Tag: Castleford Tigers

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CASTLEFORD

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CASTLEFORD

Three months on, from the opening game of the season, in which Salford surprised many by coming away with a convincing 16-26 win, at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle, the Castleford Tigers arrived at the A J Bell, seeking to reverse the outcome of that initial encounter.  The strides which the Tigers had made in the intervening period, had moved them into the top six of Super League.

Salford, in comparison, had left it somewhat later, until the last three fixtures, in fact, before making inroads into their rather unflattering league status at that time, but those three markedly improved performances had been more eye-catching, coming against the three biggest names in rugby league, Wigan, St Helens, and Leeds, the last of which brought them their first win in their last seven matches.

The 30-16 result of last Friday’s return fixture with Cas was of very little difference from that of Round 1, showing that the Red Devils appear to have maintained their lead in the standard of their performances from the first to this latest encounter.

Not that that was evident, on field, during the opening period of either half, with the visitors being the first to settle and open their account, in both.  The first half saw them going four points ahead, after a mere three minutes, while post interval, it took them only five minutes longer than that to register a try.

As any good coach will espouse, however, it does not matter how you start, it is how you finish that matters most, and that certainly proved to be the case, on Friday, as the Reds gradually took control of the game in the first forty, while then turning the second half into a quite enthralling, and most entertaining, contest

The visitors’ opening four pointer was eventually answered by the Red Devils in the seventeenth minute.  Taking advantage of a penalty which put them on the attack, Marc Sneyd  kicked into the in-goal area on the fourth tackle, and  Tim Lafae was the first to get there to ground the ball, which with Sneyd’s conversion put Salford into a lead they never surrendered, thereafter.

The rain, which had fallen steadily for four hours prior to kick-off, had made both the ball and the playing surface most slippery, so conditions were challenging for both sides, both of which were pleased to turn their opponents’ errors to their own advantage.

Playing the game in your opponents’ half was highly desirable and advantageous, something at which Salford proved to be rather the better, during the run up to the interval.  The pressure this put the Tigers under began to take its toll on them, and they began to look quite tired, in that last ten minutes.

Although rugby is predominantly a team game, there are occasions when the individual contribution of one player can have a quite profound effect on the game, and their team.  Joe Burgess was the individual, on this occasion who, as the first half moved closer to its end, completely stamped his authority on the match.

Not only did he latch onto the end of a right to left passing move, on thirty minutes, then wrong footing the defenders for Salford’s second try, six minutes later amid a posse of attacking Tigers, he climbed high to take the ball above his head from and end-of-set kick, and then, outnumbered by four to one he resisted their combined efforts to force  him into touch, thereby both acquiring, and retaining possession for his side.

As if to celebrate all of this, he closed the half with the second try of his eventual hat-trick, by exploiting space on his flank to round the opposition with his pace coupled with a swerve, which kept him completely in the clear, on his way to the line.

It took a full fifteen minutes of an arm-wrestle, at the onset of the second half, during which Castleford appeared to be gaining the ascendency and had narrowed the Reds’ lead to six points, before Sneyd turned the game in Salford’s favour.  Against Leeds it had been a drop-goal which had been so decisive; this time it was a 20-40, the repeat set from which he was to slot over a penalty goal, to restore a two-scores advantage.

That two-scores very quickly became three, after a tremendous break by Andy Ackers was continued by Morgan Escare, and although he was tackled in flight, his quick play-the-ball led to excellent passing along the line via Ackers again, Brodie Croft, and Kallum Watkins, to Deon Croft, who grounded for another Sneyd-converted try.

If the balance of the game had changed with surprising speed, it was about to change again, even more quickly, as the visitors caught their hosts out with a most unusual restart.  The kick went with some force along the ground before bouncing up over the Salford players’ heads , into touch.  Just as the Red Devils had used their unexpected possession from the 20-40 to good effect, so too, now did Castleford, by putting Quareqare in at the corner for his second try of the half.

Salford’s ten-point lead was still sufficient cushioning, however, to keep them comfortable enough to continue playing their fine expansive rugby, and they extended it further with Burgess completing his hat-trick from Lafae’s wonderful final pass.

It is really looking now as though Salford have turned the corner, and rediscovered their early season form, which had, it appeared, deserted them over the intervening month and a half.  Now a free weekend gives them some well-earned respite before an important away trip to take on Hull KR.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CASTLEFORD V SALFORD

Getting off to a good start in anything, is often the best thing anyone could hope for, so, for Salford Red Devil’s to have travelled into Yorkshire, in the opening round of the season, and to have come away from the Mend-a-Hose Jungle with the points, is as much as anyone could have wished for, and possibly more than many might have expected. That, nevertheless, is exactly what they did, and most deservedly so.

A ten point winning margin, away at Castleford, is a notable achievement in itself, and whilst many people would have been hoping for a win, getting one so comfortably was possibly far from their expectations.  Closer scrutiny of the scoreboard reveals some interesting facts.

With three tries apiece, it was clearly the accuracy of Marc Sneyd’s goal-kicking, which eventually separated the two sides, and he certainly was a popular figure at the end, not just for that aspect of his play, but for his all round performance and impact throughout the game. 

There will be many a team during the coming season, who will lose matches through missing kicks at goal, but in Sneyd we have someone who will invariably put the points on the board, just when we need them most.  His seven successes on Friday will have surely put most teams on guard against the folly of giving him those opportunities, in the way the Tigers did in the second half.

That, however, is the icing on the cake.  Before kicks at goal could ever have been considered, there were key elements which needed to come right, and no-one should forget that purple patch, just before half time, when the Reds went from 10-8 down, to take a 10-20 interval lead.  

Back-to-back tries are hard enough for a team to take, even when the second score comes towards, or, at the end, of the resuming set.  When it comes straight from the kick-off, however, it must feel quite demoralising.  

King Vuniyayawa it was, who set the ball rolling, when one of Castleford’s indiscretions set the Red Devils up in a good attacking position, and his appearance, seemingly from nowhere on the blindside, the angle of his run, allied with his force and strength, all combined to get him over the line.  

An incredible break then, direct from the kick off, by Joe Burgess, saw him slice right through the home side’s defence, and a ninety metre attacking move, resembling the flair which that left edge had shown against Swinton in the first pre-season friendly, ended with Dion Cross grounding the ball near the corner.

Those twelve points, amassed in only a couple of minutes, literally turned the game on its head, and paved the way for Salford to show us all, how they could manage a game throughout second half, by respecting possession, securing good field position thanks in part to Sneyd’s kicks downfield, and taking any chances of scoring, which, apart from James Greenwood’s disallowed effort, turned out not to be tries.

This was all a far cry, however, from how things had looked in the opening stages of the game, when for a full ten minutes, after an early penalty goal,  momentum swung well and truly to the Tigers.  They dominated possession and camped on the Salford line, asking question after question, of the visitors’ defence.  

That was when the Red Devils really had to muscle up and repulse each of those assaults, which they did, magnificently, and it was in the hard graft demanded of them, during that period, that the foundations for their win were well and truly laid.

It turned out to be a full eighteen minutes before George Griffin got his side on the scoreboard, and within four minutes Ken Sio had eradicated it with a typical finish of his own, in the right-hand corner.  

As possession became more evenly shared, the inevitable arm wrestle followed, broken eventually by Derrell Olpherts’s first try in the left corner.  That, though, simply served to inspire the Reds to even greater things, as half time was approaching fast, and with it, was coming the opportunity for them to take control.

A good start can have more far-reaching effects, however. It is the catalyst for generating momentum, forging links and understanding between players, and building confidence.  With their first home game, against Toulouse, coming up next, those benefits could all be strengthened even further.

PREVIEW: CASTLEFORD TIGERS V SALFORD RED DEVILS | FRIDAY 11TH FEB | ROUND 1

Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils begin their 2022 Betfred Super League journey with a trip to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to take on Castleford Tigers, later this evening.

Tonight’s contest presents a fresh start for an exciting squad to test their capabilities against some tough opposition.

The Red Devils have enjoyed a productive pre-season, beating both the Swinton Lions and the Halifax Panthers at the AJ Bell Stadium, before some encouraging academy talent produced a spirited display despite defeat to the Warrington Wolves in Lee Mossop’s testimonial.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference earlier this week, Rowley said: “I’ve definitely learnt about the lads during pre-season. I think at one time they used to say lock them in the dressing room with a load of beers to learn about them, but I think you learn more about them when it’s tough and we’ve certainly done that.

“I think it’s been positive in that respect and I think anything we’ve learned about any of the players has been in a positive way. A little bit of education on our part, what they do under fatigue or what their common traits are and some have just exceeded expectations.”

Castleford, who finished 7th last season and narrowly missed out on the playoffs, have also had a successful pre-season, convincingly beating both Doncaster and the New York Knights.

After leading Hull FC for over six years, this will be Lee Radford’s maiden season in charge at Castleford, after Daryll Powell left his position to take over at Warrington Wolves.

The West Yorkshire-based side are tipped to have a promising Betfred Super League campaign, so they will be a stern opening test. However, the Red Devils boss says he is only focusing on what his side can do.

Rowley said: “I think you do focus on yourself. It’s difficult because you’re obviously looking at Lee Radford’s style of coaching and how Hull played, but again, totally different personnel and you have to throw in the mix how Cas previously played.”

On Wednesday, the head coach named his first 21-man squad of the season, including new faces Tim Lafai, Ryan Brierley and Brodie Croft, who will be aiming to show their talent and get the campaign off to a positive start.

King Vuniyayawa is also in contention following his move from the Leeds Rhinos, while Amir Bourouh is a young player who is creating a lot of excitement with his performances at hooker.

Rowley confirmed yesterday that the only absentees from the squad as whole at the moment, are Kallum Watkins and Harvey Livett – both suffering from injury knocks.

With a full house expected, it’s shaping up to be an electric night of rugby league. Salford will be looking to feed off the energy of the travelling fans and show just what they’re capable of.

Written by: Harry Siddall

Image credit: Steve McCormick

MARC SNEYD RETURNS TO RED DEVILS

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that Marc Sneyd has returned on a three-year contract, as Paul Rowley’s first signing as head coach.

A product of the Salford youth system, Sneyd made his Betfred Super League debut for the Red Devils in June 2010 against Warrington Wolves and went on to feature for Salford for the next four years before departing for Hull FC in 2015.

The scrum-half, who also spent a year on loan at Castleford Tigers in 2014 during which he played in a Challenge Cup Final, is 9th in the leaderboards for most conversions and penalty goals in Super League history.

A proven winner, Sneyd has lifted the Challenge Cup twice in the last five years, winning the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy on both occasions with Hull FC.

Speaking on returning to where his rugby league career started, Sneyd said: “I’m really excited to be coming back to Salford. They’ve made some great signings and the squad looks like it’s taking shape.

“I’m excited to get on the field with the lads now and get stuck in with them.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease said: “To have Marc return to where it all started for him is a fantastic example of how a true professional never forgets where they came from.

“He’s a proven winner and will bring with him a plethora of skill and experience to a squad that is already packed with talent.”

Burke – “It’s somewhere we can go and express ourselves”

Salford Red Devils forward Greg Burke believes tomorrow’s Dacia Magic Weekend opener against Castleford Tigers at St James’ Park, provides the perfect tonic to put on a display for the travelling fans.

Burke, who has shared the armband with Kevin Brown over recent weeks since Lee Mossop’s retirement, has revealed that the mood in the camp this week has been positive, as the Red Devils look to build on their Bank Holiday bruising over Hull FC, in Newcastle tomorrow afternoon.

Burke said: “It’s a showcase for the Super League and we have spoken about that this week, about how it’s somewhere we can go and express ourselves.

“All the games are on Sky and we want to put in a good performance first and foremost for ourselves, but also for the fans and the viewers watching.”

Recently surpassing 200 career appearances, Burke has been a Salford player for two years now, excluding his loan spell in 2018, helping the side reach the 2019 Betfred Super League Grand Final in his first season as a permanent Red Devil, and the Betfred Challenge Cup Final last year.

Salford’s number 16 is one of the more senior players in the camp and has stepped up since Moose’s retirement.

Speaking on captaining the club recently, Burke said: “It’s been a massive honour to be seen as a leader.

“To be asked to be captain, I was happy to accept that. I’ve been really happy to be honest.”

Burke revealed that the team have been fully focused on tomorrow’s opponents, who will be fielding an almost full strength side in Newcastle, compared to the last Tigers side that were on the receiving end of a 70-18 thrashing at the hands of Marshall’s men in July.

Speaking on Castleford, Burke added: “It’ll be a massively different challenge this week. It’s a Cas team that are at the best strength they can be.

“We know we have to be on this week to give ourselves a chance, and that’s what we’ve spoke about.”

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CASTLEFORD V SALFORD

It might well be an old adage to say that you can only beat whatever is put in front of you, but it could never have been more true than of Salford, last Sunday, in their Round 14 encounter with a much depleted Castleford side, comprised, in part, of players from the Tigers’ Youth system, but with a number of first teamers in the pack to give them some stiffening.

In that prior knowledge, it would be easy for anyone to look at the scoreline and to dismiss the result as a mismatch.  That view, however, pays scant respect to the difficulties Salford themselves had had to face, and overcome, in order to be in a position to turn out at all, after covid, and its associated isolating, had sought to inflict its ravages on the team.

The Red Devils had only seven players in training up until 48 hours before their trip to West Yorkshire, with 11 players in isolation and seven positive COVID-19 cases. For the first time this season, Marshall was unable to name a 21-man squad for a fixture and had to draft in two Saints players last minute to field a team.

Running up seventy points in any match, as was accrued by the Red Devils, however, really does take some doing, requiring, as it does, intense concentration and focus, considerable reserves of energy, together with high levels of desire and commitment, all of which the visitors to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle showed in abundance.

Once they had got into their stride, the Salford team looked most impressive as they dominated possession and field position.  The well-structured approach work, with ball in hand, alongside strict adherence to their game plan, which has been evident rather more spasmodically in other recent games, served them well as they launched attack after attack on the Tigers’ line.

The basis for them all was the hard work undertaken by the forwards.  Skipper for the day, Greg Burke, played a captain’s role, leading by example with his incisive running, as too did Oliver Roberts, upon his introduction, while Ryan Lannon, had one of his best games in a Salford shirt.

If there were any criticism to be found in their performance, it was in their conceding of eighteen points.  The coaching staff might well be disappointed by all three of Castleford’s tries, but, for we fans, it was probably just one more than we really would have liked.  Twelve points seems something of a triviality in such a high scoring game, but, when it becomes eighteen, it becomes rather more significant.

Furthermore, whilst those first two came at the start of each half, when the Castleford players were fresh, eager, and energetic, the final one came ten minutes from the end, when a lapse in Salford’s goal-line defence allowed a second try in their right-hand corner, both of which were converted from out wide.

For the bulk of the game, though, it was all Salford, as they ran in a total of twelve tries.  The last fifteen minutes of the first half saw them run in three, which put them in a quite commanding lead at half time.

The last thirty minutes of the game saw the Reds cross no less than seven times, spaced out with only a few minutes between each.  It was particularly good to see winger, Rhys Williams, who has been one of our stand-out players all season, rewarded with a brace, the second of which was reminiscent of both his length-of-the-field effort at Wembley, and also his immediate solo score, straight from a restart, against Toronto Wolfpack in 2020.

Probably the one which should give us real hope for better things to come, was the absolutely crucial half back pairing of Dec Patten and Chris Atkin, which had done so much to put Huddersfield to the sword, combining, through slick inter-passing between the two of them, to put Atkin over between the posts.

After all the team has been through over the past couple of weeks, this win was the tonic that they really deserved, not to mention the extra percentage benefit it brings.  They now have the opportunity to build on this over the coming weeks and produce further victories to bolster their improving league position.

MATCH REPORT | CASTLEFORD TIGERS 18-70 SALFORD RED DEVILS | SUNDAY 11TH JULY 2021

Salford Red Devils picked up a comfortable win against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle this afternoon, after what has been a difficult two weeks in the Salford camp.

Despite the scoreline, it was the hosts who took the lead early on through Grant Milligan, after the Tigers reacted first to a loose ball.

Jack Ormondroyd powered over in the 12th minute however, to put Salford on the scoreboard.

Ollie Roberts put Salford ahead for the first time shortly before the half-hour mark and two minutes later, Morgan Escare danced his way through the Castleford defence to pick up a try of his own.

Three minutes from the interval, Rhys Williams picked a Chris Atkin kick out of the sky and grounded the ball in the left corner.

Halftime: Castleford Tigers 6-22 Salford Red Devils

The hosts started the second forty the same way they did the first, scoring early through Brad Martin this time.

However, the second half at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle belonged to Salford, who took real control of the arm wrestle.

Ken Sio darted over down the right in the 47th minute, before Escare got his second of the afternoon five minutes later after some great play from Salford to work the ball from left to right.

Dec Patton then barged over for a try, before Matt Costello grounded the ball in the 59th minute after a great kick chase by the number 24.

Man of the Match Chris Atkin strolled over under the sticks five minutes later and the hosts responded with their last try of the game through Alex Foster.

Saints loanees Ben Davies and Dan Norman both helped to extend Salford’s lead in the last few minutes and it was our Welsh Winger Williams who summed up what had been a brilliant display, breaking the Castleford line and picking up his second try of the afternoon between the sticks.

Fulltime: Castleford Tigers 18-70 Salford Red Devils

Castleford Tigers: Qareqare, Jordan, Blair, Foster, Clare, Sadler, Richardson, Hepi, Robb, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Martin, Bienek, Peachey, Hall, Rusling, Magee.

Castleford tries: Millington, Martin, Foster

Castleford goals: Richardson (3/3)

Salford Red Devils: Escare, Sio, Inu, Costello, Williams, Patton, Atkin, Johnson, Ackers, Ormondroyd, Livett, Lannon, Burke, Roberts, Norman, Pauli, Davies.

Salford tries: Ormondroyd, Roberts, Escare (2), Williams (2), Sio, Patton, Costello, Atkin, Norman, Davies

Salford goals: Inu (11/12)

Referee: Tom Grant

Tickets available for Castleford away

Salford Red Devils can confirm that an away allocation has been provided for our fans by Castleford Tigers, for Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

When purchasing a ticket, please select the ‘Home adult standing’  option. You will then receive an e-ticket which will outline your specific entry point and time where possible. Students with valid ID, under 16s and over 60s should all select the ‘Home concession standing’ ticket.

On the bottom of all e-tickets, you will also be able to find Castleford Tigers’ COVID-19 Code of Conduct. Please read carefully and adhere to the guidance.

Tickets can be bought here, and we ask you to look over the Castleford matchday guide, ahead of the game, here – Tigers vs Red Devils Matchday guide . The guide will answer all your questions on food and drink, stand opening times and so on.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the stands in West Yorkshire on Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Brown – “It’s work time”

Despite being 36 years old, Salford Red Devils’ number 7, Kevin Brown, is feeling as sharp as ever.

The halfback is one of the most senior players in the squad, but he won’t let age dictate his condition and his performances.  scoring two tries in last weekend’s win over Leigh Centurions.

Brown said: “My body’s feeling unbelievable.

“I’ve played 5 games now this year, at the age of 36 I’m feeling fantastic and hopefully I’ll build on the form I’ve been performing at.”

Brown is eager to build on his side’s first win of the 2021 Betfred Super League season last week and insists with a fully fit squad, Salford can provideown  plenty of excitement to this year.

“We’ve had quite a few injuries and we’ve not wanted to talk about it,” said Brown.

“But the quality of Danny Addy, Kallum Watkins, Joe Burgess still to come in is something that really excites me.”

Second in command at Salford, Brown has become a leader in the dressing room, on and off the field.

Brown added: “I think my role has been pretty similar for the last 10 years.

“That’s to make everyone else understand the coaches plans on the game plan, really push and understand where they need to be and attack and try and lead by example.

“That’s my role as a player and the vice-captain of the club. Number one is to play well and then closely followed by getting everyone in position and letting them know what the coach wants.”

Salford welcome Castleford Tigers to the A.J Bell stadium this evening, before the two sides face off again next week in the Betfred Challenge Cup Quarter-Final.

“We’ve done some video on them, for me they’re the best attacking side in the competition… they have been for a number of years.”

“It’s work time this week, there’s a lot of work to do. We want to go on a run now and put some back-to-back performances in.”

Due to the social media boycott that Salford Red Devils are in support of, live coverage of tonight’s Round 5 clash with Castleford will not be provided by the club, but will be available on the Betfred Super League website.

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