Category: Rugby

Dual-Registration/Loan Watch | Daniel Murray in action for Oldham

Salford Red Devils prop-forward Daniel Murray featured this weekend for dual-registration partners Oldham RLFC in a 32-18 victory over Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium. 
The Roughyeds raced into a 16-0 lead against the Cougars but the Yorkshiremen pulled it back to 16-14 heading into the interval. However, a dominant second half display saw Oldham run out comfortable winners.
Wakefield loanee Lee Kershaw scored twice alongside tries from Dave Eccleston, Kieran Gill and former Red Devil Liam Bent. Murray was in the thick of the action down the middle for Oldham.
Meanwhile, Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou where both in action for Betfred Championship side Swinton Lions as they fell to a 18-12 defeat at the hands of Halifax RLFC.
Andy Thornley put Swinton in the lead early on before Chester Butler had put the hosts within two points. Marcus Webb’s 50th minute try furthered Swinton’s lead but late tries from Conor McGrath and a second from Steve Tyrer sealed the victory for Halifax. Tyrer had also begun the Halifax comeback midway through the second half.
Swinton Lions Head Coach and former Red Devil Stuart Littler said: “Levy [Nzoungou] is a handful. Him and Gav [Bennion] set the game and took us forward. He’s a big guy.”
Swinton welcome Toulouse Olympique next weekend with both Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou available and you can watch this game completely free of charge with the Lions allowing free entry for any fans wishing to attend.

Ian Watson | “We got the rewards at the backend”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with his sides patience in their victory over Huddersfield Giants and says his side weren’t thinking about their away form too much. 
Watson said: “We’ve not even been worried about that. We’re confident wherever we go whether that will be home or away.”
He added: “We’ve played some good teams away from home so far in the early part of the season and in those games, we’ve been really competitive so that wasn’t a problem for us but I suppose it is good to get that monkey off your back but we’re not overly bothered about that.
I thought we started well and then went a little scrappy in between we just needed to finish our sets a little better.
“But, in the second half we got that composure when they were having a real purple patch attacking our line and we defended really well, fronted up and we know it was going to turn at some point and we got the rewards at the backend.”
Ian Watson’s full press conference can be seen here: 

Stat Pack | Huddersfield Giants 12-30 Salford Red Devils

Following yesterday’s emphatic away victory over Huddersfield Giants we’ve rounded up the key figures in this week’s ‘Stat Pack’.
Rob Lui
Half-back Rob Lui earned yesterday’s Man of the Match award and he is this week’s ‘Player in Focus’.
Lui kicked a pivotal 40/20 early in the game which set Salford off on the front foot and the Australian almost kicked another in the second half but was denied by a matter of inches.
The half-back put in ten kicks throughout the game with six of them being clever positional kicks at key times for Salford.
With 17 carries amounting to 136 metres – the most of any Red Devil – meant Lui was a constant threat for the Giants defence. Lui also racked up one try assist, one break pass, two initial breaks and ten tackle busts in a brilliant attacking display.
Hard yards
There were some hard yards earned all over the park by the Salford Red Devils in yesterday’s victory against Huddersfield Giants with six players averaging eight metres or more per carry.
Greg Johnson averaged a ten-metre gain per carry helping the Red Devils bring the ball out from their own half. Jake Bibby and Junior Sa’u both averaged over eight metres per carry in a physical afternoon for the backs.
Lama Tasi came on from the bench and made the impact we’ve come to expect this season averaging almost nine metres per carry. Jack Littlejohn and Logan Tomkins also averaged over eight metres per carry.
Overall control
Salford were in front from the moment Mark Flanagan crossed just after the ten-minute mark and the Red Devils controlled the game from thereon out.
The Red Devils spent more time in possession than Huddersfield by almost three minutes, had a total of five more sets and completed ten more than the Giants throughout the game.
Of course, this led to more carries for the Red Devils, more play-the-balls, more quick play-the-balls and 128 more metres made.

Three talking points | Huddersfield Giants 12-30 Salford Red Devils

Salford earned an impressive 12-30 victory over Huddersfield – their fifth consecutive away win at the John Smith’s Stadium – and we take a look at three talking points from the game. 
Away victory
Salford’s 12-30 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium marked their first win on the road for almost ten months and what a victory it was!
A double from Jake Bibby alongside tries from Mark Flanagan, Ben Nakubuwai and Weller Hauraki saw the Red Devils earn a much-needed victory. Rob Lui was on form with the boot kicking five goals.
The Red Devils have come close to winning away from home this season with narrow losses at the likes of Wakefield Trinity and Widnes Vikings but with an away win under their belts in 2018, Ian Watson’s men will be looking to kick on in the coming weeks both on their travels and at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Jake Bibby
The winger crossed for two late tries to round off a hard-fought victory at the John Smith’s Stadium and was one of the standout performers for the Red Devils.
Both of Bibby’s scores came when the game already looked to be won but the winger finished in fantastic fashion to help Salford end the game in style.
However, it wasn’t just in attack where the youngster impressed. Innes Senior crossed for the Giants, but Bibby has his number after that twice stopping the Huddersfield winger from scoring in the corner.
Dominance
Salford dominated the game for large periods earning plenty of penalties on the back of solid running and quick play-the-balls.
Once again, the forwards matched the likes of Ukuma Ta’ai and Sebastine Ikahihifo while the outside backs were consistent bringing the ball from deep inside the Salford half.
The Red Devils also managed the game very well in the closing stages when Huddersfield looked like they may edge their way back into it which eventually paid dividend as it was Ian Watson’s men who ran away with it.

Match Report | Huddersfield Giants 12-30 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils cruised to their first Betfred Super League away victory of the season with a resounding 30-12 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Jake Bibby’s double along with further scores from Mark Flanagan, Ben Nakubuwai and Weller Hauraki ensured The Red Devils ran out deserved winners to earn a crucial two points in their bid to secure a place in the lucrative Super 8s.
Salford made a bright start to the contest and were unfortunate not to have scored in the fourth minute when Robert Lui’s forty-twenty forged a golden try-scoring opportunity – but Lui ultimately knocked the ball on to bring an end to the move.
The Red Devils’ perseverance paid dividends in the 13th minute when Mark Flanagan produced an exquisite step before diving past several Huddersfield defenders to cross over under the posts – Lui then added the extras to give Salford a 6 point lead.
Flanagan’s score seemed to instill some confidence into the Salford ranks and they were over again just two minutes later when some quick hands from Josh Jones and Flanagan allowed Ben Nakubuwai to burst into a huge gap in the Giants’ backline before powering over to cap off a fine move – Lui again converted the resulting goal.
Salford were running riot by this point and came close to scoring several minutes later. First, a clever move from Lui almost resulted in Niall Evalds touching down but the full-back slipped at the crucial moment before Junior Sa’u narrowly failed to capitalise on the loose ball from Jack Littlejohn’s cross-field kick just seconds later.
However, the hosts managed to swing the momentum in their favour and crossed over midway through the half when some slick passes from Danny Brough and Aaron Murphy provided Innes Senior with the opportunity to score – one which the young winger duly took after holding off Jake Bibby before diving over in the corner. Brough then landed the subsequent conversion to reduce the deficit to six points.
Huddersfield were reluctant to let Salford out of their half after Senior’s score and came close to scoring on three separate occasions after forcing The Reds into two goal-line drop outs before Matty English was held up thanks to a last ditch effort from Lama Tasi.
Salford were under the cosh and almost conceded once again as Senior looked destined to score in the left-hand corner before flicking the ball inside but the combined defensive efforts of Bibby and Weller Hauraki forced the winger and loose ball into touch.
After the interval, The Red Devils claimed the first points of the half when the hosts were penalised for an incorrect play-the-ball – Salford opted to kick at goal and Lui successfully converted the resulting goal in front of the sticks to give Salford an 8 point lead.
Salford were over again minutes later when Lui picked out the onrushing Hauraki who pierced through the Huddersfield line before crossing the whitewash, Lui then converted the resulting goal to take Salford up to the 20 point mark.
Despite the setback the hosts regrouped and clawed their way back into the contest when former Salford man Lee Gaskell’s short ball allowed Oliver Roberts to cross over unchallenged from close-range – Brough then added the extras.
A combination of individual errors and a number of excellent defensive displays resulted in a fairly open second period but the turning point of the half arrived in the final ten when Ukuma Ta’ai hit Flanagan with a late shot – Lui then landed the resulting goal from 32m out to extend the visitors’ lead to 10 points.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for The Giants when star-man Brough was sent off in the 76th minute for his verbal misconduct towards Referee James Child.
Salford crossed over again with three minutes left on the clock when Bibby emphatically finished off a free-flowing move in the right-hand corner after some sublime play from Lui and Kris Welham – however on this occasion Lui was unable to convert the resulting goal.
However, The Red Devils weren’t finished there as Weller Hauraki produced an excellent dummy before flicking the ball to Bibby who dived over for his second of the day as Salford cruised to victory. 
Huddersfield Lineup: Rankin, McIntosh, Turner, Murphy, Senior, Gaskell, Brough, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Clough, Roberts, Ta’ai, Smith.  Interchanges: Hinchcliffe, Walne, English, Mellor.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Bibby, Sa’u, Welham, Johnson, Lui, Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tomkins, Mossop, Hauraki, Jones, Flanagan.  Interchanges: Tasi, Kopczak, Lannon, Wood.
Huddersfield Scorers: Tries-  Senior (23’), Roberts (55’) | Goals- Brough (24’, 56’
Salford Scorers: Tries- Flanagan (13’), Nakubuwai (15’), Hauraki (52’), Bibby (77’, 79’) | Goals-  Lui (13’, 16’, 44’, 52’, 71’)
Man of the Match: Robert Lui
Referee: James Child  Touch Judges: M Craven & D Bowmer
Attendance: 4,385 

Preview | Huddersfield Giants vs Salford Red Devils | Sunday 15th April

Salford Red Devils travel to Huddersfield today with the aim of getting back to winning ways and here is everything you need to know ahead of the tie.
Last Time Out
Salford fell to defeat against Warrington in their last outing however the scoreline flattered the Wolves. A slow start saw Steve Price’s men take control with tries from Toby King and Josh Charnley. The Red Devils did cross through Rob Lui but in the end left themselves with too much to do.
It was a similar story for Huddersfield who conceded five tries in the first half last weekend against Castleford. The Giants began a fightback through tries from Daniel Smith and an Innes Senior double but in the end, Castleford were just too strong.
Form
Salford head into the today’s game with two wins from their last five outings. Two impressive home victories against Hull FC and Catalans were either side of a disappointing loss against Widnes which saw the Vikings score two late tries.
Defeat to Leeds on Easter Monday was followed by a spirited performance against Warrington which saw the visitors runaway with a scoreline which didn’t reflect the game on the field. The Red Devils will be looking to get back to winning ways against a side they overcame at the John Smith’s Stadium last season.
Huddersfield head into this afternoon’s game without a win in any of their last five Betfred Super League outings. The Giants’ last victory came on Friday 9th March in a 16-28 win over Widnes Vikings.
Since then the Giants suffered heavy defeats to Hull Kingston Rovers, Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons. A solitary point is all Huddersfield have earned from this run of fixtures thanks to a 22-22 draw with Leeds Rhinos on Good Friday. Huddersfield improved last week against Castleford but still couldn’t get back to winning ways.
Previous Meetings
Salford have an impressive record against Huddersfield in recent years winning five of the last six meetings between the sides and four consecutive fixtures against the Giants.
The most recent meeting saw the Red Devils hammer the Giants 52-14 in last year’s Super 8s which followed a 36-20 win at the AJ Bell Stadium and a 30-20 victory at Huddersfield in the 2017 Betfred Super League.
The Red Devils have also enjoyed playing at the John Smith’s Stadium over the years winning on each of their last four visits. However, these have always been close affairs with their last three victories at Huddersfield all coming by ten points or less. Huddersfield’s last win over Salford came in 2016 thanks to a Danny Brough drop-goal at the AJ Bell Stadium
Head-to-Head
There is only one head-to-head to look at ahead of today’s game against Huddersfield and that is the one between both playmakers Rob Lui and Danny Brough.
Lui had to move to full-back last weekend due to Niall Evalds being sidelined but expect the Australian half to move back into his more natural role and look to unlock the Giants defence.
Huddersfield’s key man is Brough who has been central to any success at the John Smith’s Stadium over the last few years. Brough’s kicking game is always a threat whether it be from inside his own half or on the opposition line.
Squads
Huddersfield: Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Brough, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Wakeman, Hinchcliffe, Rankin, Roberts, Ta’ai, Clough, Smith, Walne, Mellor, McIntosh, English, Simpson, Senior.
Salford: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Evalds, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan, Tasi, Lannon, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby.

Ian Watson | “We have competed with some of the top teams”

Head Coach, Ian Watson, Assesses His Team’s Recent Performances Ahead Of Their Visit To Huddersfield
As we approach, in the next couple of weeks, the half way stages of what these days is a remarkably short regular season in rugby league, we find the Red Devils sitting just outside the top eight, but sufficiently well placed to be able to make a good push for a comfortable spot within the Super8s, which follow.
With a small squad, injuries, of which there have been an increasing number in recent weeks, have somewhat tested the flexibility of the players to double up in other positions, and last week’s fixture against Warrington, coming as it did after the rigours of the Easter Weekend, stretched resources even further – something with which Head Coach, Ian Watson had to deal.
“The additional one-off absences of Niall Evalds from concussion, and Logan Tomkins, who had been ill all week, did cause some readjustment, which was a little evident in our attack.”
“Had we had a bit more composure about us we would have won that game.”
In support of this statement, one only has to think back to the magnificent first-half break by prop Lama Tasi to realise that, had he been on the field, Niall possibly – maybe even probably – would have been in support, alongside Lama, to finish off with a try.
“He usually does pop up in those situations.”
“There were reasons though as to why we allowed the speed of the game to get away from us in the early stages, which we have addressed during the week, but overall our performances so far have been consistently good.
“We have competed with some of the top teams in the league without having been overrun by them, as some other teams have been doing, and we have been in with chances of winning them.
“The knock on by Kevin Brown, under his own posts, was a big turning point in last Saturday’s game, because it came after two back-to-back sets, and getting a third would have given us the possibility, and potential, of a score which would have turned the game.”
With only two exceptions, against Widnes and Warrington, the matches we have lost so far this season have been against teams against whom we lost last year, yet still we finished in the top four at the break before the Super 8s.
“They were also the teams which would traditionally be regarded as top four candidates and, apart from last season, Warrington too have always been a top team.  Leeds, for example, finished in the Qualifiers, two years ago, and then won the Grand Final the following year.”
The members of the squad who are really benefiting from the present situation, and who consequently will benefit the club long term, are our younger players.
“Jake Bibby, Ryan Lannon, Derrell Olphert, Josh Wood,and Dan Murray are all doing a great job for us against teams like Leeds, the quality of the players you are up against can really wear you down, but these players stood up to them really well.  It is just their lack of experience which occasionally catches them out.”
Taking those issues into account, it might appear to others that this Sunday’s visit to Huddersfield is taking on an importance all of its own.  Ian, however, put it into perspective.
“They are all important particularly those against the teams around us.  Huddersfield are one of these, so it was always going to be a big game for us and it’s one we are looking forward to.”
It will certainly be of benefit to have a couple of absentees from the Warrington fixture available once more.
“Niall has trained this week and is looking really good, so that will give us that bit of consistency within the spine of the team that we absolutely need while Logan will also be back to share workload and game time with Josh Wood.”
“We have a group of players who really want to compete, and the fact that it is an away match, in Yorkshire, holds no qualms for them.  We know we are a good team and are capable of winning against most of the teams we come up against.
“I am really confident we can set ourselves on the front foot and win a couple of games now, which will kick-start us.”
Our pack has certainly stood up to every other they have encountered, which will once again be needed, this Sunday, as it is not for nothing that their opponents are known as the Giants.
“We will initially be looking for a response in the way they start the game.
“Last season, when we beat Warrington in the away match, their big pack tried to dominate us from the outset, but we stood up to them and turned the game in our favour, which is what we need to do on Sunday, against a team which drew with Leeds, and then went toe to toe with Castleford, recently.
“It’s really about us, and it all being down to us, though, rather than anything to do with our opponents.”

Kit | Pre-order your Magic Weekend shirt before Sunday

Pre-order your 2018 Magic Weekend shirt before Sunday 15th April to be guaranteed it before we battle Catalans Dragons in Newcastle on Sunday 20th May.
With such a large number of pre-orders already we are urging fans to pre-order there’s before Sunday 15th April to guarantee they can wear the bee with pride at St James’ Park next month.
The shirt has captured the imagination of thousands of people on social media with the kit being sold in support of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund with the help of Main Partners Mitsubishi Motors.
This has led fans from other teams also purchasing our 2018 Magic Weekend jersey, so we stress fans must purchase before Sunday 15th April in order to receive the kit ready for the Magic Weekend.
Click here and pre-order yours today!

Foundation | U16’s Awards Evening to take place on Monday

The Salford Red Devils Rising Stars U16 player awards evening is set to take place on Monday 16th April at The Lighthouse Church.
The awards evening is set to celebrate all the Rising Stars U16s’ hard work, dedication and commitment throughout the season.
The evening will take place at The Lighthouse Church, 2 Coronet Way, Salford, M50 1RE with guests expected to arrive for 6:30pm. Dinner is provided with places being priced at £10 for adults and £5 for players and juniors.
If you’d like to attend E-Mail Joanne.Shepherd@SalfordRedDevils.net or phone 0161 786 1591.

Magic Weekend | Kit selling fast in opening few hours

Earlier today we released our 2018 Magic Weekend shirt which – with the help of Main Partners Mitsubishi Motors – will support the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund and there has already been an extremely positive number of pre-orders. 
High praise on social media has been equalled with an impressive number of pre-orders since the kit went live at midday. Pre-order yours now to join the hundreds of people who will be purchasing the kit and supporting the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
You don’t even have to be a Salford Red Devils fan to pre-order the kit and show your support with numerous Rugby League fans with affinity away from the AJ Bell Stadium also pre-ordering.
The shirt is limited-edition and is therefore only available for a limited period of time, so it is pivotal you order yours now and show your support for a fantastic cause.
To pre-order yours please click here.