Tag: Academy

Salford Red Devils U19’s 22-34 Hopwood Hall College

Two converted tries in the last five minutes of this keenly fought encounter, gave the visiting Hopwood College side victory in what was the final U19s’ fixture of 2018.
The fact that the two sides are jointly linked together in terms of sharing facilities, gave the match an extra bit of bite, as both sides endeavoured to impose their supremacy over their friends and rivals, but it was the visitors who got off to the brighter start, when they crossed for two unanswered tries to pull themselves twelve points ahead.
The Red Devils did eventually find their rhythm, however, and started to pull themselves back into the game with two well taken scores.
The first came from prop forward Will Toone, who used his size and strength to crash over between the posts and give Connor Law a straight forward conversion attempt, by which he successfully halved Hopwood’s lead.
Within a few minutes that lead had been all but eroded away when Law showed some fine footwork in the right-hand corner to fox the defence and score.  His conversion attempt on this one and only occasion failed to find its mark, and Hopwood not only hung on to that slender two-point lead, they improved upon it with yet another converted try.
Just before half time, however, Law, yet again, reproduced some of his clever footwork to cross in the other corner, and this time was successful from out wide with the conversion attempt, which brought the half time score to 16-18.
Coach, Danny Barton, was consequently able to speak with a much happier dressing-room than might otherwise have been the case, to encourage the lads to build on the momentum they had built up.
“We had got off to a slow start,” he acknowledges, “but the lads had stuck to their task and done really well to force their way back into things, so we used the time to discuss how we would be able to take further control.”
Whatever the details of this were, they certainly payed dividends because, after ten minutes of attrition, a break down the wing by Law found hooker Connor Aspey supporting down the centre, and he finished off grounding under the posts. Law added on the conversion for good measure, to give the Red Devils a 22-18 lead.
Sadly, the time, over which they held onto that lead, was measured in seconds rather than minutes, for, owing to an error at the subsequent restart from which Hopwoodre gained possession, they levelled the score with an unconverted try.
“That misfortune took a lot out of our lads, and they didn’t really manage to get themselves back up after it,” Danny concedes.
Hopwood, on the other hand, had got the boost they needed, and used the remaining time to good effect by scoring two further tries to take the spoils.
Nevertheless, there were enough positives in the Salford performance for Danny to draw upon and console his charges.
“It was a good game throughout between two evenly matched teams, in which our lads displayed clear evidence of the improvements they have made since the sides last met early in the season,” he assesses. “It was eventually down to some naivety which was our undoing in the later stages of the game.”
The youth, and lack of size of the Salford players, were once again telling factors, and remain issues which only the march of time will adjust.
“Despite this we matched them physically, but at the end it was a couple of Hopwood players, in key positions who were able to use their size and force their way over against our tiring defence – tiring as a result of the effort they had put in throughout the game as a whole.”
Now with a couple of weeks’ respite over the festive period, the players can recoup some energy, in readiness for their return to take part in the knock-out cup competition, which kicks off, immediately upon the resumption, in January,
SALFORD: Josh Stafford, Connor Law, Lewis Roberts, Joe Lawlor, Will Timmins, Callum Hughes, Keiron Prescott, Austin Downham, Connor Aspey, Will Toone, Will Mills, Lewis Zammit, Sam Eyres.
REPLACEMENTS: Dan Goddard, Jak Fairbrother, Josh Bentley, Ben Whitely.

Salford Red Devils U19’s succumb to adverse weather conditions

The relentless driving rain, which had precipitated the relocation of the Salford U19s’ home game with Barrow, on Wednesday afternoon, continued to take its toll on the Red team of the Cat 3 squad, by producing playing conditions with which they found the utmost difficulty in coping.
With their own field at the A J Bell completely under water, it was only thanks to the great spirited assistance of our good friends at St Peter’s RC School, Manchester, who most willingly sprang to our rescue by loaning their 4G pitch for the purposes of our fulfilling the fixture.
“It was a tough day for everyone concerned, with us having to decamp to the other side of Manchester, which was a considerable task in itself, but we are extremely grateful to St Peter’s, and our good friend, Jim Dixon in particular, for coming to our aid, and at such short notice,” coach, Danny Barton recounts.
Just as all this had affected Danny, so, too, it will also have affected the players themselves, with the whole build up to the match being disrupted and consequently different to their normal procedures.
“Not only that, the conditions far from suited us, whilst Barrow found them ideal for the physical dominance of their pack to assert itself,” Danny assesses,
“For ourselves, we just have to put it down to another piece of the players’ development.  All I ask is that they stick to working at the processes we have been putting in place, and they will definitely benefit from doing so, as time goes on.”
The game was barely five minutes through, when the visitors swept in for two converted tries, but the Red Devils responded, with a try from hooker, Connor Aspey, who scooted through the defensive line from a play-the-ball, selling a neat dummy on the way.
Unfortunately, goal kicker, Connor Law, was unable to convert, and the Cumbrians proceeded to exploit their dominance by running in a further two tries before scrum half, Keiran Prescott, scored a fine individual try to pull back another four points, and bring the half time score to 24-8 in the visitors’ favour.
With first teamers, Rob Lui, Joey Lussick and  Jackson Hastings, having made the journey across Manchester to support the lads from the touchline, there were hopes that the Salford players would make a quick response, but the second half belonged entirely to Barrow, with their strong powerful forwards taking complete control and forcing their hosts into errors both with, and without, the ball.
Centre, Joe Lawlor, showed some outstanding defence and deservedly was acknowledged as man of the match for Salford.
Next week sees another home game for the Reds, when they play Hopwood, in a return fixture, following their early season, narrow, away defeat.  It will be an ideal test for the players to show how much they have learned and improved in the intervening couple of months.

Salford Red Devils launch partnership with Hopwood Hall College

Salford Red Devils were pleased to take a day of their pre-season training to Hopwood Hall College earlier this week.
The Red Devils have used Hopwood Hall College’s excellent facilities over the past year and have now agreed an official partnership between the two parties to help bring through the next generation of Betfred Super League players.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “This is a massive step in the right direction for the Club in our aim to produce players as a community club. It’s time we begin to get more of local young players coming through our system with the future aims of the club to have a complete pathway from school, community club, academies through to the first team at Salford Red Devils.
“This is putting us on the right path to begin this process. The fact we can introduce young players from Hopwood Hall College and Salford Red Devils Category Three Academy into first team environments to aid and assist their development is brilliant. These lads are getting rewarded by spending time in and around an environment which allows them to experience life as a professional Betfred Super League player.
“The partnership has been greatly assisted via Matt Calland who I have had a relationship with at Halifax, Rochdale and Wales. They have first-class facilities at Hopwood Hall and with Matt at the helm we know that these lads are being coached to a high standard.
Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease, said: “This is a very exciting and very promising partnership, that has been worked upon for a while now.
“This is one of our key components in our five-year rugby strategy to help us nurture and create the next generation of Salford Red Devils players from the surrounding regions.
“We already have a Category Three Academy at Salford Red Devils which we value, and which will also help us bring through some strong Salford talent along with this new partnership with Hopwood Hall College and our overall rugby strategy long-term.
“Salford Red Devils and Hopwood Hall College are aiming to create a career pathway for rugby talent. Hopwood Hall College captures some of the hottest talent in the Rochdale and Oldham areas and we have now put the Club in a position to access that talent.
“We are also in the process of developing further partnerships for other regions in Manchester and this will only enhance our youth development and rugby strategy. I will continue to push to make this Club stronger in its youth development, scouting, and ultimately, recruitment of local players back into the first team.
“Promoting local talent has to be a huge focus of the Club going forward and it’s something myself and Head Coach Ian Watson are extremely committed to.”
Kris Robinson, Centre Director for Sport and Public Services at Hopwood Hall College, said of the exciting new partnership:
“Having a working partnership with a Super League club the size of Salford Red Devils is a tantalizing prospect for Hopwood Hall College.
“Our learners will regularly get the once in a lifetime opportunity to train alongside and learn from Salford’s high-quality players and coaching staff, the club will have an ideal pipeline for the rugby talent ID of young sportsmen from our college. It’s the equivalent of our catering learners getting to work at the best restaurants or our business learners gaining work experience at blue chip companies.
“It’s also a great opportunity for the college to showcase its training and playing facilities, being good enough for a Super League club as established as Salford Red Devils is a sign of the quality offer, we have for our learners.
“Our relationship with the club has been excellent, from the Director of Rugby right the way down, we’re really looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
For more information about Hopwood Hall College, visit their website HERE.