Tag: Connor Davies-Aspey

Ian Watson | “We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson spoke to the press following a 18-28 defeat to Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly. Here’s what he had to say on a range of topics post-match. 

On the game and facing Wigan…

Yeah it was brilliant. It was exactly what we wanted with the lift in intensity. We knew Wigan would bring that, having the game against Swinton last week got us back into gameplay with the fitness and contact elements and then against Wigan we knew it was about coming against the intensity we’ll have to face week in and week out in the Super League. It was perfect preparation for us.

On Jackson Hastings leaving the field early…

He just had a little twinge from the Swinton game, so we didn’t want to overwork him. To be fair, he did more than we expected today because he was feeling good, so we worked off him. We didn’t want to risk anybody we didn’t need to. Obviously, Jackson is an important part of our team.

On Ed Chamberlain’s injury…

Ed looks like he’s the one who may have sustained a syndesmosis or something like that, so we just need to get that checked out. A syndesmosis can be any length of time out depending on how bad the grade is. It could be up to twelve weeks, but we’ll see where he is and hopefully it’s not that bad.

On Rob Lui leaving the field early…

Robbie is fine. He just clashed with Jansin Turgut in a tackle. He had another minute to do, I think he just wanted to come off there. He knew how long he had left to do so he came off a little bit earlier than we wanted him to.

On knowing his starting side for Huddersfield….

I more or less know it. With our group we’ve been able to build it over a couple of years in what we want with the characters in our team and how we want to play. We’ve been able to recruit a little bit better this year in terms of the players who’ve we’ve had to choose from. We’ve brought players in who can play the way we want to, and we’re really pleased with the guys we’ve brought in.

On Niall Evalds’ versatility…

I thought Niall was outstanding. He was a little bit like a Darren Lockyer out there playing full-back and stand-off. He’s really developed again this year. We’re just covering bases a little bit and looking at a few things because we need to deal with it if we get an injury to a half or a nine throughout the season. I thought Niall and Rob linked up well and we even had Greg Burke at hooker with Joey Lussick in the halves at one point. We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about which is important for us at a Club that doesn’t have the biggest of squads.

On Connor Davies-Aspey…

Connor has been brilliant. His is a bit more of baby steps as he still has a lot of developing to do. I think the progression will be probably looking to play at Championship or maybe League One, if there’s a side who’ll take a shot on him. He just needs to develop. That’s the difference between the U19’s and Reserves now. Years ago, there were a lot of 16-year-olds who could come through and play first team because they’d played against men already. Connor’s first game against men was last weekend against Swinton. I had to be very careful as there were a few occasions I could have thrown him on but with the likes of Tony Clubb Joe Greenwood, Liam Farrell and Ben Flower who are physical and big specimens to have thrown Connor in front of those would have been a big ask. He just needs to develop his path the right way.
 

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Following Salford Red Devils’ comfortable victory over Swinton Lions in their first game of 2019, we take a look at some of the talking points from the fixture.
Attacking threat
The Red Devils ran in eleven tries in a controlled performance against Swinton and the attacking skill Ian Watson’s men possess was on show throughout. Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all profited from the attacking display crossing for braces while there was also another five Red Devils on the scoresheet.
Sa’u and Johnson’s tries all came on the back of some quick hands out wide. However, there was a number of occasions when Salford broke from deep thanks to the likes of Mark Flanagan, Niall Evalds, Jackson Hastings and young debutant Connor Davies-Aspey.
Flanagan – who began at loose-forward but went on to operate as half – linked up well with Evalds on a number of occasions which led to some great Red Devils tries. Hastings went through the line in almost identical fashion to his debut against Leeds Rhinos last year to set up Sa’u’s second try.
If the Red Devils can continue to cause problems from all over the field, we could see some more excellent tries throughout 2019.
Connor Davies-Aspey
Salford Red Devils Academy player Connor Davies-Aspey was awarded a one-month trial earlier this week and he certainly made the most of his opportunity against Swinton with an impressive cameo in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Davies-Aspey came onto the field and managed to make three clean breaks. His break in the final ten minutes put winger Derrell Olpherts over in the corner and he was close to finishing the game with two try-assists however pulled the trigger a second too early on his pass to Jansin Turgut just minutes earlier.
Head Coach Ian Watson praised the young hooker in his post-match press conference saying it ‘was great for young kid to come in and do that’. Read more of Ian Watson’s reaction here.
Davies-Aspey has certainly put himself in contention for a place in the squad next weekend as the Red Devils face current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Versatility and depth
After the interval, Ian Watson made four changes to the starting side with Greg Johnson and Derrell Olpherts coming onto the field in place of Ed Chamberlain and Jake Bibby. Both Johnson and Olpherts would go on to score in the second half showing the quality of the Red Devils’ options on the wing this season.
In the pack, the likes of Tyrone McCarthy and Ben Nakubuwai entered the fray and made an impact following impressive forty-minute stints from Lee Mossop and new recruit Gil Dudson in the first half.
Half-back duo Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui both left the field midway through the second half with Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick and Niall Evalds jumping into the halves. Salford’s try-scoring form didn’t slow down, and the Red Devils continued to look smooth in the absence of a permanent half-back.
The crowd 
On a cold January afternoon fans of both Salford Red Devils and Swinton Lions braved the conditions to watch their sides putting together a solid showing for a pre-season friendly with 1798 people in attendance.
Salford vs Swinton is a fixture – that was Head Coach Ian Watson pointed out earlier in the week – doesn’t happen too often anymore so it has become somewhat of a sought-after attraction. Our Betfred Championship visitors brought a strong following down the road to the AJ Bell Stadium this weekend while our loyal Red Devils were in fine voice as always showing the passion for the game in the local area.
Next weekend, the Red Devils host another local side in Wigan Warriors, and we’ll be hoping for a similarly strong turnout.
 

Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Ian Watson | “I thought we looked quite smooth”

Salford Red Devils got 2019 off to a great start with a 54-6 victory over local rivals Swinton Lions and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with various aspects of his side’s performance.

On the game…

I thought it was a good performance and we did what we’ve worked on in the pre-season. We got out of our own half a little bit too easily as we got quite a few penalties on tackle three. I’d have like to see a little more of an arm-wrestle to see more of what we have worked on. But everything that was put in front of the boys they reacted really well to especially when we were making all the changes to mix it up a bit people got plenty of game time.

On adapting following the changes…

I thought we looked quite smooth even when Jackson [Hastings] and Rob [Lui] came off and we put Niall [Evalds] into the halves. We’ve done a bit of practice in training running with different combinations just in case anything happens. We know we’ve got a small squad, but we’ve got players who can play in different positions and that was on show for us against Swinton. 

On Connor Davies-Aspey’s debut…

I was really pleased for him. He’s a baby, to be fair, and I thought he did great. He made a couple of breaks and a little bit of inexperience cost him from making a try for Jansin [Turgut] but he created a nice try for Derrell [Olpherts]. I’m sure he’ll be telling everyone about nearly getting his ribs knocked out as well, but I thought it was great for a young kid to come in and do that.

On fellow triallist – Calvin Wellington…

Calvin did really well coming in at left centre. He has the ability to play on both sides and he transfers the ball really well, but he suits us with him not having a preference as to which side he plays on.

On the players who didn’t feature…

All going well they should be included next weekend against Wigan. With the game being a little different at the moment with the stop clock we wanted our middles to get decent minutes and get used to how it feels to be under the pump and play under the stop clock. That’s why we didn’t make a change in the first half and then let the middles run for a full forty in the second half, also.

On how the players handled the stop clock…

We’ve got players here who are big enough and fit enough to play long minutes if you look at the first half, we had Mark Flanagan, Lee Mossop and Gil Dudson who all did a full forty and handled it really comfortably.

On the stop clock…

It flowed a lot better today. I thought the first ten minutes went really quickly, it used to take a long time to get to the ten-minute mark in some games but today I thought the stop clock helped today and it sped the game up. My thing with it was when you’re watching a game on Sky Sports, they were finishing way beyond 10pm and the game was getting dragged out longer and longer, but I think the stop clock kind of drags that back in really rather than it being stop-start. Hopefully, it’ll make the Betfred Super League more entertaining.

On goal kicking…

No, we’ve no issues there. Ed [Chamberlain] practices religiously so we’ve not got much of a problem with that. It was fairly windy when Ed was out there kicking today. The good thing is last year I don’t think we had a single goal kicker for the majority but now we’ve got a handful of genuine goal kickers – Ed, Jackson, Rob, Joey [Lussick] and Niall likes to put a kick in every now and again. So, we’ve no worries in that department.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Ian Watson | “We’re definitely excited.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Swinton Lions, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson gave his thoughts on a variety of topics including pre-season, his squad and this weekend’s opponents.

On getting back underway…

“We’re really excited. We’ve got through all the tough stuff in pre-season and now it’s time to get started and now it’s about what we can do on the field and seeing where we are at particularly in regard to the start of the Betfred Super League season and fine tuning those last little details. But, we’re definitely excited.”

On the fixture…

“Salford vs Swinton doesn’t happen all that often anymore so it’s always good when we get to go head-to-head. It’s going to be a great occasion at the AJ Bell Stadium and I’m hoping we see a big crowd to support the lads for the first game of 2019.”

On squad selection…

“We’ll go strong. The lads who’ve impressed in pre-season will get first shot because you get rewarded and some of the lads have really put their hands up in pre-season. Jake Bibby has come on leaps and bounds while Ed Chamberlain has been outstanding since he joined. We will give the majority of them a game, but we may hold a few back for our second pre-season game against Wigan Warriors next weekend.”

On the two triallists…

“We’ve got young Connor Davies-Aspey who is 16 years old and is from our Salford Red Devils Education Academy team. It’s a big plus for the Salford Red Devils Foundation that he has come in and trained with us and he’s done really well. We’ve decided to give him a one-month trial and maybe hand him an appearance this weekend against Swinton.
“The other triallist is Calvin Wellington who came through the ranks at St Helens and has been away playing Rugby Union. Hgot a very good background. We’ll see how he goes against Swinton.”

On a few injuries…

“Both Josh Wood and Logan Tomkins picked up injuries at the backend of last season and are still recovering.
“Josh Wood has been in full-time training with the squad, but he needs to up his contact a little more before we can give him a game. He’s a little behind schedule for where we need him to be but in the next month, we’ll start to get him where we need him to be.
“Logan Tomkins has missed all of pre-season out on the field and his injury is just about us making sure we get him to the right stage so that he doesn’t struggle again on his return.”

On Swinton Lions…

“Swinton have rebuilt really well, and they’ve got a strong squad. Of course, they’ve signed Gavin Bennion who was with us last season, so he is going to want to have a big game and they’ve got a few other players with Salford links so it’s going to be interesting.”
Tickets for the game are still available to purchase and you can do so prior to the game from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office. You can also purchase over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE.
For a reminder of prices, click HERE.