Salford Red Devils got off to a positive start last night in their first Challenge Cup match with a 76-6 victory against Championship side Rochdale Hornets.
Head Coach Ian Watson gave his thoughts on the performance.
It was a good professional performance in the end. I thought in the second half we got back to our structures and our systems and that’s what we asked of today.
We wanted to use it to get back to putting some of our systems back in place because we fell off it a little bit in the last few games.
On Ed Chamberlain’s injury…
Ed’s the disappointing one. We don’t know where he’s at so we’ll assess that. We’re hoping its nothing major like an acl.
He’s been a great signing for the club so hopefully he won’t be too bad, although it does look a bit loose at the moment.
On Jackson Hastings…
He wants to play. He’s a rugby league player and he wants to play every minute of every game but we’ve got two big games coming up against Warrington and Wigan and he’d done his job.
He’s passionate, he wants to play, and he wants to play every minute of every game so he was disappointed to come off.
I thought the team kept in the same systems after he came off as well which was even more pleasing. When Jacko’s come off in the past we’ve fallen away from it and struggled and that’s credit to young Josh Wood, he stepped up and did really well there.
On previous games…
In those games we haven’t been too far off and we’ve been competing in them all. We’ve just had a discipline issue last week and execution.
We opened Hull up loads of times last week and we made about 10 breaks to their one in that game and didn’t actually open us up. They scored some rubbish tries and we conceded one again tonight which we aren’t happy with.
As far as the attack, we’ve been opening teams up and we’ve not been struggling in that department and the defence has been good. It’s just been lapses in concentration against the smart players that have caught us out and I think that’s an experience thing but we’re getting that back now with Junior, Kris Welham and Krisnan Inu coming in so we’re getting more experience and smarts on those edges.
On the squad…
The minutes for Logan Tomkins was massive. Josh Wood was huge for us. Getting him back out there and getting through the game, that’ll do his confidence no end.
Bibby – trying him in the back row gives us extra options of being able to utilise people more. Ben Nakubuwai ended up in the back row as well with Tyrone McCarthy so we’ve got players who we know we can shuffle around and today was a good exercise to be able to utilise that.
Krisnan Inu has nailed the kicking slot. He’s always been a good goal kicker so he’ll step up into that role now for us.
I said after the hull game we were making changes because I wasn’t happy with certain things.
The guys had to step up and take their opportunity and some of the guys who have been left out tonight, have been left out because they haven’t performed. The Guys coming in have had to put their hands up and say they’re ready to play.
What we can’t do at a club is guarantee people shirts. People have got to want to compete for it all the time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a senior pro or whether you’re a young guy coming through; you’ve got to be competitive and want to hold your shirt.
On future games…
It’s about having consistency every week. It’s no good playing well one week and then having two average games. What we want as a club is to be good every week so we can compete with the top teams and that’s what we ask of the players.
Logan and Woody coming in today and getting good minutes was brilliant for us.
We talked about building our foundations early on in the season. We got back on it today, especially in the second half when we got a bit more confidence, so it’s served us a really good purpose.
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 19th April are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket details, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Monday 22nd April and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online.