Ian Watson | “It’s our defence we take pride in”

Head Coach Ian Watson was delighted with his sides 0-46 victory over Catalans Dragons and discussed a range of pleasing aspects of the performance.

On the performance…

We felt we did a lot of positive stuff last week against St Helens. We did things that maybe the supporters don’t notice but players see in those big game and we knew coming to Catalans we’d have to be at that level of performance or above it so we kept the game plan really simple this week because we knew how good Catalans were but coming here and nilling Catalans is above what we thought we’d achieve here. The defence won the game. The way we kicked them into pockets and then we were really resilient at the back end and that won us the game. The attack is the icing on the cake for us but it’s our defence we take pride in.

On surprising people with the victory…

Every week we go in to play and I know the players and I believe we’ll beat everyone we play. It’s no surprise to me that we’ve won. We’ve got a good group but they’ve just got to grow and mature together in learning how to win the bigger games and the mentality we had against St Helens we had today as well, but we were better against Catalans. It shows we can beat teams by doing things right, but we’re used to people knocking us – it’s nothing new.

On the forward battle…

Our pack had a meeting the day before the game and said that if we were to win this game our pack needed to step up here. Lee Mossop – despite the latter not playing – led the way in that meeting, Mark Flanagan came back in and Gil Dudson has been a leader since he arrived, those guys stood up and made it clear they wanted to set a standard for the pack, and everyone has seen what they’re capable of. I thought Daniel Murray was outstanding and Ben Nakubuwai too. Adam Lawton must have come on and had to defend six goal line sets and that’s the tough part of the game and his attitude was not to be beaten there and that was the pleasing thing.

On Jake Bibby…

He was absolutely outstanding today. He’s been waiting for his chance and we’ve always had Junior Sa’u in there who always does a good job and is a leader for us. Bibby has had to be patient this season, but he’s took his chance today and put a bit of pressure in the centre positions. We’ve been waiting for Bibby to play because we sensed in pre-season, he was ready this year to step up and he’s shown a real good account of himself there.

On the halves…

I think Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui were very mature today. From the sideline you can hear them talking and Robbie was very mature in how he managed the game and he was talking to Jackson all the time, so he was helping him because we have to remember Jackson is only young and Robbie is the experienced half and he’s played outside Jonathan Thurston so he knows how to pass his maturity onto Jackson.

On preparing for Castleford…

We knew we were coming into a tough run of games but we’re confident as a group that we can perform, and we’ll be keeping our game plan really simple, so everybody knows their role. The lads deserve a lot of credit for this performance and should take the plaudits, but we’ll be back to work next week for Castleford.

On the attitude…

The pleasing stuff was when we defended a number of back-to-back sets and then went down the other end and the support play was still there. We did make an error, but our defensive line got straight back in position and that just shows your team is hungry and ready to work hard for each other.

On the travelling support…

We’ve spoken about the away fans all year and I think they’ve been outstanding at every game. You can’t knock them they were unbelievable singing the roof off the place. I know they love a good trip to Catalans, but this will be better for the result and they hope they enjoy their night.

 

Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday 17th March are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket and coach details, click HERE.

Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 24th March and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For ticket prices, click HERE.