Category: Rugby

Marshall – “We’re ready for the challenge”

Head Coach Richard Marshall has said that he wants his Salford Red Devils team to produce quality performances at the AJ Bell stadium ahead of the team’s first competitive home game of the season.

Salford will face Widnes Vikings in the Third Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup on Saturday, and Marshall expressed that he was looking forward to the match.

Marshall said: “We played a couple of friendlies here and I thought we played really well in them.

“We want to play really well at home this year, and we’ve got an opportunity this week to do that.”

While the match will be played without fans in attendance, Marshall explained he was relishing the return of fans, saying that he looked forward to building a rapport with the local community.

Marshall added: “I want to get a relationship with our support and our local community.

“The lifeblood of our game is our fans, and we want to repay them with our performances on the pitch.”

Salford will be the favourites when they face Widnes, but Marshall warned against underestimating the Betfred Championship side.

“I’m sure Widnes will be coming with a really concise game plan and try to unnerve and rattle us,” Marshall explained.

“The Championship teams come with lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm and a really good simple plan.”

Marshall revealed that he wanted to strike a balance between selecting a strong team and rotation but would be forced in to making some certain changes, confirming that both Dan Sarginson and Elijah Taylor will be out through injury. Kevin Brown is also unavailable due to suspension.

Marshall said: “We want to win this game and progress in the Challenge Cup.

“We’ve got some fringe players that have not played and who I’ve not had a look at yet, but at the same time we’ve not found our rhythm.

“We want to put a strong team out and we want to go and win the game.

“We’re ready for the challenge.”

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Patrick Ryan

Josh Johnson – “We want to get some silverware”

Salford Red Devils prop Josh Johnson believes his side are on the road to more memorable occasions this season, despite a rocky start so far.

Speaking after making his return from injury against Hull FC last Saturday, Johnson remained confident that the Red Devils were on track to compete over the course of the Betfred Super League season and that fresh faces in both the staff and the squad had brought a new energy to the team.

Johnson said: “It is quite refreshing having new people come in because it brings new ideas, new drills, just a whole different thing, a new set of eyes looking on what we are doing. So, on a personal note, it has probably helped me so I think it can only push us on even further.

“Our ambitions this year are no different, we want to get some silverware and we have come up short twice now.

“I think everyone in the squad and the new additions we have brought in, we are all heading in the same direction and I think we are going to turn it around and get to some more big occasions and get some silverware.”

On the prospect of facing Widnes Vikings in Round Three of the Betfred Challenge Cup this Saturday, Johnson is ready for what he believes is still going to be a tough test against a strong Betfred Championship side.

“Widnes are a tough opposition, like you say they are in the Championship, but that gives them that extra bit of hunger to try to turn us over, so we have got to be ready for that this weekend.

“I think they will come with a lot of hunger and aggression and I think we will need to match it and out enthuse them and our talented players in our squad will overcome them and I am confident we will get the win.”

You can purchase an Our League game day pass for Salford’s Third Round tie against Widnes Vikings HERE, at an early bird price of £4.95.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Megan Wellens

Marshall – “I’m looking forward to the week”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall has called on his team to respond to recent defeats when they face Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup Third Round on Saturday.

After a slow start to the season, Saturday’s clash with Betfred Championship side, Widnes Vikings, provides the perfect tonic for Marshall’s men to bounce back.

Marshall said: “We need a response and I’m looking forward to the week and making sure the boys are ready for Widnes.

“We need to play a lot better.”

Despite the loss against Hull FC last Saturday, Marshall warned that there would not be too much rotation for the Betfred Challenge Cup tie this weekend.

“We’ll have picked up a couple of knocks today and some people will need a run, but at the same time it’s important that we win that game,” Marshall added.

“We’ve not found our formula as yet as a team, so I’ll have to have a think about that in the week and see how everyone tips off and practises.”

Salford reached the final of the Betfred Challenge Cup last year but fell short at the final hurdle. The Red Devils will look to go one step further in 2021, but the head coach insists that focus is entirely on his side’s performance on Saturday.

Marshall added: “Let’s just focus on the next game. Forget about the opposition, it’s for ourselves and about what we’re trying to achieve here.”

To watch Salford’s Betfred Challenge Cup Third Round tie with Widnes Vikings on Saturday, you can purchase an Our League pass HERE, at an early bird price of £4.95.

Written by: Patrick Ryan

Image credit: Steve McCormick

RLWC 2021 TICKETS ON SALE TO MARK 200 DAYS TO GO

Today marks 200 days to go until the opening fixture of Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), and to celebrate this milestone, general admission tickets are now officially on sale.

Salford Red Devils fans can now secure their seat for anyone of the 61 fixtures that take place later this year, across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments that will take place simultaneously for the first time across England.

Fans can now purchase tickets here until Tuesday 1 June, where tickets will go off sale for a three-week period until June 21st for seat assignment. In addition, RLWC2021 has also launched competing nations merchandise which is available via the RLWC2021 Official Shop.

The general sale will see ticket prices starting as low as £2.21 for concessions, and the unique tournament will be one of the most accessible and affordable for fans with more than 80% of tickets priced below £50.

Demand for tickets has already exceeded organisers expectations during the ballot period last year, with several fixtures only having limited availability remaining.

Fans who have been starved of live sporting actions since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic have the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of rugby league surrounded by full stadiums. RLWC2021 are working alongside UK governing bodies to deliver a restriction free tournament.

Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of RLWC2021, said: “This is a momentous day for the tournament as general admission tickets go on sale to the public.

“The last year or so has been an incredibly challenging one for everyone, including fans deprived of seeing live events, and to be able to go on sale for what promises to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history is very exciting.

“The countdown is well and truly on, and fans from all of our incredible host cities can feel the excitement building, with general sale being the latest milestone passed on the road to RLWC2021.

“With the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournament tickets going on sale today, there are so many amazing fixtures for fans to secure their seats to, giving them a chance to be involved in what is sure to be a fantastic World Cup. There is a real opportunity for them to not only support their own nation, but also the realistic and affordable possibility of seeing some of the other high-profile games and maybe adopting a second team in the tournament.”

Tournament organisers have also issued a ticket refund guarantee for all ticket buyers should there be restrictions on crowds at the event and to reassure fans in the unfortunate circumstance the event has to be cancelled. More information is available here.

Premium seats and Hospitality experiences are still on sale and available for all matches and will give fans the opportunity to secure a place at the tournament in addition to enjoying the best match day experience each venue has to offer. More details available here.

Fans can also secure their ticket through booking their Squad Trip including accommodation and experiences all in one place – making it easy to plan your trip and giving you a great choice across our host towns and cities.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 4-35 HULL FC | SATURDAY 3RD APRIL

Salford Red Devils fell to a Round 2 defeat against Hull FC in the Betfred Super League this afternoon. 

After an opening exchange that saw both sides have promising spells, the Black and Whites opened the scoring after 20 minutes, Andre Savelio sliding over down the right.

A penalty goal converted by Marc Sneyd and another try down the right from Hull, this time through Josh Reynolds, gave Hull a 14-0 lead at the interval.

Halftime: Salford Red Devils 0-14 Hull FC

Five minutes into the second forty, Reynolds doubled his try tally for the afternoon but this time grounded the ball behind the sticks to gift Sneyd a simple conversion. 

Josh Griffin extended Hull’s lead five minutes later, getting onto the end of a kick from Adam Swift and grounding the ball.

Salford responded with a try of our own in the 58th minute through Ken Sio, who strolled over after some neat passing down the right flank that was capped with some quick hands from Kallum Watkins to set Sio up.

Jake Connor converted a penalty goal five minutes later for the Black and Whites and also scored a drop-goal shortly afterwards before Cameron Scott went over with four minutes to go for Hull’s fifth and final try of the afternoon.

Salford now look ahead to Widnes Vikings next Saturday in the Betfred Challenge Cup Third Round, with Our League early bird passes available for only £4.95 HERE.

Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 4-35 Hull FC

Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Sio, Watkins, Kear, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Ackers, Ikahihifo, Livett, Lannon, Taylor, Wells, Ormondroyd, Patton, Johnson.

Hull FC: Connor, Swift, Griffin, Tuimavave, Fonua, Reynolds, Sneyd, Satae, Houghton, Sao, Savelio, Ma’u, Lane, Cator, Fash, Scott, Taylor.

Salford tries: Sio

Hull FC tries: Savelio, Reynolds (2), Griffin, Scott

Hull FC goals: Sneyd (5/5) Connor

Hull FC drop-goals: Connor

Referee: Chris Kendall

Image Credit: Steve McCormick

“It won’t define our season” – Marshall on Round 1 defeat

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall is confident that his side will recover from the defeat to St. Helens in last night’s season opener. 

The Betfred Super League Round 1 clash with Saints ended 29-6 to Kristian Woolf’s men but Marshall is not worried and believes his side, which featured five new faces last night, just need a little time to gel.

Marshall said: “It’s our first competitive hit-out.

“We’re a new team. It’ll take time for us to gel and it’ll take time for us to find our combinations.

“The players are disappointed, as am I. We want to win everything – it was my first Super League game as head coach and I wanted to win it.

“We’ll review the game and we’ll learn through that but it won’t define our season losing to St. Helens.”

Despite the disappointing result, Marshall was pleased with some of what he saw defensively.

Marshall said: “I thought defensively at times we were really strong and we outmuscled them but we just couldn’t do it consistently for the 80 minutes.

“We had some really resolute defence on our line, we stopped a handful of tries.

“I think if we’d been a bit more resilient with the ball and a bit more disciplined we could have got a few more scores and made it a contest.”

Marshall was particularly impressed with Salford’s new number 13 Elijah Taylor, who had a Man of the Match performance on his Betfred Super League debut.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

“I thought Elijah Taylor was outstanding,” Marshall added.

“I thought his work rate in and around the middle and what he did with the ball was brilliant.

“In training he’s one of the most vocal, one of the most professional players we’ve got.”

You can listen to the full post-match press conference here by subscribing to RDTV.

MATCH REPORT | ST HELENS 29-6 SALFORD RED DEVILS | FRIDAY 26TH MARCH

Salford Red Devils fell to a 29-6 defeat to champions St. Helens in the first game of the 2021 Betfred Super League season. 

The season opener at the Emerald Headingley Stadium was Richard Marshall’s first Super League test as Salford’s head coach, with five debutants featuring in tonight’s defeat for the Red Devils.

Tommy Makinson opened the scoring for Saints within two minutes, collecting a chipped kick and grounding the ball in the right corner.

Saints’ Regan Grace slid over on the left wing five minutes before half-time to extend his side’s lead, with Jack Welsby scoring a drop-goal right on the hooter to make it 13-0 at the interval.

Half-time: St. Helens 13-0 Salford Red Devils

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Salford came out looking sharper in the second forty and got themselves on the scoreboard in the 55th minute.

Tui Lolohea found Ken Sio on the right wing with an outrageous pass, setting his teammate up to stroll over with ease for our first try of the 2021 season.

Saints responded five minutes later through Mark Percival, who rose to collect a Theo Fages kick before touching the ball down.

Two more tries in the final 10 minutes from Kevin Naiqama and Alex Walmsley confirmed defeat for Marshall’s men in their first runout of 2021.

Fulltime: St. Helens 29-6 Salford Red Devils

St. Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Thompson, Bentley, Mata’utia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Paasi, Smith.

Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Sio, Watkins, Kear, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Addy, Ikahihifo, Livett, Lannon, Taylor, Pauli, Ormondroyd, Wells, Patton.

Saints tries: Makinson, Grace, Percival, Naiqama, Walmsley.

Saints goals: Makinson (4/6)

Saints drop-goals: Welsby

Salford tries: Sio

Salford goals: Inu

Referee: Liam Moore

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Watkins – “We can go there and get the job done”

Salford Red Devils’ Kallum Watkins believes Salford can rise to the challenge of St Helens ahead of their Round 1 clash with the reigning champions on Friday.

The England centre, who joined his boyhood club back in September, thinks the Red Devils have every reason to be confident that they can take victory from Saints in the opening round of the Betfred Super League.

Following a promising pre-season, a strong start to the campaign will be key to fulfilling Watkins’ wider ambition to bring silverware to the AJ Bell Stadium.

Watkins said: “It is exciting, you have got to take it as a challenge.

“For us, it has been a really good pre-season and we are confident that we can go into Friday and win.

“We are going up against the champions, there is no two ways about it, they are champions for a reason, they are a quality side and they have been the best side for the past two/three years.

“We have got a good squad, we have just got to believe in ourselves as a group that we can go there and get the job done.”

Watkins, who started in the 2017 World Cup final for England, is also harbouring aspirations that he will return to the international fold and knows that delivering key performances for Salford will be crucial to that.

“I want to be consistent in my game and make sure I am preparing as best as possible,” he explained.

“In terms of recovery, there is going to be times where we are playing a few games in a short space of time.

“I want to be successful with this club, I want to win trophies and I want to build on the ambition of what they want to achieve.

“Obviously with the World Cup coming up as well and the last time I played in an England shirt was the World Cup Final.

“Injury and performance has pushed that aside over the years so that is another goal for me to go for but I have got to prove that by putting my all on the field.”

Salford Red Devils’ Betfred Super League season opener kicks off at 6pm tomorrow evening at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, live on Sky Sports and on Our League for season ticket holders.

Written by: Will Dickson

ASPEY TO BE LOANED OUT TO NEWCASTLE THUNDER

Young Salford Red Devils hooker Connor Aspey will be loaned out to Betfred Championship new boys Newcastle Thunder on a short-term deal.

The loan is initially to last for two weeks, with the possibility to extend if both clubs agree, and will offer Aspey the chance to develop his game in a different setup.

A product of the academy, the hooker made his Betfred Super League debut in 2020 against Hull KR.

Following on from his debut, Aspey was recently rewarded a one-year contract at Salford after impressing head coach Richard Marshall during a two-month trial funded by the Supporters’ Trust.

Speaking on his loan to Newcastle, the 18-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to having the chance to get some game time and show what I can do.

“It will be a great opportunity to learn and improve as a player.”

Director of Rugby and Operations Ian blease said: “At Salford, we want to ensure that our young players have the opportunity to adapt and develop their game as much as they can and loaning Connor out to Newcastle will give him that chance to see how other players and other coaches do things.

“Speaking with Newcastle’s director of rugby, Denis Betts, this week, we both agree that Connor’s career progression will be assisted by playing for the Thunder and myself and Richard Marshall will be watching closely.”

“There will be a real buzz around the place up at Newcastle as they’re newly promoted, so that buzz is something Aspey can thrive off.”

Mossop – “We’ve got a really good balance this year”

Salford Red Devils captain Lee Mossop is confident going into the new 2021 Betfred Super League season and has been impressed with what new head coach Richard Marshall has brought to the squad.

The Red Devils face a tough test against back-to-back reigning champions St Helens but go in off the back of a great pre-season following big changes at the AJ Bell Stadium over the winter.

And following the recent friendly win over Wigan Warriors, Mossop was full of praise for the new head coach in his work both on the training field and in his player dealings as well.

Mossop said: “If I am being really honest, this is probably the best squad we’ve had.

“You look at our outside backs, there are some pretty impressive players who will miss out this week just because of the competition in that position.

“I think we’ve got a really good balance this year with our squad and hopefully if we can keep people fit then we should go decent.

“I’ve been lucky enough this pre-season that I’ve done more wrestling contact than I ever have in the last five/six years so I just can’t wait to start.”

With the Rugby League World Cup on the horizon, this season is a big one for the Red Devils’ captain, as he looks to force himself back into the England squad, having been part of the team that finished third on home soil back in 2013.

“I played in the 2013 World Cup, that was probably my best season as a player, won the double with Wigan, signed an NRL contract, played in the World Cup and I had a pretty swift fall from grace” Mossop said.

“I had horrible shoulder injuries and I went from the top to the very bottom and I struggled for form for a few years.

“I feel in the last couple of seasons, I think I am playing better than when I was picked in 2013.

“I am getting to the back end of my career. I want nothing more than to get back into that international set-up and hopefully I can push for that this year.”

You can help Mossop and the team push for success in 2021 by purchasing a season ticket here.

Written by: Will Dickson