flank, was thwarted to devastating effect.  Krisnan Inu it was who produced the most extraordinary feat of ball handling skill, which really has to be viewed in slow motion to be fully appreciated.  He not only blocked what could have been a try-scoring pass, he then one-handedly regathered and flipped out the ball, with unbelievable accuracy to wing partner, Ken Sio, and all this whilst he was tumbling forward onto the ground.

With ninety metres then to cover, Sio’s pace and clever tactical running skills – involving veering first inside and then out to the righthand corner as he neared the try line – prevented him being overhauled by his pursuing opposite number.

Inu’s conversion, from wide out, succeeded in opening up a ten-point gap which had the most profound of effects on the Red Devils.  Gone, suddenly, was all the apprehension that had seemed to have dogged their attack for much of the game, to be replaced by a self-belief, assurance, and confidence that they had lacked recently.

From that point on, the pace of their game went up two gears, the ball was swung about from side to side with an accuracy that they had struggled to produce earlier, support for the man with the ball increased, and holes in the visitors’ defence line were exploited to the full. Marshall’s men enjoyed their ascendency to the full, adding a further three tries in a ten-minute period, which had the Centurions on the rack for the remainder of the encounter.

The Leigh players themselves must have been totally bemused and bewildered by this turn of events, and particularly by the one-sided look of the scoreline, for, in truth, the game hitherto had been anything but that. Indeed, the Centurions had had the better of the early exchanges, as they out-enthused their hosts, winning the battle of the hard yardage with strong running which gave them field position to score the opening try.

It was the Salford kicking game, which, in the first half, troubled Leigh most, with a number of high bombs being dropped, and goal-line drop-outs being forced from others, all of which brought a period of concerted Salford attack, and a converted try, to take the lead.  That lead proved to be quite short-lived, however, as the possibility of protracted home dominance, on the back of it, never materialised.

Rather the reverse, in fact, was the case, with Leigh enjoying their greatest period of pressure, during which they regained the lead to take with them into half time.  It was nip and tuck on the resumption, with Salford regaining a slender lead, which they held right up to that crucial moment of Inu’s intervention and Sio’s finish.

Great as it was to have gained their first league points of the season, there were a number of individual performances to enhance the enjoyment of that. As expected the stalwarts of the side, Mossop, Ikahihifo, Brown, and Lolohea, were the go-to players but a number of others also stood out.

Not least of these were Elliott Kear who was a revelation at fullback, Oliver Roberts who had his best game to date for Salford, Harvey Livett who built upon his personal performance at Catalans with involvement in three tries, one of which he was the scorer, and Chris Atkin whose introduction at dummy-half led to a much more fluid attacking game. Good individual performances from them all, but it was teamwork which won the match.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 34-8 LEIGH CENTURIONS | FRIDAY 23 APRIL 2021

Salford Red Devils marked the return of Betfred Super League action at the AJ Bell Stadium, with a 34-8 victory over neighbours Leigh Centurions.

After trailing early on and going into the break two points behind the visitors, a strong performance in the second forty ensured Richard Marshall secured his first Betfred Super League win at the helm at Salford.

It took only six minutes for the first try of the game and it was Leigh who struck first, Matthew Russell receiving the ball down the left wing and grounding near the corner.

Salford took the lead, however, just over 15 minutes later through James Greenwood, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes in replace of the injured Matt Costello, before he powered over the Leigh line to the left of the sticks.

Leigh responded just before the half-hour mark, again finding success down the left flank and this time it was Iain Thornley who scored for the Centurions.

Half time: Salford Red Devils 6-8 Leigh Centurions

Salford came out looking the livelier outfit in the second forty and Kevin Brown put the Red Devils back in front in the 50th minute, finding a gap in the Leigh line and darting over to the right.

15 minutes later, Krisnan Inu intercepted a Leigh pass and just managed to bat the ball to Sio, who was too quick f0r the Centurions, running almost the length of the field to ground the ball down the right and pick up his third Betfred Super League try in four games.

James Greenwood, who had looked threatening ever since he came on, broke the line in the 70th minute and fed Harvey Livett who, in turn, fed Brown for his second try of the game, this time towards the left of the sticks.

Livett set up his second try in as many minutes, this time feeding Chris Atkin for his first Betfred Super League try of the season.

Livett picked up a try of his own just before the hooter, and just minutes after he saw a try ruled out for obstruction, after some great passing down the left set the number 20 up for his second Betfred Super League try in two consecutive games.

Salford welcome Castleford Tigers to the AJ Bell Stadium in a week’s time, in Round 5 of the Betfred Super League. Sign up to RDTV to hear everything Richard Marshall had to say in tonight’s post-match press conference.

Full time: Salford Red Devils 34-8 Leigh Centurions

Salford Red Devils: Kear, Sio, Inu, Costello, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Patton, Ikahihifo, Livett, Roberts, Wells, Greenwood, Lussick, Atkin, Burke.

Leigh Centurions: Mullen, Russell, Gelling, Thornley, Tierney, Reynolds, Brierley, McCarthy, Hood, Flower, Hellewell, Thompson, Bell, Peats, Ioane, Gerrard, Gee.

Salford tries: Greenwood, Brown, Sio, Brown, Atkin, Livett

Salford goals: Inu (5/6)

Leigh tries: Russell, Thornley

Referee: James Child

Image credit: Steve McCormick

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CATALANS v SALFORD

It had all started so well, with Salford commencing the more brightly of the two sides.  Having gone head to head with their hosts for the four opening sets, and indeed at least matching, if not bettering them, for yardage and for questioning of their defence, the Red Devils got briefly on top, when, from their second end-of-set kick, Harvey Livett, ably assisted by Kevin Brown’s intelligently dropping out of the tackle, was able to relieve Sam Tomkins of possession and launch the visitors on a close goal-line examination of the Dragons’ defence.

A clever kick from Tui Lolohea, into the in-goal area, at the end of that set, brought about the rewards of a goal-line drop-out, and it really looked as though the Salford players could bring a real test to the French team.  That, though, was as good as it were to get for some time, with a forced pass on the second tackle, with little room for error, being seized upon by the home side to set up a counter-attack.

Ten minutes of finely balanced rugby was eventually brought to an end with a debatable refereeing decision giving possession to Catalans, and in their first real challenge to defend their own line, the Red Devils cracked – not once but twice with back-to-back tries – and with that the game had swung to the Dragons.

What followed became somewhat dispiriting, as individual errors became increasingly prevalent, and the sheer physical dominance of the Catalans side, allied to sundry gifts of possession through lost ball or careless handling, saw them wear the visitors down with all the extra tackling each error forced upon them.  Missed tackles, on occasions, led directly to tries.

Indeed, the French had really done a good job in identifying which players they needed to target for special attention, and Kevin Brown, for example, was so closely policed that he often received ball and posse, almost simultaneously.  Their superior line speed added significantly to Salford’s error count and so often snuffed out possible attacks before they had had time to develop momentum.

 

Just when Salford fans, fifty minutes in, were beginning to wonder whether their team would manage to get on the scoreboard, the Reds succeeded in rescuing themselves in that respect, and it was a well worked try when it came.

A strong hit up by prop, Jack Ormondroyd, followed by a quick play-the-ball enabled Brown to get the ball in space for once, and his well-timed pass put Livett through a half gap.  The try still needed scoring though, not just in getting to the line but also in his handling skill, whilst under considerable pressure from the opposition, in grounding the ball without losing control of it.

It was definitely not Salford’s day, however, as the scoreboard reflects, though on that form, many other sides are going to struggle to live with the Catalans side, at their home.  The Red Devils have started the season taking on three of the most dominant teams in the competition.  They have to put that behind them now, and concentrate on securing a victory, with a considerably improved performance, which would be helped by showing greater self-belief, in adversity, both individually, and as a team.

MATCH REPORT | CATALANS DRAGONS 42-6 SALFORD RED DEVILS | SATURDAY 17 APRIL 2021

Salford Red Devils continue the search for their first Betfred Super League win of 2021 after a 42-6 defeat to Catalans Dragons in Perpignan this evening.

The hosts were boosted by a trio of tries from Fouad Yaha, with Harvey Livett Salford’s only try scorer in the Round 3 clash.

The French side had scored twice after 15 minutes through Benjamin Garcia and Samisoni Langi, with Josh Drinkwater sliding over to the right of the sticks just before the half-hour mark.

Half time: Catalans Dragons 20-0 Salford Red Devils

Catalans added to their lead inside the first three minutes of the second forty, Yaha grounding the ball on the left flank.

Tom Davies scored a similar try for Catalans seven minutes later but this time on the right wing.

Salford got themselves on the scoreboard in the 56th minute through Harvey Livett, who powered over towards the left of the sticks to score his first Super League try in a Salford shirt.

Yaha went over for the French just over five minutes later, again grounding the ball down the left wing. The Frenchman completed his hattrick 10 minutes from time to make the final score 42-6 in favour of Catalans.

Full time: Catalans Dragons 42-6 Salford Red Devils

Catalans Dragons: Tomkins, Davies, Langi, Whare, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Dudson, Da Costa, Bousquet, Whitley, McMeeken, Garcia, Mcllorum, Séguier, Baitieri, Kasiano

Salford Red Devils: Escare, Sio, Costello, Watkins, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Patton, Ormondroyd, Livett, Pauli, Taylor, Ikahihifo, Lussick, Ackers, Wells.

Salford tries: Livett

Salford goals: Escare

Catalans tries: Garcia, Langi, Drinkwater, Yaha (3), Davies

Catalans goals: Maloney (7)

Referee: Benjamin Thaler

Marshall – “We’ve got that in abundance”

Salford Red Devils travel to Perpignan this Saturday to face Catalans Dragons in Round 3 of the Betfred Super League and head coach Richard Marshall and his side are up for the challenge.

Salford are still on the hunt for their first Super League win of the season, but last Saturday’s blowout victory over Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup has Marshall optimistic of his team’s chances against a Catalans side who are unbeaten in 2021.

Marshall said: “The preparation was good last week, the same with this week,”

“We scored a lot of points, some really good tries and there was a lot of interplay. We’ll build off our last performance albeit in the cup.

“It’s all about discipline when you go over there to France, whether there’s a crowd there or not.”

Having won all three of their games in all competitions this season, Catalans Dragons will provide a tough test for the Red Devils.

Marshall said: “They’ve got really good half backs who guide them and a big physical team who take it right to the edge, we’ll be ready for that.

“We will need a real strong, resolute defensive line but also manage the game correctly. That’s something we’ve been talking about all week. It’s that Salford ‘never say die’ attitude and we’ve got that in abundance.”

Salford will be the first team to travel to France during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Marshall has made it clear that player welfare is at the forefront of his preparation.

“The safety and the welfare of our players is paramount for me as a coach,” Marshall added.

“We’re just flying in on the date, we’ll play and fly out on the same day. It’s get in, get the job done and then get back. We’re in our own bubble. We won’t be mixing with anyone outside of that.”

One player returning to familiar ground is full-back Morgan Escare. The Frenchman was born in Perpignan and played for Catalans for three years, and after his impressive performance against Widnes, there may be some added motivation for the 29-year-old to deliver against his former team.

“He knows about the place being it’s his former club and I’m looking forward for him to be an energiser for our team,” Marshall added.

“They’ll be no crowd there or friends and family but he’s on his home soil. I was really happy with his performance last week.”

Catalans Dragons v Salford Red Devils kicks off at 17:00 BST live on Sky Sports, and is also available to watch on Our League if you’re a season ticket holder.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

SALFORD LEAD PHYSIO TO WORK WITH ENGLAND AT RLWC2021

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that lead physio Rob Artingstall has been appointed as a physiotherapist for England, ahead of June’s mid-season international against the Combined Nations All Stars and Autumn’s Rugby League World Cup.

Artingstall will continue in his role within the backroom staff at the AJ Bell Stadium, but admits this has always been a dream of his to be involved in the England setup.

Speaking on the appointment, Artingstall said: “Working with England has always been a goal of mine since I started working in rugby. It is such an unbelievable honour and I’m so excited and privileged to get to work together with all of the staff and players at England.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and I can’t wait to contribute towards what is going to be an amazing World Cup campaign.”

Salford Red Devils director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “This announcement is fantastic news for Rob and for Salford Red Devils.

“Rob has been a pivotal part of our medical setup for over seven years, and to be able to work with England RL at this year’s Rugby World Cup is an achievement that is well-deserved and speaks volumes about Rob’s ability and knowledge.”

England head coach Shaun Wane commented: “Rob is very professional and highly respected within the game, and I’m delighted that he’s now part of the England set up.”

Artingstall linked up with Wane and the England squad for the first time on Tuesday, as Wane held his first in-person training session since he took over as England head coach, at Leeds Beckett University.

England play the Combined Nations All Stars at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 25 June – part of a historic double-header featuring the Men’s and Women’s teams.

Tickets are on sale now via the RFL website, priced £20 for adults and £10 for under U16s. An initial 4,000 tickets are available, with the hope that further areas of the stadium will become available as social distancing requirements ease.

Ormondroyd – “My goal is to try and nail down a spot in the team every week”

Prop Jack Ormondroyd seized on his opportunity last Saturday, capping off his great performance against Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup with a Man of the Match honour.

Now Ormondroyd will be knocking on head coach Richard Marshall’s door for a consistent spot in the starting line-up.

“My goal is to try and nail down a spot in the team every week,” Ormondroyd said.

“I had a meeting with Rich (Richard Marshall) and Danny (Orr) pre-season, and we set some goals and that was one of my goals. I’ve put quite a lot of work in pre-season and hopefully Rich and Danny have seen that and hopefully it will pull off.”

The number 25 made 7 appearances in his debut season in Salford last term. By his own account, Ormondroyd believes his performance against Widnes is a way to help nail down his spot in the Salford team.

There were also a lot of opportunities handed to new signings, with players such as Morgan Escare, Darcy Lussick and Matt Costello all featuring in the weekend’s win.

Ormondroyd talked about building chemistry with the newer players in the squad and the harmony within the dressing room.

“With all new teams it takes quite a bit of time to gel. I think we’ve had a long pre-season, we met up the week before Christmas, so we’ve had a lot of time now together. All the new lads are good lads.”

“That’s a big thing here at Salford, we talked about it a lot last year and this year. I’ve been good mates with everyone, having no bad eggs in the team, and that goes a really long way in making you a successful team. Everybody wants to work hard for each other and work hard for the coach as well. “

The Red Devils return to Betfred Super League action this Saturday against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan. Catalans have won all three of their opening games this season and Ormondroyd knows they are going to be a tough test.

Ormondroyd added: “It will be a tough game. They’ve got a big pack, but I think it’s a good chance for us.

“We didn’t have two great performances in our last two, so we talked about restarting our season against Widnes. It’s a step up this week.”

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

Marshall – “He’s a shining star for us”

Head coach Richard Marshall was delighted with a number of individual performances from his Red Devils side in last Saturday’s comfortable victory over Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup.

 The dominant 68-4 victory over Widnes booked the Red Devils a place in the Quarter-Finals of the Betfred Challenge Cup, in what was Marshall’s first runout in the competition as the Salford head coach. 

 The victory was highlighted by a Man of the Match performance from Jack Ormondroyd, and Morgan Escare and Matt Costello both picking up two tries each on their debuts for Salford.

 It was a particularly great afternoon for Ormondroyd, who repeatedly broke the Widnes line and looked a constant threat, capping his Man of the Match performance with a try of his own. 

 Speaking on Salford’s number 25, Marshall said: “He’s one of those unsung heroes within our team. He had a really good, solid game for us, he looked strong in contact, but his challenge would be to do that every week.

 “Hes probably on the periphery of the first team at our club. He’s not a young man anymore, if he wants to be Super League player, hes going to have to play week in, week out against the best team and packs in the country. 

“He’s been good over the past couple of weeks so he’s a shining star for us.”  

 Marshall was also full of praise for Escare and Costello.

 “They’ve obviously been knocking on the door the last couple of weeks,” Marshall added.

“Both new players to our club and both took their opportunities really, really well. I thought defensively, Matt had some reads when challenged and I thought Morgan was everywhere… he’s electric. They’ll gain a lot of confidence.” 

 Despite the blowout win, Marshall still acknowledged the effort put in from Widnes, in a contest that began quite evenly matched.

Marshall said: They had some quality in their troops. I thought their half backs had a good go and challenged us at times. But for our guys we scored some wonderful points.

“Albeit it was against a Championship side, but you’ve still got to score, make breaks, offload and from that point of view it was really encouraging.”  

Salford travel to Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, which will be contested over the first weekend of May.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 68-4 WIDNES VIKINGS | SATURDAY 10TH APRIL 2021

Salford Red Devils booked themselves a place in the Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter-Final this afternoon with a dominant 68-4 victory over Widnes Vikings.

In what was Richard Marshall’s first Betfred Challenge Cup game as Salford head coach, the Red Devils responded massively to recent defeats, with debutants Morgan Escare and Matt Costello both picking up two tries each.

It was the Frenchman Escare who opened the scoring at the AJ Bell Stadium in the 13th minute, strolling over after Jack Ormondroyd, today’s Man of the Match, broke the Widnes line to set Escare up.

Costello picked up a debut try of his own five minutes later, scrambling over the line to the left of the sticks to extend Salford’s lead.

The number 24 then scored another in the 22nd minute, opening Widnes up with a dummy pass before darting over the line down the left.

Darcy Lussick came on for Lee Mossop in the 23rd minute to make his debut for the Red Devils, and just over ten minutes later Tui Lolohea added to Salford’s lead.

Welshman Rhys Williams breached the Widnes line with a fantastic run and set up Lolohea who was just fast enough to make it to the line and ground the ball in the 35th minute.

Just before the half-time hooter, Widnes got themselves onto the scoreboard for the first and only time of the afternoon through Daniel Hill down the left flank.

Half-time: Salford Red Devils 24-4 Widnes Vikings

Four minutes into the second forty, Dec Patton scrambled over the line to the left of the posts to score his first try as a Red Devil.

Andy Ackers entered the field four minutes later for Lolohea, and scored a try of his own within the first minute of being on the pitch.

Seb Ikahihifo powered over two minutes before the hour mark for his first try of 2021, the Widnes defence no match for Salford’s number 10.

Kallum Watkins went over in the 64th minute after some quality link-up play with Pauli Pauli, who powered through a handful of Widnes players to set Watkins up to the right of the sticks.

Ormondroyd, who had been a handful all afternoon for the Vikings, broke the Widnes line again in the 73rd minute and this time grounded the ball himself.

Three more tries from Rhys Williams, Morgan Escare and Chris Atkin rounded off what was a spectacular performance for Salford Red Devils, who progress to the Quarter-Final of the Betfred Challenge Cup.

Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 68-4 Widnes Vikings

Salford Red Devils: Escare, Williams, Watkins, Inu, Lolohea, Ormondroyd, Patton, Mossop, Livett, Pauli, Wells, Roberts, Ackers, Lussick, Ikahihifo.

Widnes Vikings: Hill, Cross, Spedding, Roby, Buckley, Craven, Smith, Grady, Else, Jewitt, Tyrer, Lawton, Owens, Lyons, Clough, Tilleke, Wilde.

Salford tries: Escare (2), Costello (2), Lolohea, Patton, Ackers, Ikahihifo, Watkins, Ormondroyd, Williams, Atkin.

Salford goals: Inu (10/12)

Widnes tries: Hill

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas

Image credit: Steve McCormick