Tag: 2021 Betfred Super League

Consistency is crucial for Marshall in back-to-back Castleford contests

Head coach Richard Marshall is relishing the chance to play Castleford Tigers this Friday at the A.J Bell Stadium.

The Red Devils got their first Betfred Super League win over Leigh Centurions last Friday, but Marshall is now focused on building momentum and consistency.

“A win raises everybody’s spirit but then expectations are lifted as well,” said Marshall.

“We want to be able to back up our performances and build on our efforts. We know the challenge is going to be difficult against Castleford but we’re at home, and we want to build on our home form as well.”

Castleford, who recently appointed Lee Radford as head coach for the 2022 Betfred Super League season, have started the season strongly.

The Tigers sit 4th in the Betfred Super League, winning three out of their first four league games this season.

Castleford’s attack has been particularly impressive, boasting the most tries scored so far this season. Marshall knows his defence will be have to be on top form.

Marshall said: “That would be the main challenge this week.”

“Castleford are a very good attacking team. They’ve got some flair and skills on the edges. Are we able to compete and go against them? Yes, we are.”

Marshall is faced with another selection headache with Matt Costello unavailable and Elijah Taylor still ruled out, but there will be a return to the squad in the shape of Kallum Watkins.

It will also be the first of back-to-back contests with Castleford Tigers, with both teams meeting again in next week’s Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals. But that won’t have too much bearing on Friday’s game according to Marshall.

“You know a lot more about the opposition but at the level we coach at you watch 3-4 games of opposition every week before a game,” Marshall added.

“It’s a double-edge sword really, they find a little more about you and you find a little more about them. But we’re not a team that wants to change too much. We want to find our own style. Castleford have been working as a team for a long time. They do things in certain ways and there very, very effective, so our defence has to be on this week.”

“A cup game is completely different though. A cup game is a one-off, it’s knockout and it’s a Quarter-Final so we’ll look forward to that but hopefully win this one first and build some momentum into that game.”

Subscribe to RDTV to hear everything Richard Marshall had to say ahead of Round 5.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

Marshall – “We’ll have to be at our best”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall is looking to build momentum from his team’s first Betfred Super League win of the season when his side take on Castleford Tigers this Friday.

Salford ran out 34-8 winners over Leigh Centurions last Friday. Yet Marshall knows that his team will have to be at their best come their next tie.

“It will be a tough game, they’re a good team,” Marshall said.

“We’ll have to be at our best, our defence will have to improve, our ball control will have to improve. But I think there’s a lot more improvement with this squad, we’ve gave ourselves a chance and we’ll be going to compete.”

Castleford lost their first game of the season 22-12 last Thursday to Wigan Warriors. The Tigers sit 4th in the Betfred Super League standings and will be looking to bounce back from their loss when Salford welcome them at the AJ Bell stadium.

But spirits will be high in the Salford camp after their first league victory for not only the club, but the head coach as well.

“We feel good,” said Marshall. “We know we have to play better over the next couple of weeks.

“We’re all in it together. It’s not about me. For our club and our supporters, we owed them a performance. When you do that you usually win the game, so we look to concentrate on the performance first and as a result of performing really well.”

Marshall will have some thinking to do ahead of the clash with Tigers, with a number of regulars potentially unavailable for Round 5.

Marshall added: “We had a couple of injuries from the Catalans game. Kallum Watkins he’s got a small fracture in the hand; we don’t think it’s too bad, but he may miss next week (this Friday).

“Pauli Pauli rolled his ankle, so he wasn’t fit. Elijah (Taylor) has a shoulder problem that we can’t keep on top of.”

You can watch Salford Red Devils vs Castleford Tigers live on Sky Sports, kick-off at 7:45pm, or on Our League if you’re a season ticket holder.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD v LEIGH

You just never know how a game is going to unfold, and throughout any match all a team can do is to hang on in with the opposition so that when the decisive moment comes, if it goes in their direction, they will be in a position to take advantage of it and secure the result for themselves.

That philosophy could never have been more aptly fitting than to Salford’s victory over Leigh, on Friday evening, when a finely balanced contest swung completely out of the grasp of the spirited Centurions, and suddenly the scoreboard was working overtime to keep track of the home side’s newfound dominance.

That crucial moment came almost exactly midway through the second half, when a most threatening Leigh attack, via their left flank, was thwarted to devastating effect.  Krisnan Inu it was who produced the most extraordinary feat of ball handling skill, which really has to be viewed in slow motion to be fully appreciated.  He not only blocked what could have been a try-scoring pass, he then one-handedly regathered and flipped out the ball, with unbelievable accuracy to wing partner, Ken Sio, and all this whilst he was tumbling forward onto the ground.

With ninety metres then to cover, Sio’s pace and clever tactical running skills – involving veering first inside and then out to the righthand corner as he neared the try line – prevented him being overhauled by his pursuing opposite number.

Inu’s conversion, from wide out, succeeded in opening up a ten-point gap which had the most profound of effects on the Red Devils.  Gone, suddenly, was all the apprehension that had seemed to have dogged their attack for much of the game, to be replaced by a self-belief, assurance, and confidence that they had lacked recently.

From that point on, the pace of their game went up two gears, the ball was swung about from side to side with an accuracy that they had struggled to produce earlier, support for the man with the ball increased, and holes in the visitors’ defence line were exploited to the full. Marshall’s men enjoyed their ascendency to the full, adding a further three tries in a ten-minute period, which had the Centurions on the rack for the remainder of the encounter.

The Leigh players themselves must have been totally bemused and bewildered by this turn of events, and particularly by the one-sided look of the scoreline, for, in truth, the game hitherto had been anything but that. Indeed, the Centurions had had the better of the early exchanges, as they out-enthused their hosts, winning the battle of the hard yardage with strong running which gave them field position to score the opening try.

It was the Salford kicking game, which, in the first half, troubled Leigh most, with a number of high bombs being dropped, and goal-line drop-outs being forced from others, all of which brought a period of concerted Salford attack, and a converted try, to take the lead.  That lead proved to be quite short-lived, however, as the possibility of protracted home dominance, on the back of it, never materialised.

Rather the reverse, in fact, was the case, with Leigh enjoying their greatest period of pressure, during which they regained the lead to take with them into half time.  It was nip and tuck on the resumption, with Salford regaining a slender lead, which they held right up to that crucial moment of Inu’s intervention and Sio’s finish.

Great as it was to have gained their first league points of the season, there were a number of individual performances to enhance the enjoyment of that. As expected the stalwarts of the side, Mossop, Ikahihifo, Brown, and Lolohea, were the go-to players but a number of others also stood out.

Not least of these were Elliott Kear who was a revelation at fullback, Oliver Roberts who had his best game to date for Salford, Harvey Livett who built upon his personal performance at Catalans with involvement in three tries, one of which he was the scorer, and Chris Atkin whose introduction at dummy-half led to a much more fluid attacking game. Good individual performances from them all, but it was teamwork which won the match.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 34-8 LEIGH CENTURIONS | FRIDAY 23 APRIL 2021

Salford Red Devils marked the return of Betfred Super League action at the AJ Bell Stadium, with a 34-8 victory over neighbours Leigh Centurions.

After trailing early on and going into the break two points behind the visitors, a strong performance in the second forty ensured Richard Marshall secured his first Betfred Super League win at the helm at Salford.

It took only six minutes for the first try of the game and it was Leigh who struck first, Matthew Russell receiving the ball down the left wing and grounding near the corner.

Salford took the lead, however, just over 15 minutes later through James Greenwood, who had only been on the field a matter of minutes in replace of the injured Matt Costello, before he powered over the Leigh line to the left of the sticks.

Leigh responded just before the half-hour mark, again finding success down the left flank and this time it was Iain Thornley who scored for the Centurions.

Half time: Salford Red Devils 6-8 Leigh Centurions

Salford came out looking the livelier outfit in the second forty and Kevin Brown put the Red Devils back in front in the 50th minute, finding a gap in the Leigh line and darting over to the right.

15 minutes later, Krisnan Inu intercepted a Leigh pass and just managed to bat the ball to Sio, who was too quick f0r the Centurions, running almost the length of the field to ground the ball down the right and pick up his third Betfred Super League try in four games.

James Greenwood, who had looked threatening ever since he came on, broke the line in the 70th minute and fed Harvey Livett who, in turn, fed Brown for his second try of the game, this time towards the left of the sticks.

Livett set up his second try in as many minutes, this time feeding Chris Atkin for his first Betfred Super League try of the season.

Livett picked up a try of his own just before the hooter, and just minutes after he saw a try ruled out for obstruction, after some great passing down the left set the number 20 up for his second Betfred Super League try in two consecutive games.

Salford welcome Castleford Tigers to the AJ Bell Stadium in a week’s time, in Round 5 of the Betfred Super League. Sign up to RDTV to hear everything Richard Marshall had to say in tonight’s post-match press conference.

Full time: Salford Red Devils 34-8 Leigh Centurions

Salford Red Devils: Kear, Sio, Inu, Costello, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Patton, Ikahihifo, Livett, Roberts, Wells, Greenwood, Lussick, Atkin, Burke.

Leigh Centurions: Mullen, Russell, Gelling, Thornley, Tierney, Reynolds, Brierley, McCarthy, Hood, Flower, Hellewell, Thompson, Bell, Peats, Ioane, Gerrard, Gee.

Salford tries: Greenwood, Brown, Sio, Brown, Atkin, Livett

Salford goals: Inu (5/6)

Leigh tries: Russell, Thornley

Referee: James Child

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Marshall – “We are confident in what we can produce this week”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall is confident his side can pick up the win against Hull FC on Saturday but is well aware of the dangers the Black and Whites pose. 

The Red Devils face off against Brett Hodgson’s men in Round 2 of the Betfred Super League and Marshall expects a tough test on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought they were really good against Huddersfield. It looked like the individuals had really clicked already. Obviously, it’s a new coach and quite a few new players there, so they will be coming off a good performance, a good result.

“Our individuals have looked at some of the areas that we want to improve on collectively as a team. We think if we can keep hold of the ball for longer and we don’t make them errors, we’ll be able to sustain some pressure and put Hull under pressure with our kicking game.”

The head coach is also relishing a selection headache, with a 30-man squad all competing for positions.

Marshall added: “Everybody’s on their toes within our squad.

“It makes my job at bit more enviable in picking a 17 each and every week.”

With all Round 2 fixtures across the Easter Weekend dedicated to Mose Masoe, the former Hull Kingston Rovers forward who suffered a life-changing spinal injury in 2020, Marshall is proud of how the entire rugby community has come together to support the Samoan.

“That’s the beauty of our game and our sport. As a sport, our community focus and looking after each and every individual who has played the field, officiated, coached, we always have a really good affinity for that and that’s why this round will be so important.

“I think we always come together at times when players are in need and that is the beauty of our sport. We’ll certainly be supporting that, as we do with everything else that goes on in our game.”

Salford’s clash with Hull FC kicks off at 12:15pm on Saturday 3 April at the Totally Wicked Stadium and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

You can also watch the game on Our League if you purchase a Red Devils season ticket HERE.

Written by: Charlie Mulholland

CHANGE IN BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE FIXTURES TO ACCOMMODATE RETURN OF FANS

Rounds 6,7 and 8 of the 2021 Betfred Super League schedule have seen changes as a number of Super League clubs have decided to bring their round 6 games forward to Monday 17 May – the date that fans are expected to be allowed back into stadiums. 

Salford Red Devils’ away clash with St. Helens will now be contested on Monday 17 May, 7:45pm kick-off, with Wigan Warriors later the same week in Round 7 on Saturday 22 May, which will kick-off at 1.00pm.

Marshall’s men will then face off against Warrington Wolves in Round 8 of the Betfred Super League on Thursday 27 May, kick-off at 7:45pm live on Sky Sports.

If the government’s roadmap goes to plan, Salford’s game against Saints could be one of the first sporting events to welcome fans back this year.

Ken Davy, Super League’s interim executive chairman, said: “We can’t wait to see our passionate fans back in grounds cheering their team on.

“We’ve waited a long time and that day cannot come soon enough, we will be another step closer to some kind of normality. We’re grateful for Sky Sports’ continued support and flexibility.”

The full schedule for Round 6,7 and 8 is below:

ROUND 6

Friday 14 May

19:45 Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity (Sky Sports)

Monday 17 May 

19:45 Castleford Tigers v Hull KR

19:45 Leigh Centurions v Wigan Warriors

19:45 St Helens v Salford Red Devils

19:45 Warrington Wolves v Huddersfield Giants (Sky Sports)

TBC

Hull FC v Catalans Dragons

ROUND 7

Saturday 22 May 

13:00 Salford Red Devils v Wigan Warriors

15:00 Warrington Wolves v Castleford Tigers

17:00 (18:00 CEST) Catalans Dragons v St Helens

Sunday 23 May 

15:00 Wakefield Trinity v Hull KR

15:00 Leigh Centurions v Huddersfield Giants

19:30 Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC (Sky Sports)

ROUND 8

Thursday 27 May

19:45 Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves (Sky Sports)

Friday 28 May

19:45 Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos

19:45 St Helens v Hull FC (Sky Sports)

Saturday 29 May

17:00 (18:00 CEST) Catalans Dragons v Wigan Warriors

Sunday 30 May

15:00 Wakefield Trinity v Huddersfield Giants

15:00 Hull KR v Leigh Centurions

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Taylor all set for Hull but expects tough test

Salford Red Devils’ new number 13 Elijah Taylor is looking forward to the clash with Hull FC on Saturday but is expecting a tough battle with the Black and Whites in Round 2 of the Betfred Super League.

The New Zealand international, who joined from NRL’s Wests Tigers in December, made his Betfred Super League debut last Friday in the 29-6 defeat to St. Helens in Round 1.

However, despite the loss, Taylor was proud to make his debut for the Red Devils, which he capped with a Man of the Match performance.

Taylor said: “I’m disappointed with the result obviously. We worked extremely hard over the last 12 weeks, but it was good to play Super League.

“I have always watched it since I started my career when I was 13 years old. I used to watch it when I was a little kid and to finally play my first game was pretty cool.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Hull FC, Taylor is expecting a tough test from Brett Hodgson’s men.

“I expect another physical game, I know a lot of players who are in that squad.

“They’ll be up for the game, they came off a good win against Huddersfield. So, we’ll be doing our work during the week to hopefully get it over them this week.”

With Salford reaching two major finals in the last two years, continuing to compete for silverware is the 31-year-old’s target now as a Red Devil as well as featuring for New Zealand in this year’s World Cup.

“Playing finals footy is definitely one of the goals and playing for the Kiwis at the end of the year, that is another of my goals.

I am just going to start off with this week, work as hard as I can, train as hard as I can and play my best football for Salford.”

You can rewatch our 28-22 victory over Hull FC in 2020, our last outing against the Black and Whites, HERE by signing up to RDTV.

Image credit: Steve McCormick
Written by: Charlie Mulholland

“It won’t define our season” – Marshall on Round 1 defeat

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall is confident that his side will recover from the defeat to St. Helens in last night’s season opener. 

The Betfred Super League Round 1 clash with Saints ended 29-6 to Kristian Woolf’s men but Marshall is not worried and believes his side, which featured five new faces last night, just need a little time to gel.

Marshall said: “It’s our first competitive hit-out.

“We’re a new team. It’ll take time for us to gel and it’ll take time for us to find our combinations.

“The players are disappointed, as am I. We want to win everything – it was my first Super League game as head coach and I wanted to win it.

“We’ll review the game and we’ll learn through that but it won’t define our season losing to St. Helens.”

Despite the disappointing result, Marshall was pleased with some of what he saw defensively.

Marshall said: “I thought defensively at times we were really strong and we outmuscled them but we just couldn’t do it consistently for the 80 minutes.

“We had some really resolute defence on our line, we stopped a handful of tries.

“I think if we’d been a bit more resilient with the ball and a bit more disciplined we could have got a few more scores and made it a contest.”

Marshall was particularly impressed with Salford’s new number 13 Elijah Taylor, who had a Man of the Match performance on his Betfred Super League debut.

Image credit: Steve McCormick

“I thought Elijah Taylor was outstanding,” Marshall added.

“I thought his work rate in and around the middle and what he did with the ball was brilliant.

“In training he’s one of the most vocal, one of the most professional players we’ve got.”

You can listen to the full post-match press conference here by subscribing to RDTV.

MATCH REPORT | ST HELENS 29-6 SALFORD RED DEVILS | FRIDAY 26TH MARCH

Salford Red Devils fell to a 29-6 defeat to champions St. Helens in the first game of the 2021 Betfred Super League season. 

The season opener at the Emerald Headingley Stadium was Richard Marshall’s first Super League test as Salford’s head coach, with five debutants featuring in tonight’s defeat for the Red Devils.

Tommy Makinson opened the scoring for Saints within two minutes, collecting a chipped kick and grounding the ball in the right corner.

Saints’ Regan Grace slid over on the left wing five minutes before half-time to extend his side’s lead, with Jack Welsby scoring a drop-goal right on the hooter to make it 13-0 at the interval.

Half-time: St. Helens 13-0 Salford Red Devils

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Salford came out looking sharper in the second forty and got themselves on the scoreboard in the 55th minute.

Tui Lolohea found Ken Sio on the right wing with an outrageous pass, setting his teammate up to stroll over with ease for our first try of the 2021 season.

Saints responded five minutes later through Mark Percival, who rose to collect a Theo Fages kick before touching the ball down.

Two more tries in the final 10 minutes from Kevin Naiqama and Alex Walmsley confirmed defeat for Marshall’s men in their first runout of 2021.

Fulltime: St. Helens 29-6 Salford Red Devils

St. Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Thompson, Bentley, Mata’utia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Paasi, Smith.

Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Sio, Watkins, Kear, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Addy, Ikahihifo, Livett, Lannon, Taylor, Pauli, Ormondroyd, Wells, Patton.

Saints tries: Makinson, Grace, Percival, Naiqama, Walmsley.

Saints goals: Makinson (4/6)

Saints drop-goals: Welsby

Salford tries: Sio

Salford goals: Inu

Referee: Liam Moore

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Watkins – “We can go there and get the job done”

Salford Red Devils’ Kallum Watkins believes Salford can rise to the challenge of St Helens ahead of their Round 1 clash with the reigning champions on Friday.

The England centre, who joined his boyhood club back in September, thinks the Red Devils have every reason to be confident that they can take victory from Saints in the opening round of the Betfred Super League.

Following a promising pre-season, a strong start to the campaign will be key to fulfilling Watkins’ wider ambition to bring silverware to the AJ Bell Stadium.

Watkins said: “It is exciting, you have got to take it as a challenge.

“For us, it has been a really good pre-season and we are confident that we can go into Friday and win.

“We are going up against the champions, there is no two ways about it, they are champions for a reason, they are a quality side and they have been the best side for the past two/three years.

“We have got a good squad, we have just got to believe in ourselves as a group that we can go there and get the job done.”

Watkins, who started in the 2017 World Cup final for England, is also harbouring aspirations that he will return to the international fold and knows that delivering key performances for Salford will be crucial to that.

“I want to be consistent in my game and make sure I am preparing as best as possible,” he explained.

“In terms of recovery, there is going to be times where we are playing a few games in a short space of time.

“I want to be successful with this club, I want to win trophies and I want to build on the ambition of what they want to achieve.

“Obviously with the World Cup coming up as well and the last time I played in an England shirt was the World Cup Final.

“Injury and performance has pushed that aside over the years so that is another goal for me to go for but I have got to prove that by putting my all on the field.”

Salford Red Devils’ Betfred Super League season opener kicks off at 6pm tomorrow evening at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, live on Sky Sports and on Our League for season ticket holders.

Written by: Will Dickson