Category: Rugby

Factfile | Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils | Dacia Magic Weekend

We’ve got a special stat-packed ‘Factfile’ this week covering everything you need to know about Salford’s history at the Dacia Magic Weekend and our upcoming fixture against Catalans Dragons.
Magic Weekend
Salford are one of eleven teams to have featured at the Magic Weekend on ten or more occasions. The Red Devils have competed at the Magic Weekend ten times, the same amount as Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Salford currently sit 9th in the all-time Magic Weekend table with eight points (four wins), the same as Hull FC with the Black and Whites having played one more game at the event. A win against Catalans on Sunday would see Ian Watson’s side climb to 8th in the all-time table as they currently trail the Dragons by one point however the Frenchmen have played one more fixture at the Magic Weekend.
Salford at the Magic Weekend
Salford’s Magic Weekend record didn’t get off to a good start with the Red Devils failing to win any of their opening four games at the event.
Warrington beat Salford in Cardiff in 2007 18-50 in a season which saw the Red Devils relegated meaning they missed out on a place in Cardiff the year after.
Once Salford returned to the top flight they suffered defeats in Edinburgh in 2009 and 2010. Harlequins beat Salford 16-24 before Warrington once again earned a dominant victory, 16-68.
Wales-based Crusaders overcame Salford 42-12 in 2011 as the Magic Weekend returned to Cardiff. However, the Dacia Magic Weekend moved closer to home and it garnered the Red Devils first win at the event as Adam Sidlow’s late try won the game 38-34 against Huddersfield Giants.
Another year in Manchester marked another victory for Salford as they edged out Widnes Vikings 28-22. However, Salford couldn’t remain unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium as the Vikings returned the favour a year later with a 30-24 win.
Widnes and Salford shared victories in the first two events at Newcastle’s St James’ Park. The Red Devils won their most recent Dacia Magic Weekend fixture with a 22-36 win over event debutants Leigh Centurions in the Toon.
Catalans at the Magic Weekend
Catalans have a similar record to Salford at the Dacia Magic Weekend winning four, losing six however they have played an extra game which they drew.
The Frenchmen’s first two Magic Weekend appearances came against Harlequins RL (Now London Broncos) with a narrow 28-32 in 2007 before an even smaller margin of victory a year later as Catalans won 18-16.
In Edinburgh, Catalans suffered defeats to Leeds and Castleford before another loss at the hands of Harlequins RL in Cardiff in 2011. The Dragons finally ended their losing-streak at the Dacia Magic Weekend in 2012 as they overcame London Broncos (Previously known as Harlequins RL).
A 42-18 win over London in 2012 was followed up by an almost identical win in 2013 as they ran-out 46-18 win at the Etihad Stadium. Catalans earned a two-point victory over London in 2014 at Newcastle before a 22-22 draw with Huddersfield Giants in 2015.
Wakefield Trinity edged out the French side thanks to a monster Jacob Miller drop-goal in 2016 before Catalans lost to Huddersfield 10-18 in last year’s event.
Scoring in Salford games at Magic Weekend
Luke Dorn crossed for Salford’s first-ever Dacia Magic Weekend try in the 18-50 loss against Warrington in 2007. Martin Gleeson crossed in this game for Warrington and would score for Salford in the event six years later.
Dorn – alongside Gleeson – was a player who scored both for and against Salford at the Dacia Magic Weekend as he crossed for Harlequins RL when the sides met in 2009. Richie Myler is also amongst the list of players to score for and against Salford crossing for the Red Devils in 2009 before scoring a brace for Wire a year later in 2010.
Stefan Ratchford scored a brace for Salford in this game which he followed up with another double a year later against Warrington. Ratchford is Salford’s all-time top try-scorer at the event with four tries.
While Ratchford sits on two doubles at the event there’s a host of other Red Devils who have also scored braces at the Dacia Magic Weekend – Joel Moon (2012), Jodie Broughton (2012), Adam Sidlow (2012), Jordan James (2013), Daniel Vidot (2016), Ben Murdoch-Masila (2017) and Greg Johnson (2017). Salford are yet to have a player score a hat-trick at the Dacia Magic Weekend.
However, three players have scored hat-tricks against the Red Devils at the Dacia Magic Weekend – Michael Witt (Crusaders, 2011), Joe Mellor (Widnes, 2013) and Kevin Brown (Widnes, 2015).
Of the current squad, Greg Johnson leads the way with Dacia Magic Weekend tries sitting on three after a double last year against Leigh Centurions alongside a solitary try versus Widnes in 2015. Junior Sa’u (2014), Kris Welham (2017) and Niall Evalds (2017) are the other current Salford players to score for the Club at the event.
Head-to-Head
Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons have had shared success in recent seasons with three wins apiece in the fixture since a memorable 40-40 draw in March 2015.
The Red Devils have won each of the last two meetings between the teams both coming in the form of dominant home victories at the AJ Bell Stadium – 32-16 (March 2018), 50-12 (May 2017).
The back and forth results against each other have been a regular feature since Catalans’ inclusion into Betfred Super League with Salford winning 11, the Dragons winning on 12 occasions and there being one draw between the two sides.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the sides at the Dacia Magic Weekend.

Ian Watson | “We need to improve and look forward”

That four week run of high profile matches, which commenced with the televised game against St Helens, culminates this Sunday with arguably the highest profile of all, with our visit up to Newcastle for the Magic Weekend. 
The importance of both the occasion, and the encounter there with Catalans Dragons is very much to the forefront of Head Coach Ian Watson’s focus.
Watson said: “It’s a really big showpiece, with the feel of both the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final with all the Super League teams being involved, it generates a similar profile to each of those, not only for rugby league as a whole, but also for the individual players.”
Indeed, over and above both of these other two events, this is the one occasion each year when every club, every player, and every fan has the opportunity of being involved, or watching their own team participating, in a big occasion, whilst Ian adds a coach’s perspective to the concept.
“It’s also an opportunity to see the majority of all the other Super League players in action.  It has also become a bit of a feeding ground for the NRL clubs, who send their agents and CEO’s over to assess the talent on display. It’s a great spectacle too for the supporters.
“Nevertheless, there is the seriousness of two league points being at stake, which has been our focus for the week.”
As supporters we might have expected that the coaching staff would have been endeavouring to get the specialness of the occasion into the preparations for the team but Ian belies this assumption.
Watson said: “The main thing for us is to take the emotion out of it all, and putting the showpiece element aside, in order to focus on the game, particularly after last week’s disappointment at Leigh.
“One penalty on the fifth tackle followed by a try under the posts swung the game away from us after we had seemed to be on fire, moments earlier.  If you give teams opportunities by failing to complete your sets it is an absolute killer and we were embarrassed by our second half completion rate.
“That, along with decision-making, has been a big aspect of our preparations, this week, because we need to improve on these and look forward positively.
“We had a great training session today [Thursday], with good ball skills, lines run, execution of plays, and decision making on the edges.”
It will be remembered that Sunday’s opponents, Catalans, were the team against whom we played at home last season just a few days after the Manchester Arena bombing, on which occasion donations, in lieu of admission fee, went to the resultant We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
One year on, on the self-same weekend of the bombing, the Red Devils will be sporting the shirt, dedicated to the memory of the victims and voted – by an extremely large majority – the most impressive of all Magic Weekend shirts on display this year by fans via the Super League Twitter page.
“When you line all that up, it does bring that tragedy into focus and, of course, having that particular shirt, in support of such a noteworthy charity is magnificent especially with it being almost to the day on which it all happened.  We, ourselves, though, must remain clear in our vision of getting winning points on the day.”
That those tragic events came so close to last year’s Magic Weekend certainly will not be lost on Salford fans, many of whom might well have caught the train up to Newcastle, the day before, from a platform on Victoria Station, in very close proximity to where the blast was to be detonated.
“Because it happened so close to home it feels much more real, and so there is a lot more sentiment around it.  We shall be continuing this on Friday next, at the Huddersfield game, when we shall entertain guests affected by the bombing.
“In our own way, through all of this, the club is simply paying its respects to all the victims.”
With Catalans being the one team whom, this year, we shall be playing three times, it would seem imperative, therefore, that we should win at least a majority of these, which means that Sunday’s fixture becomes crucial in this respect, though it comes just as the Dragons are showing signs of improvement.
“They had been playing well ahead of our Good Friday match with them, but for us now, over the next few weeks it’s all about getting the wins, starting with this one, and we are confident that we have the quality within the squad to be able to do this.”

Kit | Limited-Edition Magic Weekend shirt wins ‘Battle of the kits’

Salford Red Devils Limited-Edition 2018 Dacia Magic Weekend shirt has won this year’s ‘Battle of the Kits’ on the Super League’s Official Twitter page.
The 2018 Limited-Edition shirt is in support of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund with the Red Devils wearing the kit almost a year to the date of last year’s tragedy at the Manchester Arena.
Mitsubishi Motors moved their Main Partner sponsorship from the front of the shirt to allow the iconic bee symbol which became synonymous with Manchester in the week’s following.
The kit was met with an outpouring of positive publicity and support for the cause on release and has been extremely popular – not just with Salford fans but – with the wider Rugby League community.
Our kit beat St Helens’ Autism Awareness strip in the final – another brilliant Club supporting a fantastic cause.
To read more about the kit click here.
To watch a video produced by The Sportsman on the kit click here.
To order your 2018 Limited-Edition shirt click here.
Below is the Limited-Edition Dacia Magic Weekend shirt for 2018:

Squad | Ian Watson names his squad for Dacia Magic Weekend

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for this weekend’s battle with Catalans Dragons at the Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle.
Halfback Rob Lui returns to the side following a month out with a calf injury. Gavin Bennion could also be in line to appear at the Dacia Magic Weekend after debuting a fortnight ago against Wigan Warriors.
Daniel Murray will be looking to return to the side after missing out on a spot in the team in last week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat to Leigh Centurions.
Ben Nakubuwai misses out due to failing his concussion assessment in last week’s loss to Leigh Centurions. Jake Shorrocks misses out on the 19-man squad.
Tickets for the Dacia Magic Weekend can be purchased from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. 
There is also coach travel to Newcastle available to book from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The coach is priced at £25 for all classes and pick-up points and times can be seen here.
The full squad can be seen below:

Luke Burgess | “I’ve always enjoyed the concept”

Salford Red Devils prop-forward Luke Burgess endorses the Dacia Magic Weekend ahead of the sides clash with Catalans Dragons on Sunday.
The Dacia Magic Weekend is now in its third season at St James’ Park, Newcastle and Burgess feels it offers the players of the Betfred Super League a bigger stage than usual to perform on.
Burgess, sponsored by Ideal Corporate Solutions, said: “I’m looking forward to it I’ve always enjoyed the concept when I was playing in England previously and I’m looking forward to being part of it again.
“All the weekend is great and hopefully the weather is like it was at the media day and all the teams come and bring a lot of fans – it’s always a lot of fun.
“It’s always nice to have an atmosphere and it always leads to bigger games especially if we put on a bit of a show and the fans get into it they go hand in hand with each other.
“I think the general Rugby League fans enjoy this weekend, so I should imagine we’ll see quite a few getting up here and enjoying themselves particularly if the weathers nice.
“We’ve got a new jersey for the occasion which the fans love and it’s a bit of a milestone in the season the Magic Weekend we’re about halfway through the season and now we need to get up the hill and make a bit of a run towards the end.”
The Red Devils face Burgess’ former side Catalans Dragons on Sunday afternoon and the prop-forward knows the importance of getting some consistency in the second half of the regular season.
Burgess said: “We just need to be consistent and cut out the individual errors which can be easily fixed which is promising and hopefully everything else will come on the back of that.
“It’s still early in the week and we’ve got a long week ahead of preparation before we get to Sunday but we’re building towards it.” 
Tickets for the Dacia Magic Weekend can be purchased from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. 
There is also coach travel to Newcastle available to book from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The coach is priced at £25 for all classes and pick-up points and times can be seen here.

Match Report | Leigh Centurions 22-10 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils bowed out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at the first attempt as Leigh Centurions ran out 22-10 winners on a frustrating evening at the Leigh Sports Village.
Despite first half efforts from Niall Evalds and George Griffin, Salford ultimately fell short as tries from Ben Reynolds, Harrison Hansen, Daniel Mortimer and Drew Hutchinson ensured the Leythers advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the famous old trophy.
Salford headed into the game following last week’s 30-0 defeat at Wigan, but the Red Devils made the perfect start this time around as some quick hands from Jake Shorrocks and Jack Littlejohn forged an opening for the onrushing Niall Evalds who threw a quick dummy and dived over the line.
Shorrocks failed to land the subsequent conversion but Salford were over again just over ten minutes later. This time, on-loan Wigan half-back Shorrocks cleverly picked out George Griffin with a short ball and the forward pummelled his way through three Leigh defenders to surge over the line before Shorrocks added the extras.
The visitors’ dominance was short-lived however as Peter Mata’utia jinked inside the Salford line before flicking inside to Ben Reynolds who crossed under the sticks before converting his own effort.
Reynold’s score seemed to spur the hosts on and they were in again just two minutes later as former Salford man Harrison Hansen shuck off several opposition defenders before spinning over the line.
Half-back Reynolds then added the resulting goal to turn the game on its head as the Leythers headed into the interval in full control.
Leigh picked up where they left off after the break and were unfortunate not to have scored as Drew Hutchinson headed for the line, but his score was chalked off after a last-ditch tackle from Littlejohn held the half-back up.
The hosts weren’t to be denied for long though as Daniel Mortimer bulldozed over from the following set before Reynolds added his third goal to increase the margin separating the sides to 8 points.
Salford regrouped in the hope of forging a formidable comeback but a combination of a forward pass from Evalds and some excellent defence prevented Derrell Olpherts from finishing in the right-hand corner –  a move that reflected a highly frustrating evening for the Red Devils.
Unfortunately for Salford, things worsened three minutes from time as Hutchinson danced through the visiting line to claim a deserved try and complete the scoring.
Leigh Lineup: Mata’utia, Dawson-Jones, Crooks, Hall, Owens, Reynolds, Hutchinson, Bailey, Higham, Acton, Hansen, B.Thompson, J.Thompson.
Interchanges: Mortimer, Larroyer, Richards, Dezaria.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Johnson, Shorrocks, Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tomkins, Mossop, Hauraki, Griffin, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Wood, Tasi, McCarthy, Kopczak.
 
Leigh Scorers: Tries-  Reynolds (17’), Hansen (19’), Mortimer (49’), Hutchinson (77’) | Goals- Reynolds (17’, 19’, 50’)
Salford Scorers: Tries-  Evalds (2’), Griffin (13’) | Goals- Shorrocks (13’)
Man of the Match: Mark Flanagan
Referee: Liam Moore. Touch Judges: A.Martin & C.Kendall. Video Referee: Ben Thaler.  
Attendance: 4,024
 

Factfile | Leigh Centurions vs Salford Red Devils

Ahead of tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie with Leigh Centurions we take a look at the facts behind the teams in relation to the competition.
Challenge Cup Head-to-Head
The sides last met in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in 2015 with Leigh coming out on top 22-18 at the Leigh Sports Village in 2015.
Salford won back-to-back Challenge Cup fixtures in the 1980’s with a 12-3 win in 1981 over the Centurions followed by a 12-5 victory two years later in the First Round.
The last time Salford overcame Leigh Centurions away in the Challenge Cup was in 1900 with a 2-9 win in the Second Round.
Challenge Cup progression
Ian Watson’s men reached the semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last season before falling to Wigan Warriors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Leigh exited in the 5th round.
Salford also progressed further than the Centurions in 2016 with the Red Devils reaching the 6th round stage. In 2014 and 2015 Leigh reached the quarter-finals in consecutive seasons while Salford were knocked out in Round Five on both occasions.
Recent Meetings
Salford have won two of their last three meetings with Leigh as the sides met in the Betfred Super League last season. The Red Devils won 22-36 at last year’s Dacia Magic Weekend as well as earning a Round Nine Betfred Super League 12-6 victory over Leigh.
Leigh won the most recent meeting between the clubs 25-0 at the Leigh Sports Village in July. Salford will be looking for their first victory over Leigh at the Leigh Sports Village.
Since the move to Summer rugby, Salford have won six meetings between the sides, Leigh have won four and there is yet to be a draw.

Away Day Guide | Leigh Centurions vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 11th May

Salford Red Devils travel to Leigh Centurions in the Sixth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and here is a guide to this weekend’s ‘Away Day’.
Key information
Friday’s game will kick-off at 7:35pm with the game being broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Ticketing
Any Season Ticket holders purchasing before 8pm tonight (Thursday 10th May) can get discounted rates on their tickets for Friday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Round Six game. There will be a cash turnstile at the game for Salford Red Devils supporters at Turnstile 5 in the South Stand.
 
The prices for any non-Season Ticket holders purchasing and gameday prices for everyone can be seen below:
Adults: £23
Concession (65+, 18-21): £18
U18’s: £9
U12’s: £5
U5: FREE
Family Ticket (Two Adults and Three Children): £50
You can purchase your tickets from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or if you wish to purchase on gameday tickets will be available from the Club Ticket Office at the Leigh Sports Village.
Salford Red Devils Supporters’ Bus
Any Salford Red Devils fans travelling on the Club’s Supporters’ Coach to tonight’s game are reminded to arrive at their pick-up point with plenty of time.
Coach travel is still available to book at the AJ Bell Stadium Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The coach is priced at £11 for all classes.
The pick-up points and times are below:
Chandos Social Club: 5:15pm
Royal Sovereign: 5:25pm
Eccles Town Hall: 5:40pm
Dog & Partridge: 5:45pm
AJ Bell Stadium: 6:05pm
Directions – By Car
The Leigh Sports Village is based on Sale Way, Leigh, WN7 4JY. The Stadium is three minutes from the A580, eight minutes from the M6, Junction 23 (Haydock Park) and 14 minutes from the M60 Junction 14.
The Stadium is sign-posted clearly from all of these areas.
Parking
There are over 1000 free car parking spaces available on site, access to these car parks is via Sale Way, situated directly off the A579 Atherleigh Way.
For big games, free car parking is also available at Leigh RUFC, situated 15-20 minutes’ walk from the stadium. On these occasions, the clubhouse will be open for business, with the facility to pre-book a car parking space at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/leighrufc.
There are also numerous pay and display car parks situated in Leigh town centre, approximately 10-15 minutes’ walk from the stadium. Click here for more information on these car parking areas.
Kits
Salford Red Devils will be wearing our blue alternative kit while Leigh Centurions will wear their principal red and white kit.

Fixtures | Kick-off time changed for remaining three Friday night home games

Salford Red Devils can confirm the kick-off times for our Betfred Super League games against Huddersfield Giants, Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos will all now be 8pm.
Our home game against Huddersfield is scheduled for Friday 25th May with tickets being available from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone and online.
We are set to face Castleford on Friday 13th July at the AJ Bell Stadium while we take on Leeds on Friday 27th July.
For a list of all our fixtures and kick-off times click here.
To synchronise all Salford Red Devils fixtures into your calendar, click here.

Squad | Ian Watson confirms 19-man squad for Challenge Cup tie at Leigh

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s trip to Leigh Centurions in the Sixth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Niall Evalds returns to the squad following a week on the sidelines after failing a concussion test in the defeat against St Helens.
Forward trio George Griffin, Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan all return to the Salford Red Devils squad.
Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou are the absentees after making their competitive debuts last weekend at Wigan Warriors. Ryan Lannon also misses out.
Halfback Rob Lui is still recovering from a knock picked up against Wakefield but is nearing a return.
Here is the 19-man squad in full: