Category: Rugby

Ian Watson | “We totally fell away from it”

Head Coach Ian Watson was disappointed to see his side move away from the processes – which saw them start strongly against Hull Kingston Rovers – after the hosts crossed the Red Devils line.
Watson said: “We started as well as we have done for a while.
“We were in control dominating field position and as soon as a little bit of pressure came on us we totally fell away from it.
“Hull KR just turned the tide. We were having a real arm-wrestle for that first twenty minutes and we got our nose in front and just needed to stick with the processes which we were doing really well early on.
“But then a few errors and them going the length of the field from our kick turned the tide and that’s when you need a little bit of resilience and we didn’t have it.
“Hull KR were outstanding. Their packed rolled our pack and they beat us in all areas to be honest.”
Ian Watson’s full post-match press conference can be seen below:

Match Report | Hull Kingston Rovers 52-22 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils fell at the hands of Hull Kingston Rovers as the hosts ran out comfortable 52-22 winners on a disappointing afternoon at KCOM Craven Park.
A double from Junior Sa’u alongside further scores from Greg Johnson and Jake Bibby weren’t enough for the Red Devils to secure the points as the hosts proved far too hot to handle after producing a clinical 9 try display.
Salford made a bright start to the contest. First, Jake Bibby forced Junior Vaivai into touch to thwart an attack, before Tyrone McCarthy went agonisingly close to scoring after dropping the ball inside the in-goal area.
The Red Devils’ efforts were rewarded soon after though as Johnson collected a short ball from Robert Lui, before bulldozing himself over the whitewash, with just eight minutes on the clock.
Ed Chamberlain was making his first start for the club and marked the occasion after converting the resulting goal to give the Reds a deserved six-point lead.
The hosts soon responded though as Adam Quinlan picked out Ryan Shaw with a sublime looping pass, and the onrushing Shaw made no mistake to cross over in the corner.
Shaw then converted his own effort with a goal from the right-hand touchline to level the scoring.
Salford then built some momentum but would concede next, completely against the run of play. Lui attempted to keep the set alive after flicking Jake Shorrocks’ high kick into the path of McCarthy, but unfortunately, Quinlan was first to pick up the loose ball and raced 90m to score a stunning individual effort.
Danny Tickle kicked the resulting goal and Rovers extended their lead further five minutes later as Will Oakes finished off a well-worked team move in the left hand-corner, before Tickle added the extras to increase the margin to 12 points.
Things quickly worsened for the Red Devils as Danny McGuire’s kick bounced over Lui’s head to allow James Greenwood to ground the ball before it fell dead – Tickle then added the extras.
Two minutes later, the hosts were in again. This time, McGuire turned scorer and scooped up the loose ball after the ball had ricocheted into his path. Tickle then converted the resulting goal to take KR up to the 30-point mark.
Unfortunately for Salford, Rovers crossed over for their sixth effort just a minute later. After breaking down the right-hand side, Maurice Blair flicked inside to Joel Tomkins who finished under the sticks, before Tickle added the extras in the final point-scoring action of the half.
After the break, it was Salford who’d score next. Lui picked out Derrell Olpherts with a lofted kick before the latter offloaded to Junior Sa’u who surged his way over – Chamberlain was unable to land the resulting goal as the ball fell wide of the posts.
Hull almost claimed a sensational breakaway try, but a piece of heroic defending from Jake Bibby prevented Nick Scruton from touching down.
They weren’t to be denied for long though, two minutes later Shaun Lunt’s kick caused mayhem amongst the Devils backline, McGuire was quickest to react and dived over.
The hosts were in a ruthless mood and found themselves over again soon after. This time, Oakes claimed his second after the ball was worked out wide.
McGuire then threw a dummy which outwitted the Salford defence and allowed him to slide over under the sticks to compete his hat-trick. Tickle then added the conversion to take the hosts past the 50-point mark.
Salford responded with a consolation effort of their own as Sa’u pierced through the KR line to cross over, before Chamberlain landed the subsequent goal.
The Red Devils weren’t finished there though, some quick hands from Lui and Josh Wood helped forge an opening for Bibby to cross over in the corner, before Chamberlain added his third goal to take Salford past the 20-point mark.
Hull KR Lineup: Quinlan, Shaw, Blair, Vaivai, Oakes, McGuire, Atkin, Scruton, Lee, Tickle, Greenwood, J. Tomkins, Kavanagh.
Interchanges: Lunt, Masoe, Donaldson, Mulhern.
Salford Lineup: Chamberlain, Johnson, Bibby, Sa’u, Olpherts, Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Lannon, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: L. Tomkins, Burke, Murray, Jones.
Hull KR Scorers: Tries- Shaw (14’), Quinlan (21’), Oakes (27’, 55’), Greenwood (32’), McGuire (35’, 50’, 58’), J. Tomkins (37’) | Goals- Shaw (15’), Tickle (22’, 28’, 33’, 36’, 38’, 51’, 59’)
Salford Scorers: Tries- Johnson (8’), Sa’u (44’, 60’), Bibby (77’) | Goals- Chamberlain (9’, 61’, 78’)
Referee: Gareth Hewer.
Attendance: 7,698.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man to take on KR at KCOM Craven Park

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Sunday’s Betfred Super League tie with Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park.
Ed Chamberlain could be set to make his first start since arriving at Salford last month. Josh Jones returns to the side following an ankle issue while Tyrone McCarthy is also named after a stint on the sideline.
Levy Nzoungou is named in the squad and could make his second Betfred Super League appearance for the Red Devils. Greg Johnson may also return to the starting seventeen.
Jack Littlejohn is absent and is set to undergo surgery on a ruptured bicep on Saturday while Kris Welham is recovering from surgery on a finger injury.
Craig Kopczak is still struggling with an injured quadricep as confirmed by Ian Watson in last week’s post-match press conference which can be seen here.
Niall Evalds and Kriss Brining both remain sidelined.
Here is the squad in full:

Ian Watson | “The circumstances make it an interesting game”

Any trip over the Pennines into Yorkshire invariably heralds the most challenging of encounters for virtually all Lancashire outfits, and exactly one month to the day since their last sojourn over to the rugby league outreach which is Hull, the Red Devils make a return visit this Sunday, to the eastern side of the city to take on Hull KR.
The context of this encounter, however, could not possibly be more significant to either club, as Head Coach, Ian Watson, is all too aware.
“The circumstances make it an extremely interesting game, taking into account the current league placings, with us currently sitting just one place above them at tenth and eleventh. So, for us, it is a really big game where we must try to stretch this lead over them and also pull back on the teams just above us.
“Never say, ‘Never’, because we have got our confidence back, as we have shown over the past two and a half games, when we have played more like ourselves. We have been better in both defence and attack.
“We have been focussing on the improvements we have made over this period, and on maintaining them.”
Craven Park is a particularly intimidating venue, with its being a bridge, in style, between the old type of stadia, such as The Willows, with the spectators very close to the pitch, and the modern facilities of the AJ Bell.
“They even have their own version of the Shed, where long-time fans like to go and watch. But then there are the more modern parts.
“It’s a good place to go to play in, because it’s a rugby stadium through and through, and they have a good fan base to go with it.
“We are focusing on this next game, and then moving forward from there. We have beaten Hull KR already this season, and this, together with their home advantage is going to spur them on, so we must meet their challenge on the day. We have to focus on winning each game as it comes along.
“When he was at Wakefield, Brian Smith took that other view, and that might be an option with a squad of forty, but with only twenty-one there are just not enough players to do this.
“Everyone will have their own way of addressing the challenge. Ours is to continue in the way we have been doing in the last few weeks – gaining further confidence in our execution in both attack and defence. We have conceded some soft tries so we need to ensure Hull KR, and the remaining teams we still have to face, do not get any.”
For the early period of the second half, in last week’s outing at Warrington, the Red Devils appeared to have taken complete control of the game – a development seemingly sparked by the ten minute reduction to twelve men, with the sin-binning of Ryan Lannon. This inspired them not only to prevent Warrington from scoring during this period, but also to cross, themselves, with the second of Jack Littlejohn’s tries.
“Up to that point, Warrington had been finishing their sets a little better than we had, which had helped them territorially, but sometimes a sinbinning can give you the shot you need to get back into the game.
“Earlier this year, we were allowing such things to totally deflate us, but the confidence in how we are now playing has rejuvenated the whole side.”
A noticeably growing injury list is now starting to deprive the team of an increasing number of players, which could mean that some of the younger players will have to shoulder more of the responsibilities.
“All teams get injuries, and we have had a lot of niggling, short-term injuries which has prevented us turning out a settled team week after week. We had just been getting some consistency and now we are going to be disrupted again.
“Some of the younger players who have recently returned to the team, such as Dan Murray, Jake Bibby, and Ryan Lannon have all earned their places back, and any player who performs well will continue to hold down their position.”

Community | Sky Try festivals a massive success

Last week the Salford Red Devils Foundation hosted four Sky Try tournaments for local schools ranging from Year 7 to Year 10 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
There were a range of high schools in attendance from areas such as Salford, Manchester, Bury and Trafford and all were terrific and performed extremely well.
Salford Red Devils Foundation Manager Neil Blackburn said: “It was fantastic to have so many youngsters present at the AJ Bell Stadium from schools in and around the local area.
“It was a really well organised event from our team and all the schools looked like they really enjoyed it and it only furthers our relationships with these schools in Salford, Trafford, Manchester, Bolton and Bury.”
Salford Red Devils Player Performance Manager Danny Barton said: “There was a lot of talent on show throughout the four days.
“It’s really pleasing to see how good some of these young players were and their enthusiasm for health and wellbeing and the sport really shone through.
“We could – and hope to – see some of these players in our Salford Red Devils Academy sides in the coming years and possibly even in the first team further down the line.”
A list of the schools who participated are as follows:
Salford
Year 7 – St Ambrose Barlow and Walkden High School.
Year 8 – St Ambrose Barlow and Buile Hill High School.
Year 9 – Walkden High School and Buile Hill High School.
Year 10 – St Ambrose Barlow and Buile Hill High School.
Trafford
Year 7 – Blessed Thomas High School and St Ambrose College.
Year 8 – Wellington School and St Ambrose College.
Year 9 – Blessed Thomas High School and St Ambrose College.
Year 10 – Blessed Thomas High School and Sale Grammar.
Bury
Year 7 – Philips High School
Year 8 – Philips High School and Bury Church High School.
Year 9 – Philips High School and Bury Church High School.
Year 10 – St Monicas and Bury Church School.
Manchester
Year 7 – Cedar Mount High School and Wright Robinson College.
Year 9 – Cedar Mount High School and Wright Robinson College.
Year 10 – The East Manchester Academy and Wright Robinson College.

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.

Squad | Jack Littlejohn to undergo surgery

Salford Red Devils can confirm that Jack Littlejohn will undergo surgery on a ruptured bicep – an injury he picked up in last Friday’s game against Warrington – this weekend.
Littlejohn – who crossed for two tries before leaving the field – has moved to fullback for recent outings against Hull FC, Widnes Vikings and Warrington in absence of Niall Evalds who is still sidelined.
Centre Kris Welham also left the field and underwent surgery on a finger injury earlier this week.
 
 

Academy | William Mills and Matthew Jones heading to Serbia

Salford Red Devils U19s William Mills and Matthew Jones have been selected in Wales’ final U19s squad that will compete in the European Championships in Serbia this August.
The U19s European Championships in Belgrade will take place between the 5th and 11th of August with Wales taking on Russia in the first round of the eight-team knockout tournament. Wales could meet England in the semi-finals.
Wales Under 19 Head Coach Anthony Walker said: “The training camp was really successful. All the boys come with a great attitude and they were a pleasure to work with.
“We tried to make the camp something that they may of not experienced before and making it as professional as possible. Phil Joseph had a real big emphasis on prehab and recovery, he arranged for masseurs to come to the hotel on the evening and brought in supplementation.
“Picking the squad was hard, I’d love to take everyone who trained but we couldn’t and the way the tournament is set out there are no easy games, they get tougher and tougher as we go on so we have to take the right balance of players.
“The guys we have selected to be captain and vice-captain oozed quality and respect from the rest of the team. They may not be the loudest and biggest talkers but when they did speak everyone listened and they play with leadership.”
Wales won the competition in its last incarnation as an U18 tournament beating France, England and Czech Republic.
The full squad is as follows:
Adam Young (Aber Valley Wolves), Cobi Green (Bradford Bulls), James Bartlett (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Morgan Rowlands (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Will Lynch (Leigh Miners Rangers), Cai Ellis (Newcastle Thunder), James McGurk (Newcastle Thunder), Jacob Hitchcox (North Wales Crusaders A), William Mills (Salford Red Devils), Finn Swift (Pilkington Recs/St Helens), Elliot Jenkins (St Helens), Matthew Jones (Salford Red Devils), Jake Cannon (South Wales Rabbitohs), Ben Hunter (Unattached), Lewis Hall (Warrington Wolves), Macauley Harris (West Wales Raiders), Ellis Simon (West Wales Raiders), James Smith (West Wales Raiders), Fraser Stroud (West Wales Raiders), Aneurin Walker (West Wales Raiders), Billy Glover (Widnes Vikings).

Dual Reg/Loan Watch | Bennion in action for Rochdale Hornets

Salford Red Devils forward Gavin Bennion made his first appearance for Rochdale Hornets since joining on a one-month loan deal this past weekend.
Unfortunately, it was an afternoon to forget for the Hornets as they fell to an 80-4 defeat against Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
Bennion – who joined the Red Devils from Rochdale at the start of the season – began the game at prop-forward.
Brad Dwyer – on dual-registration from Leeds Rhinos – crossed for six tries while James Lockwood notched a hat-trick. Jason Walton, Brad Knowles, Anthony Thackeray and John Davies also scored while Rob Massam went over for Rochdale’s solitary score.
Bennion could feature next weekend against Swinton Lions before also being available for fixtures against Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack.

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.

 

Three Talking Points | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s hard-fought affair against Warrington Wolves we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Key moments
In his post-match press conference Ian Watson pointed towards a key moment in the second half which may have turned the game.
Rob Lui looked to flick on a short ball to an onrushing Kris Welham which clipped the centres shoulder and went to ground. Had Welham gone through the line the Red Devils would have likely scored and taken the lead for the first time in the game.
Warrington went on to score three tries after this moment and win the game. Throughout the game, Salford caused Wire a lot of issues down the right-hand flank and were on top in the early stages of the second half.
Resilience
There was a tonne of resilience and heart in defeat from Salford against Wire.
The Red Devils had to muscle up in defence for a large period in the second half and managed to keep Warrington at bay – for the most part – until the final ten minutes of the game.
Both Derrell Olpherts and Junior Sa’u made try-saving tackles out wide last night while Ryan Lannon and Jack Littlejohn making last ditch efforts, also. Littlejohn, in fact, prevented Warrington forward Ben Westwood from close-range with a brilliant one-on-one tackle which forced a knock-on.


Even in the closing stages Kris Welham pulled off a great tackle on Bryson Goodwin before Rob Lui prevented two scores with well-timed interceptions which will have pleased Head Coach Ian Watson.
Flowing rugby
Earlier in the season we have seen the Red Devils display some fantastic attacking Rugby League in victories over Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons and Hull FC – to name a few – and those slick hands were on display at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Jack Littlejohn – who continues to impress in his new role at fullback – was the beneficiary of these fast hands crossing twice in the first half. Both times we saw the Australian hit a great line out the back with his second try on the back of a sensational offload from George Griffin.


Jake Bibby’s second half score also came from a string of off-the-cuff offloads which saw the Red Devils break down field beginning with a well-timed pass from Ben Nakubuwai. If the Red Devils continue to display this kind of attacking presence they’ll cause a lot of sides issues in the coming 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.

Match Report | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils fell to defeat against Warrington despite a resilient performance which saw them cause the hosts problems and go into the final thirty minutes on par with the Wolves.
Jack Littlejohn crossed for a first half double but tries from Sitaleki Akauola, Tom Lineham and Toby King saw Warrington go into the break ahead by four points. Red Devils forward Ryan Lannon spent ten minutes in the sin bin for a professional foul before the interval.
Jake Bibby’s early second half score edged Salford in front however three unanswered tries from Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark and Mike Cooper pulled the game away from Ian Watson’s men.


Salford started strongly but fell behind after eight minutes as Tyrone Roberts stepped through the line and found Akauola who finished under the posts. However, the Red Devils soon found themselves level when Jack Littlejohn capitalised on some slick hands out wide to force his way over from close-range. Rob Lui converted to level the scores.
Warrington regained their lead in just a matter of minutes when Lineham scooped up a loose pass and managed to race to the corner despite pressure from Lui. Goodwin missed the conversion attempt. Midway through the half Wire extended their lead further as Toby King latched onto Roberts’ low kick.
As the Wolves built momentum they almost crossed again through Charnley but a wonderful tackle from Lannon prevented the winger. However, Lannon would be sent to the sin-bin for holding Charnley down for too long yards from the Salford try-line.
While this could have seen Warrington kick on it instead invigorated the Red Devils as Littlejohn went over for his second try. Lui managed to pull off a late pass to George Griffin who flicked the ball out of the backdoor in turn to Littlejohn who doubled his account for the evening.
And, it was Salford who started the second half stronger and pulled themselves level thanks to Jake Bibby. The Red Devils played some expansive rugby to break down field before Bibby picked up a low pass and raced thirty metres to score.
Again, Watson’s side weren’t level for long as Charnley pulled off a spectacular finish in the corner despite the best efforts of Derrell Olpherts. A back-and-forth twenty-minute spell ensued with the Red Devils going close on a number of occasions but failing to cross.
Warrington – with ten minutes remaining – mounted some sustained pressure on the Salford line and Daryl Clark jinked his way over. Mike Cooper finished the scoring in the closing stages to help Warrington pull away.


Salford Lineup: Littlejohn; Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby; Lui, Shorrocks; Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Griffin, Lannon, Burke.
Interchanges: Tomkins, Nakubuwai, Murray, Flanagan.
Warrington Lineup: M.Brown; Lineham, Goodwin, T. King, Charnley; K. Brown, Roberts; Akauoloa, Clark, Cooper, Pomeroy, Hughes, Westwood.
Interchanges: Philbin, G. King, Patton, Crosby.
Salford scorers: Littlejohn (12, 35’). Bibby (46’) | Goals: Lui (13’)
Warrington scorers: Akauola (8’), Lineham (16’), T.King (24’), Charnley (52), Clark (70’), Cooper (79’) | Goals: Goodwin (9’, 53’, 71’)
Salford sin-bin: Lannon – professional foul (27’)
Man of the Match: Jack Littlejohn.
Referee: Chris Kendall. Touch Judges: G. Jones & P. Brooke.
Attendance: 9171.