Following a narrow 14-12 defeat against Wakefield Trinity, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson thought his side were outstanding and deserved more from the game.
Watson said: “I thought we were outstanding to be fair and consistent in areas which is what we’d spoke about.
“Against Wigan we were really good for like forty-five, fifty minutes and after that we kind of fell off it and we stopped doing things together as a team.
“We’d asked for consistency in our performance today and that’s what the boys worked on and to be fair I think they delivered and deserved more out of it to be fair.”
The result went down to the wire as Gareth O’Brien’s late conversion attempt went wide but Ian Watson concentrated on his sides performance rather than the result.
Watson said: “We’ve come to a team who’ve been talked up and spoke about being a top four team this year and kicking on from where they’ve been for the last three years.
“To come here and outscore them 3-2, we defended really well in large parts where our backs were against the wall on our goal-line defence in the first half.
“I just think the boys have stuck to the task and they’ve shown what we want to be about this season really which is competing against the top teams we just need to learn how to turn those into our results.”
Both sides turned the game into a real arm-wrestle at times and Watson was particularly impressed with his pack.
Watson said: “I thought our bench really lifted us.
“Lama [Tasi] and Moose [Lee Mossop] always gives us a solid start but I think our bench today really lifted us and lifted the intensity of the game.
“I’d say that’s probably the best game Koppy’s [Craig Kopczak] had for a long time.
“I thought Ben [Nakubuwai] showed what I kind of saw in Ben – great footwork at the line, getting his nose through and defensively very solid and worked really hard.
“He’s going to be a big player for us with a big future in the game as well.”
Ahead of tonight’s Betfred Super League clash with Wakefield Trinity at the Mobile Rocket Stadium we take a look at all the facts surrounding this evenings fixture.
Last season Salford met Wakefield on four separate occasions in 2017. The Red Devils knocked off Trinity en route to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final with a dominant 30-6 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
However, Trinity got the upper hand in the Betfred Super League winning narrowly in the closing stages at the Mobile Rocket Stadium before consecutive wins at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Salford’s last win at Wakefield came back in 2015 which ended a winless streak for The Red Devils with Harrison Hansen crossing for a double alongside tries from Theo Fages and Scott Taylor.
Overall since the introduction of Super League Salford Red Devils have racked up fifteen wins against Trinity while Wakefield have won 25. There have been two Super League draws between the sides – a 23-23 draw at Wakefield in 2013 and a 22-22 draw at The Willows back in 2002.
Played for both
Red Devils prop-forward has George Griffin had a brief stint with Wakefield Trinity in 2015 on loan from Salford. Griffin appeared for Wakefield on five occasions.
While Greg Johnson hasn’t been included in this weekend’s squad he has also featured for the West Yorkshire side. Johnson made twelve appearances for Trinity in 2011 scoring twice.
On the opposing side, Wakefield have a few ex-Red Devils in their ranks. Wingers Ben Jones-Bishop and Mason Caton-Brown both donned the Red of Salford scoring twelve and ten tries for Salford, respectively. Caton-Brown notched a hat-trick against his former side last season.
Impressive second-rower Matty Ashurst also spent time at the AJ Bell Stadium between 2012 and 2014 racking up 75 appearances for Salford and powering over for 11 tries.
Prop-forward Craig Kopczak has actually scored in each of his last three appearances for Salford against Wakefield Trinity. Almost a quarter of Kopczak’s tries for The Red Devils have come against Wakefield.
Wakefield opened their 2018 season with victory over newly-promoted Hull Kingston Rovers last weekend and returning winger Tom Johnstone crossed for a hat-trick. Johnstone is currently atop the 2018 Super League try-scoring charts alongside Hull FC’s Fetuli Talanoa, Leeds’ Jimmy Keinhorst and St Helens centre Mark Percival.
Niall Evalds was Salford’s top try-scorer in the 2017 season and he crossed last weekend in defeat against Wigan Warriors. Kris Welham is the only other Red Devil to score so far this season.
Salford Red Devils forward Craig Kopczak feels there were a lot of positives despite his sides loss at Warrington on Saturday afternoon.
Kopczak, who is still available for sponsorship, said: “We took a lot of positives out of it.
“First half was nip and tuck a bit of an arm wrestle and that’s what it’s going to be like in Super League so yeah a positive outcome really.”
Ian Watson has added a lot of new faces to the Salford Red Devils squad for 2018 but Kopczak feels like the side is coming together well particularly in the forwards.
Kopczak said: “We’re doing great fantastic at the moment.
“Against better opposition in Warrington I know we didn’t come away with the win but we came away with positives from that game and we can take that forward into the Wigan game.
“We felt pretty strong out there pretty physical and dominant as well really to be fair.
“We’ve just got to cut out some silly errors and some penalties but we are a flair kind of team we know that we like to pass the ball and like to play a little bit.
“You know the conditions didn’t really suit our style of play but you know when it comes nice the skills will come back out again.”
Following Salford Red Devils’ 50-12 victory over Swinton Lions in our opening pre-season friendly of 2018 new signing Levy Nzoungou gave us his thoughts on the game.
Nzoungou, who is available for sponsorship, said: “The game went really well.”
He added: “I was happy with what I did on the field think I can work on a few things in attack but my defence was pretty good.
“I’ve still got a few things to work on like my fitness if I want to carry on getting a regular place in the team throughout the season.
“I’m really enjoying training and I was excited to play against Swinton and then the fans were great on Sunday which made it even better and a little easier.”
The former St Helens, Melbourne Storm and Toulouse Olympique forward admits as a youngster he is still learning but the environment at Salford is perfect for doing so.
Nzoungou said: “I’ve been learning a lot since I came to Salford and I’ve been learning loads from the guys in the middle like Mark Flanagan, Craig Kopczak and Luke Burgess throughout pre-season.
“The little stuff like throwing good passes and running clever lines it’s all helping me grow as a player and I’m sure it’ll continue.”
The Red Devils face Warrington Wolves in their second pre-season friendly of 2018 on Saturday and the French prop-forward is looking forward to it.
Nzoungou said: “I’m really excited to face Warrington next weekend I’m going to work hard in training to make sure I earn a place in the side.
“It’s going to be one of the big games as we are facing a Super League side and Warrington are a strong outfit.”
If you’d like to sponsor Levy Nzoungou for the duration of the 2018 season contact Fiona.Woods@SalfordRedDevils.net.
Purchase your tickets for our pre-season game against Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium by visiting the Club Ticket Office or phoning 0161 786 1570.
Salford prop-forward Craig Kopczak was one of the Lucky Devils Lotto’s winners this week and feels all Red Devils supporters should join the lottery.
Wales’ World Cup captain won a family meal at Hard Rock Café in Week 26 of the Lucky Devils Lotto and is looking forward to the experience.
Kopczak said: “It’s come as a nice little surprise in all honesty.
“I’m looking forward to taking the family out and spending some time together thanks to the Lucky Devils Lotto.
“It’s a great initiative by the Club and I know a few of the players have won little prizes here and there and I’ve seen we’ve had some supporters winning big lately.
“I’d definitely encourage everyone to sign up to the Lucky Devils Lotto for just £1 a week the chances of winning are great and it helps the Club grow as well as do great work in the community.”
To join the Lucky Devils Lotto via Direct Debit, click here.
To join the Lucky Devils Lotto via Standing Order, click here.
You can also subscribe to the Lucky Devils Lotto results direct to your inbox by E-Mailing SalfordSuperDraw@Gmail.com with the subject ‘subscribe’. Or, E-Mail if you are just looking for more information regarding the draw.
To read about our recent £1000 winners click here or here. Or, to read about the Lucky Devils Lotto’s donation of £2000 to Salford Heart Care click here.
Remember to see the Red Devils in action in 2018 you can still purchase your Season Ticket at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. A list of all our ticket prices and their respective Direct Debit payment schemes can be found here with the Direct Debit option being available from the Ticket Office or over the phone.
Manu Vatuvei’s Tongan side were knocked out of the Rugby League World Cup following a semi-final defeat at the hands of England on Saturday morning.
England opened up a 20-0 lead against the surprise semi-finalists with tries from Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman.
However, Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolahea all went over in the space of seven minutes for the Tongan’s to almost pull off a memorable fightback.
There was late controversy as Andrew Fifita almost went over for Tonga with the final play of the game but was adjudged to have dropped the ball following a collision with Elliot Whitehead which wasn’t sent to video referee Ben Thaler by referee Matt Cecchin.
Vatuvei was the last Salford representative at the Rugby League World Cup.
New signing Gavin Bennion, who featured for Wales in the World Cup, has been in training with the Red Devils while fellow countryman Craig Kopczak has also linked up with the side today.
Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy is set to be back in training in midweek while Vatuvei will re-join the squad in the next fortnight.
England are set to face Australia in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final at 9:00am on Saturday 2nd December with the game being live on both BBC One and Premier Sports.
Remember to see any of our World Cup stars in action in 2018 you can purchase your Season Ticket at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. A list of all our ticket prices and their respective Direct Debit payment schemes can be found here with the Direct Debit option being available from the Ticket Office or over the phone.
Salford Red Devils duo Craig Kopczak and Gavin Bennion featured in Wales’ final game of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as they fell to a 6-34 defeat at the hands of Ireland.
Bennion, who joined the Red Devils last month, made his debut for the Welsh national side while Kopczak again captained John Kear’s side.
However, Wales suffered their third defeat of the tournament with Api Pewhairangi, Joe Philbin, Liam Finn and Liam Kay all crossing alongside an Oliver Roberts double for the Irish. Ben Morris scored Wales’ only try.
Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy didn’t feature for Mark Aston’s men who unfortunately exit the tournament despite winning two of their three group games.
Manu Vatuvei didn’t feature for Tonga in their memorable 22-28 victory over New Zealand but could be in the running for a place in their quarter-final clash with Lebanon on Saturday 18th November in Christchurch.
Remember you can see all four of the Salford Red Devils World Cup representatives in action in 2018 by purchasing your Season Ticket. A full list of prices can be found here while a Direct Debit breakdown of each ticket can be seen here. Visit the Club Ticket Office, phone 0161 786 1570 or purchase online here. Direct Debit isn’t available online.
Wales captain and Salford Red Devil Craig Kopczak is named in Wales starting 13 ahead of their final group game against Ireland.
New arrival Gavin Bennion is on the interchange bench for John Kear’s side while Tyrone McCarthy is named in Ireland’s 21-man squad but not in the starting line-up.
Manu Vatuvei misses out on a place in Tonga’s starting 17 but is named amongst the 21-man squad for their massive game against New Zealand. Vatuvei won the Rugby League World Cup with the Kiwis in 2008 and the game will also have massive significance for Jason Taumalolo who made a switch of allegiance ahead of the competition.
Tonga take on New Zealand on Saturday 11th November and the game will be shown live on Premier Sports at 04:00am while Wales against Ireland can be seen at 07:30am on Sunday 12th November.
Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the second round of fixtures at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Craig Kopczak will once again captain Wales as they face Fiji in Townsville. Salford new-boy Gavin Bennion is also named in John Kear’s 21-man squad after linking up with the team this past week.
Manu Vatuvei has been named in Tonga’s 21-man squad as they look to make it two wins from two on Saturday against Samoa.
After impressing in Ireland’s victory over Italy last weekend Tyrone McCarthy is again named in Mark Aston’s squad as the Irish get ready to do battle with Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Remember if you want to watch the Red Devils World Cup stars next season you can secure your 2018 Season Ticket at the best price and via Direct Debit before the 3rd November. Direct Debit can be set up by ringing 0161 786 1570 or visiting the Club Ticket Office. 2018 Season Tickets can also be purchased online here.