Category: Rugby

Squad | Burke joins Red Devils on permanent deal

Salford Red Devils are delighted to confirm that Greg Burke has joined the Club on a permanent basis for the next two seasons.
Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “Greg has been a big asset for us in the short term. He impressed on his debut against Widnes playing big minutes and crossing for a great try.
“He’s a mobile forward with great ball handling skills and a tough defensive mindset. While Greg has been sidelined he has knuckled down and through his dedication – alongside our fantastic strength and conditioning department – has gotten himself in fantastic shape which will show on his return to the field.
“Myself and all the performance staff have been really impressed with Greg’s attitude and we know he will be a great signing for us.”
Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease, said: “As part of the recent deal with Widnes Vikings which saw Greg Burke and Ed Chamberlain come over on loan, we’ve now managed to secure both of them on permanent deals.
“We are delighted that Greg has joined the Club on a permanent basis as we continue to build the squad for the 2019 season.
“Greg will also play a pivotal role in our remaining Qualifiers fixtures as we aim to secure our Betfred Super League status for another season.”
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Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man for visit of Widnes

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for the upcoming clash with Widnes Vikings at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday, 3:15pm kick-off. 
Greg Burke returns to the 19-man squad after a short spell on the sidelines. Joey Lussick retains his place after an impressive debut last weekend against Hull Kingston Rovers.
Tyrone McCarthy drops from the squad after a picking up a small knock last Friday at KCOM Craven Park.

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Here is the squad in full:
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.

Willie Poching | “We’d like to thank them”

Salford Assistant Coach Willie Poching took time out in his post-match press conference to hail the travelling Red Devils supporters who were fantastic at Hull Kingston Rovers on Friday evening.
“I’d just like to thank our travelling fans.
“We only have three home games, so they’ve got a few more away games than others but thankfully we don’t have to travel abroad.
“The ones that came over, we’d just like to thank them on behalf of the team for the effort they made.
“They’re going to play a part in us being successful – if we are successful – in this campaign.”
The Red Devils are set to take on Widnes Vikings on Saturday 18th August at 3:15pm and fans can save money if they purchase their tickets online prior to the game.
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Tyrone McCarthy | “There’s a great energy around the Club”

Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy admits confidence has lifted at the Club in the past few weeks and the victory over his former side Hull Kingston Rovers will only further that.
McCarthy, sponsored by Arlec Property Services, said: “It was a huge result for us to start these Qualifiers.
“Obviously, we came to Hull KR a few weeks ago and got a number put on us so it was good to come and put things right.
“Wins are vital in this competition and it’s just about us securing our place in the Betfred Super League next season.
“I think after our last game against Leeds it’s just about building confidence and I think there’s a great energy around the Club at the minute with the new boys coming in.”
Watch Tyrone McCarthy’s full post-match interview with Salford Red Devils TV below:

Three Talking Points | Hull Kingston Rovers 10-28 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s enthralling victory over Hull Kingston Rovers, we take a look at the three talking points in the aftermath of the game. 
Off to a flyer
Despite pummelling Leeds Rhinos 38-22 last time out, nobody underestimated the task ahead as the Red Devils made the long journey to Humberside.
Whilst many wrote Salford off prior to kick-off, Ian Watson’s men silenced their critics with a memorable performance at KCOM Craven Park.
It was crucial that Salford started their Qualifiers campaign with a bang and they certainly did so. The Red Devils dominated the tie throughout and scores from Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, debutant Joey Lussick and Josh Wood helped clinch a deserved 10-28 victory and spark euphoric scenes in both the stand and away dressing room.


Salford undoubtedly commenced their Qualifiers campaign in the best manner possible and now head into next week’s showdown with Widnes in full confidence after securing successive victories. The Vikings meanwhile will be looking to end their 17-game winless run after dramatically losing 20-21 at home to the London Broncos on Thursday evening.
Lussick stars on debut
Australian hooker Joey Lussick – who joined the club as a free agent two weeks ago following his release from Manly Sea Eagles – made his long awaited debut in Salford colours and the 22-year-old failed to disappoint.
Not only did the former Australian RU Schoolboy cross for a well-worked maiden try, but he performed impeccably throughout. The hooker linked up well with former Manly teammate Jackson Hastings and full-back Niall Evalds in attack, whilst also adding another dimension to plays with his devastating kicking game – a rare sight for a hooker.


If last night’s showing is anything to go by, Lussick could prove to be one of the club’s most impressive acquisitions in recent times.
New spine in fine form once again 
We’ve previously touched on the influence of recent arrival Jackson Hastings linking up with Robert Lui and Niall Evalds during his dazzling debut versus Leeds, but Lussick’s introduction at KCOM Craven Park yesterday really signalled that the final piece of the jigsaw had well and truly been unearthed.
Salford demonstrated an expansive style of Rugby throughout and executed a series of quick combinations between the foursome. This newly found attacking flair has ran parallel to the arrivals of Hastings and Lussick and has seriously enhanced the Red Devils’ spine.
Hastings in particular has extracted heaps of pressure from the shoulders of Lui and has allowed the fifth-eighth to play his natural game. 28-year-old Lui was voted Man of the Match following the triumph over Leeds and excelled once again versus the Robins. Salford’s ‘star man’ provided a moment of brilliance in the 55th minute after latching onto a wayward pass from Chris Atking, before racing ninety-metres to cross for a stunning individual try.


Alongside Lui, Hastings and Lussick have also aided full-back Evalds’ game. 24-year-old Evalds suffered a broken leg in May, but after returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Salford’s marquee signings have linked up remarkably well with the former Salford academy graduate. Hastings produced an exquisite dummy to send Evalds over for the first of two tries versus the Rhinos a fortnight ago and Evalds continued his good run of form at Hull KR.
After Mark Flanagan picked up a short ball from Josh Wood, the experienced forward pierced his way through the Rovers backline before releasing the onrushing Evalds who slid over the whitewash to grab his third try in two games.

Willie Poching | “Lot of resilience and character”

Following an important victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Red Devils opening qualifiers fixture, Assistant Coach Willie Poching feels this will have an impact on his sides confidence.
“It’s been a little while since we’ve won on the bounce – two in a row – so we’re pretty pleased with the start to the Super 8s campaign for us.
“If you’ve been involved in this competition before you understand the importance of trying to get the wins but trying to get them early, so we can’t understate the importance of this win.
“As well as being in the position that we are with only having three home games to pick up an away victory is a big bonus for us. It puts us in a good position confidence wise.
“The guys showed a lot of resilience and character tonight.”
Watch Willie Poching’s full post-match press conference below:

Match Report | Hull Kingston Rovers 10-28 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils kickstarted their Qualifiers campaign in emphatic fashion after securing a spectacular 10-28 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers, on a drizzly evening at KCOM Craven Park.
Tries from Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, debutant Joey Lussick and Josh Wood ensured Ian Watson’s side got off to a flyer in the seven-game competition to earn two crucial points and a second-successive triumph.
Salford had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 6th minute of the half when Jackson Hastings was taken high. The Red Devils opted to kick at goal, but Ed Chamberlain’s penalty effort landed wide of the mark.
Both sides struggled to mount any real momentum in the early stages, first Junior Vaivai gifted Salford with an opportunity to score after failing to deal with Lui’s high kick, before Lee Mossop then squandered the chance from the resulting set after knocking on.
The visitors weren’t to be denied for long though, Adam Quinlan was penalised for pushing at the play-the-ball. Salford again chose to kick at goal but this time, Chamberlain comfortably slotted the ball over.
Salford frequently broke from deep throughout the half and this tactic finally paid dividends a minute later when Mark Flanagan collected a short ball from Lui, before piercing through the Rovers line and expertly releasing the onrushing Evalds to give the Reds a six-point lead.
Chamberlain was unsuccessful from the subsequent conversion and things almost worsened for Salford when James Donaldson went crashing over from dummy half. However, the forward dropped the ball at the crucial moment.
Soon after, Rovers’ efforts finally paid dividends as Junior Sa’u failed to contain Quinlan in the tackle and the full-back acted quickly to find Craig Hall in the corner with a cleverly weighted kick.
Salford responded brilliantly and were soon denied a score of their own when Jake Bibby dived over in the corner, only for the try to be chalked off following a forward pass from Chamberlain.
After the break, the Red Devils picked up where they left off when Ryan Lannon earned a penalty after being held down in the tackle. Hastings took over goal-kicking duties and comfortably added another two points to extend the margin to four points.
In what proved to be a tight affair throughout, a moment of brilliance was required for Salford to break away from the Robins and 15 minutes into the half, half-back Lui duly provided it.
After former Swinton man Chris Atkin threw a wayward pass, Lui pounced to intercept the loose ball before racing ninety metres to cross for a stunning solo effort under the posts.
Hastings added his second goal of the evening, but it was another new recruit who was to dominate the headlines this time out. Lussick – who was making his debut for the club after arriving a fortnight ago from Australia – claimed his maiden try in Salford colours after spotting a gap in the KR backline to dive over from dummy half.
Half-back Hastings then landed two more goals – the second a penalty after Evalds was pulled back off the ball – but the hosts responded with a consolation try when Shaun Lunt barged his way over from close-range.
Despite the slight resurgence from Rovers, Salford weren’t to be halted for long as Wood remarkably ducked under Nick Scruton and Ben Kavanagh, before flinging himself over the whitewash to round-off a dominant performance.
Hull KR Lineup: Quinlan; Oakes, Crooks, Vaivai, Hall; Carney, McGuire; Scruton, Lunt, Mulhern, Tickle, Tomkins, Clarkson.  
Interchanges: Greenwood, Kavanagh, Donaldson, Atkin.
Salford Lineup: Evalds; Bibby, Chamberlain, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Wood, Murray, Jones, McCarthy, Lannon.
Interchanges: Lussick, Flanagan, Tasi, Nakubuwai.
Hull KR Scorers: Tries- Hall (32’), Lunt (73’) | Goals- Tickle (74’)
Salford Scorers: Tries- Evalds (20’), Lui (55’), Lussick 66’, Wood 78’ | Goals- Chamberlain (19’) Hastings (49’, 56’, 67’,70’, 79′)
Half-Time Score: 4-6
Man of the Match: Joey Lussick.
Referee: Robert Hicks.
 
Image Credit: Steve McCormick

Joey Lussick | “I want to do my part for the team”

Australian Hooker Joey Lussick is in line to debut against Hull Kingston Rovers in the Red Devils Qualifiers opener and can’t wait to get out on the field now he has settled in.
Lussick, who is available for sponsorship, said: “While the Qualifiers are on I just want to get in, play my best performances, keep improving as a player and do my part for the team here at Salford.
“Hopefully we can take care of the eights and move on and potentially go again next year.”
Lussick arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-finals meaning he’s had an extra week to settle in with housemate Jackson Hastings and get to grips with his other teammates.
He said: “The week off helps, an extra week of training, an extra week to get combinations, extra week to get things done with the boys.”
“Me and Jacko [Jackson Hastings] have been good friends for a couple of years now so it definitely helps him getting here a couple of days ago so he sort of found his feet too so it’s good to have a mate here to help me round.”
Watch Joey Lussick’s full interview with Salford Red Devils TV below:

Jansin Turgut | “There’s bags of talent in the team”

Following his arrival late last week the Red Devils newest recruit – Jansin Turgut – has settled in almost immediately and is looking to hit the ground running at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Turgut, who is available for sponsorship, said: “I think we’ve all clicked as a group straight away and you know, they’ve been very welcoming, and I get on well with Watto [Ian Watson] the Head Coach.”
“Obviously it’s a very professional setup, the same as Hull FC, so it’s quite easy to adapt in that way. I’m trying my hardest to fit in with the lads and train hard as well which is hopefully that’s helping me to adapt.
The versatile back has previously captained Hull FC’s academy side and ended a three-year stint with the Black and Whites to join Salford but he is keen to impress following the move.
Turgut said: “I’m just trying to put my best foot forward. I’m contracted until the end of the year and I’m going to try to bring as good a performance as I can.
“I want to do the small things, the small details that maybe the fans can’t see but the lads will see and benefit from.
“Doing the hard work and doing the one percenters as well, hopefully I can do enough to get the wins and get Salford where they need to be.
“The ultimate aim is to try and earn myself a contract for next year.”


Looking ahead to the The Qualifiers, Turgut is optimistic about Salford’s chances of retaining their Betfred Super League status.
Turgut said: “There’s bags of talent in the team, I can see that already straight away.
“Everybody’s hard working and training has been intense straight away and I think the biggest thing is the confidence going around at the minute, coming off a big win against Leeds.
“I think we’re definitely going to be finishing in the top half and be away from the Million Pound Game.
The Red Devils fixtures see them host Widnes Vikings, Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique at the AJ Bell Stadium and this means the side avoid any long distance travelling which Turgut believes does benefit the side.
“Even though your performance might not be affected directly, obviously things like fatigue might impact you when you need to travel.
“Obviously that unsettlement of not knowing the places and having to travel away could impact the players mentally so it’s a bonus for us that they’re home games.”
Check out Jansin Turgut’s full interview with Salford Red Devils TV below: 

Preview | Hull Kingston Rovers vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 10th August

After an impressive victory over Leeds Rhinos in their last outing, Salford now look ahead to a Friday night’s clash against Hull Kingston Rovers with the aim of starting the Qualifiers and forging some momentum for the course of the seven-game campaign.
Last time out
The Red Devils will head into this weekend’s game high on confidence following a dominant display against Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago in which they managed to overturn to 2017 Betfred Super League champions despite being reduced to twelve men for an hour.
Jackson Hastings made a scintillating twenty-minute debut in which he crossed for a try as well as sending Niall Evalds on his way after Ryan Lannon had levelled the scores early on. Evalds would cross for a second in his return to the AJ Bell Stadium while Ed Chamberlain, Rob Lui and Josh Jones would all also score in a memorable performance.

Likewise, Hull KR had a game to remember last time out. KR coach Tim Sheens side had the duo of Danny Tickle and Craig Hall to thank on a wet Friday Night under the lights at the KCOM Stadium in a 20-16 win against fierce rivals Hull FC.
KR put an end to a seven-game losing streak against their cross-city rivals when Tickle’s penalty on the hour got Rovers’ nose in front, where they managed to stay for the big derby win.
Hall managed to mark his second debut back at Hull KR following his re-signing on loan from Leigh Centurions by helping himself to two tries and kicking a goal on his way to the Man of the Match award.
Form
Salford managed to turn their fortunes around last time out against the Leeds Rhinos and the additions of Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick and Jansin Turgut have only added to that momentum in recent weeks. The Red Devils will be looking to make it back-to-back victories and get their Qualifiers campaign off to a flying start.
Hull Kingston Rovers are enjoying a solid run, a loss against Warrington Wolves a few weeks ago is the only mark by in a purple patch with results over Hull FC, Widnes Vikings, Huddersfield Giants and a victory over the Red Devils the last time the sides met.
Head-to-Head
This week’s head-to-head pits Betfred Super League Record try-scorer Danny McGuire up against his opposite number, Salford’s number six Robert Lui.
Stand Off McGuire, who signed a two-year deal for Hull Kingston Rovers ahead of the 2018 season has had a prolific Super League career, becoming the first player to ever score 200 tries.
While only making 14 appearances for the Rovers, McGuire has been instrumental for the Tim Sheens side when he has been involved and he crossed for a hat-trick in the last meeting between the sides in early July.
Lui will come into this weekend’s fixture brimming with confidence following a magnificent Man of the Match display against Leeds Rhinos in which he crossed for a try and provided five try-assists. Lui is central to everything the Red Devils do going forward and if he is on form at KCOM Craven Park expect Salford to cause KR issues.


This key battle could very well decide who wins this Qualifiers opener. Both men will be looking to control the game for their respective sides and can bring that little bit of creativity which can tip a game.
Team News
New signing Jackson Hastings is named in the 19-man squad despite leaving the field early on his debut. Fellow Australian and new acquisition Joey Lussick could be in line to make his debut following his arrival at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Kris Welham and Craig Kopczak both return to the squad after spells on the sideline and could return to start Salford’s campaign to retain their place in the Betfred Super League. Jack Littlejohn, Logan Tomkins, George Griffin, Luke Burgess and Kriss Brining remain sidelined with injuries.
Hull KR have a few names back at their disposal, Junior Vaivai, Danny McGuire, Shaun Lunt, James Greenwood and Joel Tomkins all return for round one of The Qualifiers.
Todd Carney, Craig Hall and Ben Crooks all unsurprisingly make the squad after debuting in the dramatic derby win against Hull FC.
KR will be without the injured Lee Jewitt and the suspended pair of Mose Masoe and Maurice Blair. However, Will Oakes will be available again after serving his one-game suspension.
Squads
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Junior Vaivai, Danny McGuire, Nick Scruton, Shaun Lunt, James Greenwood, Ben Kavanagh, James Donaldson, Chris Clarkson, Tommy Lee, Robbie Mulhern, Liam Salter, Chris Atkin, Will Oakes, Danny Tickle, Joel Tomkins, Todd Carney, Craig Hall, Ben Crooks
Salford Red Devils: Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
Table Permutations
With this being the opening weekend of The Qualifiers all points tallies are reset for the competition and starting at zero points gives every side a chance to almost start the season again.
Both Salford and Hull KR will be hoping to get off to a good start and begin building some momentum with the hopes of retaining their place in the Betfred Super League.
With The Qualifiers at the toughest they’ve possibly ever been with Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos and Widnes Vikings having Betfred Super League experience alongside some intriguing and talented sides from the Betfred Championship including winners Toronto Wolfpack, surprise package Halifax RLFC and French outfit Toulouse Olympique. Both Salford and KR will know a strong start is paramount.
Match Officials
Referee: Robert Hicks.
Touch Judge: Jonathan Roberts.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
 

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Written by Matt Tandy.