Category: Rugby

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 6-24 Castleford Tigers

Salford Red Devils fell to a 6-24 defeat against Castleford Tigers in an error-ridden affair at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Ian Watson’s men did go into the break level after Jake Bibby’s try in the corner had cancelled out Jake Webster’s opening score. However, a second from Webster alongside tries from Michael Shenton and Kieran Gill saw the Tigers control the second forty and go on to win.
Salford were down to just 17 fit men in the lead-up to the game with Levy Nzoungou and Ed Chamberlain both making their home debuts while Castleford also had a handful of first team players sidelined.
After a rather uninspiring first fifteen minutes, Castleford broke the deadlock through Webster in rather bizarre circumstances. The Tigers managed to keep the ball alive with four or five fortunate offloads before a kick ricocheted off Junior Sa’u and eventually found Webster who crossed the line unchallenged. Paul McShane converted.
But, with five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils pulled themselves level as Bibby – who has now crossed in each of his last four games – latched onto a low kick from Chamberlain to score. Chamberlain followed up with the conversion from the touchline and the sides went into the interval level.
Unfortunately, the standard of rugby didn’t pick up in the second half with both sides struggling to cause any serious problems, but it was Castleford who went over. The Tigers came down the left-hand channel and Shenton managed to jink his way inside to regain the lead for the visitors. McShane converted.
Castleford followed this up with another try just four minutes later and this time it was their other centre Webster who powered over from close-range for his second of the afternoon. McShane again converted to extend the visitors lead to twelve points.
The Red Devils didn’t give up however and came close on a number of occasions through Rob Lui while Ryan Lannon was also held-up over the line. But, with ten minutes left on the clock Gill finished off a flowing Castleford move in the corner to put the game beyond reach of Salford. McShane converted.
Salford remain in 11th in the Betfred Super League following the loss while Castleford confirmed their top four spot heading into the Super 8s.
Salford Lineup: Chamberlain, Bibby, Jones, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Wood, Nakubuwai, Lannon, McCarthy, Murray.
Interchanges: Flanagan, Burke, Mossop, Nzoungou.
Castleford Lineup: Eden, Gill, Webster, Shenton, Clare; QLT, Trueman; Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Millington, Milner.
Interchanges: Holmes, Wardle, Cook, Clark.
Salford Scorers: Tries- Bibby (31’) | Goals– Chamberlain (32’)
Castleford Scorers: Tries- Webster (18’, 52’), Shenton (48’), Gill (71’)| Goals– McShane (19’, 49’, 53’, 72’)
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Man of the Match: Josh Wood.

Factfile | Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers | Friday 13th July

Salford Red Devils host Castleford Tigers this evening and we take a look at the stats, facts and figures behind tonight’s encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium, 8pm kick-off.
Head-to-head
Salford managed to overcome Castleford in this fixture last season narrowly edging out the Tigers 13-12 thanks to a late drop-goal. However, Castleford have been on top in recent meetings winning three consecutive games against the Red Devils with the most recent finishing 22-8 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle back in March.
Ian Watson’s men have won two of their last three home meetings with Castleford. In addition to last year’s terrific one-point victory, the Red Devils won 22-18 in July 2016 at the AJ Bell Stadium. But, it was the West Yorkshire side who won the most recent meeting at Salford in last year’s Betfred Super League Super 8s.
Overall, in the Betfred Super League, Salford Red Devils have won 11 meetings while Castleford have 27 victories. There is yet to be a draw between the two sides in the Betfred Super League. 
Try-scorers
Jake Bibby has scored in two of his last three appearances against Castleford however both have come in fixtures at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. Bibby crossed for a late try in this year’s meeting between the sides as well as in a 14-38 defeat in July 2017.
The 22-year-old has hit some try-scoring form in recent weeks for the Red Devils crossing in each of his last three appearances. Bibby’s current run began just after half-time in a 26-12 win over Widnes before he also went over in recent defeats against both Warrington and Hull Kingston Rovers.
As for Castleford, fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae is their man in try-scoring form having also scored in his last three outings. ‘QLT’ scored in crucial victories over Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle while also crossing in France versus Catalans Dragons.
2018 Stats
Jake Bibby is also Salford Red Devils’ top try-scorer this season with ten. He is currently three in front of centre Junior Sa’u.  Castleford’s Jy Hitchcox currently sits atop the Tigers try-scoring ranks with ten. He is closely followed by Michael Shenton on eight while Oliver Holmes and Paul McShane have both scored seven tries.
Logan Tomkins is comfortably leading the way in terms of tackles for the Red Devils with 630 however with the hooker absent Lama Tasi is the top tackler of the 19-man squad named with 442. Similarly, it’s Castleford’s hooker Paul McShane who tops the Tigers tackle chart by over 200 tackles.
Ed Chamberlain made his first start for the Red Devils last weekend against Hull Kingston Rovers and averaged a massive 11.21 metres per carry. Castleford also have a player who averages above ten metres per carry in Greg Eden with 10.47 metres.
Grant Millington is Castleford’s top metre-maker with 1679 while Junior Sa’u leads the way for Salford with 1741.
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder!
Tickets are still available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570 for this evening’s game.

Ben Nakubuwai | “We need to be resilient”

Ahead of tonight’s Betfred Super League clash with Castleford Tigers, we caught up with Ben Nakubuwai who feels the Red Devils forwards need to get on top in the early stages. 
Nakubuwai, sponsored by Sparta Lightning Services, said: “It’s going to be really important for us to stamp our mark on the game and show them that we’re here to play and that starts with us forwards.
“If you look at last weekend’s game against Hull KR we were all over them in the first twenty minutes. We just need to keep consistent and do what works well for us and that’s when our middles keep going forward.
“If we can do that and limit our errors we’re a side to be reckoned with.”
Despite defeat last weekend against Hull Kingston Rovers, Nakubuwai maintains that there is still a lot of confidence in the camp and knows the importance of building momentum heading into the 8s.
“It’s really important for us to start stringing some good performances together so when we head into the back end of the year, so we can stay away from trouble.
“I just think we need a bit more composure when calls go against us or we make mistakes. We need to be resilient, not allow our heads to drop and keep the same attitude throughout the whole eighty minutes.
“Everyone will be focused on their jobs and aiming to put in the best performance they possibly can.
“There’s still a lot of confidence in the camp, we’re staying positive and focused on the job at hand.”
Nakubuwai has become a regular feature in the first team since arriving from Gold Coast Titans and is loving life at the AJ Bell Stadium.
“It’s going to be good to play our first game at home for nearly a month. It’s always good to play in a familiar environment and the fans are always terrific at the AJ Bell Stadium.
“It’s my first year in the Betfred Super League and I’m really enjoying the experience so far. I feel like my game has improved and I feel like every week I’m learning new things that are furthering me as a rugby league player.”
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder!
Tickets are still available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570 for this evening’s game.

Preview | Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers | Friday 13th July

The Red Devils host Castleford Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium this coming Friday as Ian Watson’s men look to return to winning ways following last week’s disappointing defeat at Hull Kingston Rovers.
Last time out
Salford dominated the early stages at KCOM Craven Park and raced into a 6-0 lead as Greg Johnson bulldozed his way over the whitewash. Ed Chamberlain marked his first start for the club with three goals, but Johnson’s effort proved to be the visitors’ sole score in the first period.
After the break, Junior Sa’u managed to claim two well worked tries before Jake Bibby crossed in the dying minutes of the contest.


Unfortunately for Salford though, the hosts proved too hot to handle. Danny McGuire claimed a sublime hat-trick, Will Oakes crossed for a double, whilst Ryan Shaw, Adam Quinlan, James Greenwood and Joel Tomkins also touched down to condemn the Devils to defeat.
Castleford meanwhile, head into the showdown in fine form after pummelling Leeds Rhinos at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle in their last fixture. Highly-rated youngster Jake Trueman scored twice whilst Jesse Sene-Lefao also crossed for a brace of his own.
Leeds – who were under the stewardship of new management team Kevin Sinfield and James Lowes for the very first time – did manage to conjure up 10 points thanks to Tom Briscoe’s double and a goal from Liam Sutcliffe but Cas proved too superior.
Daryl Powell’s side were in a ruthless mood and found themselves over on three further occasions as the recently injured Greg Eden, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Matt Cook all touched down. Leeds did lose captain Stevie Ward to injury early in the second half, but by then, the damage has already been done.
Form 
Salford have endured mixed fortunes in recent weeks, first the Red Devils returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion after triumphing 26-12 over Widnes Vikings to earn a crucial victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Two weeks later, Watson’s side travelled to nearby Warrington and competed with the Wolves for the majority of the fixture. Jack Littlejohn had arguably his best performance in a Salford shirt, after crossing for two tries, but the Australian’s night would end in disaster after rupturing his bicep.
Jake Bibby finished off a stunning team move by diving over in front of the travelling Salford faithful, but Warrington struck five times in the final 30 minutes to put the game to bed. Salford then conceded 9 tries at Hull KR just over a week later.
Castleford on the other hand, have lost just two of their last eight fixtures. The Tigers ran riot over Leeds at the Magic Weekend, secured further victories over Hull KR, Warrington, Wigan Warriors, before sentencing the Rhinos to another defeat last weekend.
The Tigers are an unpredictable side though, Powell’s men have been heavily beaten by both St Helens and the Catalans Dragons over the last two months, with each racking up 40 points or more against last year’s League Leaders Shield winners. Cas also drew 24-all with Hull KR four weeks ago and will be wary of the various threats Salford could potentially impose on Friday Evening.
Head-to-Head
In this week’s head-to-head we pit forwards Mark Flanagan and Grant Millington against each other as we take a closer look into the pair’s impact within their respective sides.
Flanagan – who joined the Red Devils in 2016 from St Helens – has heavily impressed during his time at the AJ Bell Stadium. Despite missing the majority of the Super 8s last season through a shoulder injury, ‘Flash’ is a highly influential player within the squad and his ball-playing style sees him act as a third half-back in the majority of the Red Devils’ plays.
The 30-year-old is a creative player who brings a level of class and experience to the team’s attack and defence, which has seen him emerge as a consistent performer for yet another season.


Millington joined the Tigers from the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012, the 31-year-old is of a similar mould to Flanagan and despite not always featuring at loose-forward, the Aussie is always involved in his side’s plays.
Both Flanagan and Millington are highly experienced veterans and whichever side comes out on top on Friday evening, it is almost a certainty that one of the duo will have been heavily involved throughout.
Team News
Greg Johnson – who opened the scoring for Salford during last week’s defeat to the Robins – misses out on this week’s squad after being leaving the field prematurely last time out. Hooker Logan Tomkins also leaves the 19-man squad after picking up an injury in the same clash.
The duo are replaced by Luke Burgess – who has been out of action since the 30-0 defeat to Wigan in early May – and Craig Kopczak.
As for the visitors, Jamie Ellis is replaced in the Tigers’ 19-man squad and is replaced by promising back-rower Kieran Gill. Gill, 22, has spent time on-loan at League One side Oldham in recent times and impressed enough to earn a recall. In other news, Joe Wardle returns to the fold at the expense of Nathan Massey.
Squads
Salford: Junior Sa’u, Robert Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Luke Burgess, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Levy Nzoungou, Daniel Murray, Jake Shorrocks, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke.
Castleford: James Clare, Mitch Clark, Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Tuoyo Egodo, Kieran Gill, Oliver Holmes, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Joe Wardle, Jake Webster.
Table Permutations  
A Salford Red Devils victory could see them climb a place to 10th in the Betfred Super League table, providing Hull KR fail to secure any points at Widnes. 9th place Leeds entertain local rivals Wakefield Trinity at the Emerald Headingley Stadium – and alongside a Red Devils win – a Trinity victory could see Salford move to within a point of the Rhinos.
Castleford currently occupy third spot in the table, three points adrift of Wigan. However, a win for Powell’s side could see them reduce the gap between the sides to a single point, if the Warriors lose at Huddersfield.

Jackson Hastings | “It’s an exciting time”

Earlier today Salford Red Devils confirmed the signing of Australian halfback Jackson Hastings for the remainder of the season and we caught up with the 22-year-old ahead of his move to the AJ Bell Stadium in an exclusive interview.
Hastings said: “I absolutely can’t wait to get over and get stuck into training, meet the boys, coaching staff and the wonderful fans – it’s an exciting time.
“I’m looking forward to keeping this Club where it belongs and that is in the Betfred Super League.
“But, first and foremost, my first goal is to rip in to training and show my new teammates and coaches that I’m a winner by training as hard as I can, preparing as well as I can and taking each game as it comes.”


“I know quite a bit about the Betfred Super League as I’m a huge Rugby League fan in general and always get up early to watch the televised games from abroad.
“I really respect and admire how good some of the players that the competition has produced are and I’m lucky I’ll now get the chance to mingle and play against them.”
Hastings will look to add another dimension to the Red Devils attack in the final few months of the 2018 campaign and is a vocal and creative halfback.
“I think my communication on the field has always been a natural strong point in my game. If you’re playing at 6, 7, 9 or 1 you are the voice of the team and need to be good at that,” Hastings said.
He added: “Competitiveness is something I base my game around and I pride myself on competing on every play no matter the result and doing all that I can to ensure the team gets the result we are looking for.
“The last major part would be my passing and kicking game. It’s something I work hard on and love seeing my team mates score or create opportunities off a nicely weighted kick or a nice sharp pass.
“I’ll do my best to bring this and more to the Club!”


The 22-year-old has played in England before with the Roosters and has already had a taste of life in around the Salford and Manchester area.
Hastings said: “I’ve been over before with my most recent trip coming three years ago with Sydney Roosters when we faced St Helens in the World Club Challenge series.
“I loved Manchester, especially the shopping. England is a great part of the world and I’m lucky to have family from and still living there at the moment.
“I have a lot of mates from rival clubs too, so hopefully I get the opportunity to get one up on them.”
The Australian halfback has impressed at both Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles and admits he has taken inspiration from two legends of the Betfred Super League.
Hastings said: “From an English standpoint I loved Kevin Sinfield and Danny McGuire as a kid. Leeds were a dominate team and were constantly on TV in Australia.
“As those two played similar positions to me I admired how good those two were and obviously Danny still to this day has all the tricks in the book.
“The big one was Johnathan Thurston. Everything that he did and still brings to the table is something I truly admire and respect.
“He’s a once in a generation player and I still can’t believe I’ll get to say I played against him.
“I can’t wait to get over and join the Salford Red Devils.”

 

Salford win Battle for Hastings

Salford Red Devils have swooped to sign Aussie half-back star Jackson Hastings from the NRL, initially for the remainder of the season.
Hastings is awaiting final visa clearance and will link up with the Red Devils for the vital close of the campaign.
Salford’s Director of Rugby Ian Blease said: “Jackson is a signing that should rightly excite everybody in the city. He is an exciting match-winner and will slot into our set-up perfectly at this crucial time.
“A huge amount of hard-work behind the scenes has gone into making this happen over the past few months and we are delighted to get it over the line. Opportunities to sign players this talented do not come along too often and it speaks volumes that we have beaten off some serious competition for his signature.
“I’d like to thank the player’s agent for all his help as well as Marwan Koukash who has honoured his pledge to support the club with the acquisition of a player.”
22-year-old Hastings already has 47 NRL appearances to his name for the Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles and has bagged 81 points in the process.
Salford Red Devils expect the player will join them at the AJ Bell Stadium as soon as his paperwork is complete in Australia.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “He’s a huge talent with huge potential. The fact Trent Robinson let Maloney leave the Roosters so Jackson could partner Mitchell Pearce shows his level of quality.
“Obviously there were numerous Super League clubs chasing him and we are delighted he has chosen to come to us. Hopefully together we can restart Jackson’s first grade career
“He has been the guy we have been missing in terms of organisation and kicking game. He’s looking forward to getting over here and getting stuck in, concluded Watson.
Ian Blease continued, “It’s been a tough transitional year for the Club and we continue to need all the support we can get from our fans and get them to bring a friend along to the game on Friday against Castleford Tigers (kick off 8pm, AJ Bell Stadium). It is vital we stay in Super League this year and the signing of Jackson Hastings shows that we are very serious about this aim.”
 
 
 
 

Event | Book your place at the Lance Todd Award Dinner

Salford Red Devils Foundation are now taking bookings for the most prestigious event in Rugby League – The Lance Todd Award Dinner.
The event will take place at Marriot Worlsey on Tuesday 28th August between 7pm and 11pm and will be hosted by Rugby League legends and former Salford players Robbie Hunter-Paul and Paul Highton.
Dr Kevin Jones will also be a guest speaker at the event which will see the Man of the Match from the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final receive his trophy. Hull FC’s Marc Sneyd has won for the last two seasons becoming the first player to even win outright it in consecutive seasons.
You can purchase a ‘Todd Table’ now for £750. The ‘Todd Tables’ include access to the VIP room, drinks service on arrival, wine on your table, three-course meals and there will also be an ex-Lance Todd trophy winner sat on your table. ‘Todd Tables’ seat nine persons as well as your Rugby League legend.
If you’d like to experience the event in style alongside a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final legend, then this is the perfect package for you.
However, regular tables can also be booked for £550. This package includes three-course meals and drinks service on arrival. Regular tables seat ten persons. Individuals can also book a seat for £55 which includes a three-course meal.
To book please contact John.Blackburn@salfordreddevils.net or call 07762 732790.

Squad | Ian Watson names his 19-man squad for visit of Castleford

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad to take on Castleford Tigers at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday evening, 8pm kick-off. 
Ed Chamberlain retains his place in the squad after making his first start for the Red Devils at Hull Kingston Rovers last Sunday. Levy Nzoungou is also named in the 19-man squad again and could feature on Friday evening.
Ben Nakubuwai – who was the 18th man against Hull Kingston Rovers – could move back into the team after being listed in this week’s squad. Josh Jones and Tyrone McCarthy will continue in the squad after making a successful returns last weekend.
Greg Johnson misses out after picking up a foot injury this past weekend against Hull Kingston Rovers while Logan Tomkins has also picked up a foot injury and will be absent for Friday’s game.
Jack Littlejohn is out with a ruptured bicep but did undergo successful surgery last Saturday. Niall Evalds and Kriss Brining are also still recovering from injuries.
Craig Kopczak and Luke Burgess are both named but are unlikely to feature after carrying knocks in recent weeks.
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder! 
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.
The full squad can be seen below:

Stadium | Fans Bar to close on matchdays

Salford Red Devils can confirm that the Fans Bar area will now be closed on gamedays with the AJ Bell Stadium renting the area out as office space. 
Salford Red Devils will now be focusing all our pre and post-match entertainment in DJ Andy Steele’s matchday marquee. Get in the marquee and enjoy the entertainment!
Toilet facilities will be provided in the South Stand.
This will begin with Friday evening’s Betfred Super League clash with Castleford Tigers, 8pm kick-off.
The Tigers are in Town!
But we’ll roar louder – buy your tickets for Friday’s game against Castleford by visiting the Club Ticket Office, ringing 0161 786 1570 or simply clicking here.