Tag: Craig Kopczak

Craig Kopczak’s Wales fall to defeat in 2017 RLWC opener

Craig Kopczak’s Welsh side fell to a heavy 50-6 defeat in their 2017 Rugby League World Cup opener against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Kopczak captained a Wales side featuring several Super League players including impressive young St Helens duo Morgan Knowles and Regan Grace however the Kumuls boasting Paul Aiton, James Segeyaro and Castleford’s new signing Garry Lo were just too strong.
Brisbane Broncos’ David Mead was a thorn in Wales side all afternoon and the full-back crossed for two tries early on to put the hosts in control. The Kumuls went into half-time with a 26-0 lead after Nene MacDonald, Kato Ottio and Willie Minoga all crossed before the interval.
Papua New Guinea continued their dominance after the break as Rhyse Martin scored just three minutes after the break and followed it up with a second midway through the half. Justin Olam latched onto a low kick to extend the hosts lead before Mead notched his hat-trick.
The Kumuls hit the half-century as Martin converted a Paul Aiton try but Wales did get themselves on the scoresheet with the final play of the game as Regan Grace planted the ball down following a clever kick over the top from Matt Seamark.
Wales will face Fiji next Sunday in Townsville while Papua New Guinea host Tyrone McCarthy’s Ireland in Port Moresby next weekend.
PNG: Mead, Olam, Ottio, MacDonald, Lo; A. Boas, W. Boas; Albert, Puara, Page, Martin, Griffin, Aiton. Interchanges: Baptiste, Minoga, Segeyaro, Maki.
Wales: Kear, Williams, Channing, Gay, Grace; Davies, Seamark; Kopczak, Parry, Joseph, Lloyd, Morris, Knowles. Interchanges: Fozard, Hopkins, Evans, Butler.
Attendance: 14,800.

Three Red Devils named for match day one of the RLWC

Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the opening round of fixtures in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Craig Kopczak is set to captain the Welsh side in their first group game against Papua New Guinea at the Oil Search NSF Stadium in Port Moresby at 5:00am (3pm PGT).
Manu Vatuvei has been named in the Tonga squad for their opener against Scotland on Sunday at Barlow Park, Cairns with a 6:15am kick-off (17:15 AEDT).
Fellow mid-season signing Tyrone McCarthy will feature for Ireland as they take on Italy at Barlow Park, Cairns prior to the Tonga vs Scotland game in the first double-header. The game will kick-off at 4:00am (15:00 AEDT).
All three games are set to be shown in full on Premier Sports.
Salford Red Devils 2018 Season Tickets are still on sale with the ‘early bird’ window now having less than two weeks remaining. Supporters will need to purchase before the 3rd November if they wish to pay for their 2018 Season Ticket via Direct Debit. All 2018 Season Ticket prices can be found here while a full Direct Debit breakdown can be found here. 

2017 Review: Craig Kopczak

We’ve got another 2017 season review for you and today marks our first forward as Craig Kopczak takes centre stage.
Kopczak joined the Red Devils back in 2016 and his commitment and work ethic have seen him grow into a firm favourite amongst the Salford faithful.
The Welsh international was a regular feature in the Salford side throughout last season and didn’t miss a game up until Castleford in July – the penultimate regular season Super League fixture. Despite starting the opening three games of the season Kopczak often found himself entering as an impact interchange in the middle months of the season.
And, he certainly made an impact from the bench in the Red Devils visit to the KCOM Stadium in early April. The former Bradford and Huddersfield forward came on from the bench to grab two tries in a memorable 18-54 win. Koppy was too much for the FC defence as he ploughed his way through on two occasions making him just one of two forwards to score a double for Salford this season.
Kopczak played a pivotal role in Salford’s run to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final featuring in all four cup games and crashing over for tries against both Hull Kingston Rovers and Wakefield. In fact, Trinity must have hated coming up against the Welsh forward in 2017 as Koppy crashed over for a try in three of the four meetings between the sides.
Craig’s powerful running and hard-work saw him make more Super League metres than any other Red Devils forward. Kopczak was the fourth highest metre-maker for Salford behind Kris Welham, Greg Johnson and Junior Sa’u.
Koppy’s performances throughout 2017 were that impressive he has been named as captain of the Welsh Rugby League team for the Rugby League World Cup which begins at the end of October.
Craig Kopczak was sponsored by Jones & Brooks throughout the 2017 season.
Craig Kopczak 2017 Stats (All competitions)
Appearances: 31
Tries: 5
Fact: Craig Kopczak made more metres than any other Red Devils forward in 2017.
Craig Kopczak’s 2017 in pictures

Two Salford forwards named in Wales’ World Cup squad

Salford Red Devils Craig Kopczak and Gavin Bennion have both been named in Wales’ squad for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.
Kopczak, who was named as Wales captain last month, will feature in his second World Cup for the Welsh national side after playing in the 2013 competition.
Bennion arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium last week after signing from Championship side Rochdale Hornets. The 23-year-old forward who impressed massively for the Hornets last season could be set to debut for his national side at the Rugby League World Cup.
Wales open their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea in Port Moseby on 28th October before travelling to Townsville a week later to face Fiji in a double-header which will also feature Italy vs USA.
John Kear’s men will finish their Group Stage fixtures against Ireland in another double-header prior to England facing France in Perth.
The full Wales squad is as follows:
Courtney Davies, Steve Parry (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Matty Baron (Newcastle Thunder), Joe Burke (Oldham), Gavin Bennion, Craig Kopczak (both Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Head Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)

Flashback – Salford Red Devils 44-10 St Helens

We welcome St Helens for our final game of the 2017 season and ahead of Thursday’s fixture we take a look at Saints’ visit to the AJ Bell Stadium last season when the Red Devils ran out convincing winners.
Salford came into their first home game of 2016 on the back of 2o-42 opening weekend defeat the KCOM Stadium while St Helens earned a 30-16 win over Huddersfield.
But it was the Red Devils started the game on the front foot as Greg Johnson latched onto a low Michael Dobson kick to put Salford ahead after just four minutes. Ian Watson’s side went on to control the first half and take a 32-6 lead into half-time.
Craig Kopczak powered his way over before Robert Lui crossed for the hosts before Alex Walmsley came on from the bench and crashed over but that was as good as it got for St Helens in the first half as Luke Walsh was sent to the sin-bin shortly after.
Niall Evalds took advantage of some fantastic play from Ben Murdoch-Masila and Justin Carney to extend the Red Devils lead further. Carney was again central to Salford’s attacking play as a clever run on his flank allowed Lui to grab his second of the evening.
Even the interval didn’t slow the Red Devils down as Adam Walne bundled his way over from close-range just two minutes after the restart. Dobson eventually got himself on the scoresheet as he warded off three Saints’ challenges before Adam Swift got a late consolation for the visitors. However, it was the Red Devils who had the last laugh as Evalds jinked his way over for his second and Salford’s eighth in a stunning victory.
The teams that day
Red Devils: O’Brien, Carney, J. Jones, J. Griffin, Johnson; Lui, Dobson; Kopczak, Lee, G. Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Flanagan, Lannon. Interchanges: Evalds, A. Walne, Tomkins, Joseph.
Saints: Owens, Makinson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Percival, Swift; Turner, Walsh; Amor, Knowles, Tasi, Vea, Wilkin, Thompson. Interchanges: Walmsley, Richards, Savelio, Fages.

Craig Kopczak named Wales Rugby League captain

Salford Red Devils prop-forward Craig Kopczak has been named Wales captain ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Kopczak has been Wales’ skipper for the past two years and led the side to European Championship success in 2015 and World Cup qualification last autumn.
Kopczak said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a big competition.
“One of my best memories is leading Wales out in Cardiff in the opening game of the 2013 World Cup. It was a huge honour and it’ll be great to do it in another World Cup.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge. Each game is going to be really competitive and we need to make sure that we match Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Ireland in every department.”
The former Bradford Bulls and Huddersfield Giants man has earned 19 international caps for Wales scoring one try. Kopczak joined the Red Devils back at the start of the 2016 and has been a regular first-teamer under Ian Watson.
So you can watch Kopczak in action Wales Rugby League World Cup fixtures are as follows:

  • Papua New Guinea vs Wales – Saturday 28th October – 15:00
  • Fiji vs Wales – Saturday 5th November – 18:30
  • Wales vs Ireland – Saturday 12th November – 15:30

Preview: Salford Red Devils vs Huddersfield Giants

The Salford Red Devils welcome the visit of Huddersfield Giants tomorrow afternoon in search of their first Super 8s victory.
The Red Devils currently sit 7th in the Super League Super 8s just above their opponents this weekend – Huddersfield Giants. Salford fell to a disappointing 18-43 defeat last time out against Wakefield which extended the club’s winless run in the Super 8s however Ian Watson and co will be confident they can turn it around this weekend.
Huddersfield have had a mixed Super 8s campaign thus far winning twice and losing twice. The Giants earned dominant victories over Wakefield and Hull and have suffered narrow defeats to Wigan and, most recently, Castleford. Despite losing to the Tigers Rick Stone’s side will head into the game full of confidence after four solid performances in the Super 8s.
The key battle
Craig Kopczak spent time with the Giants between 2013 and 2015 but will be central to any success the Red Devils will have this weekend setting the platform for Watson’s men. The Welsh international has been impressive since returning from injury but will need to step up even further due to injuries to the likes of Lama Tasi, Mark Flanagan, Lee Mossop and George Griffin.
Earlier in the week the Giants confirmed that Sam Rapira will leave the John Smith’s Stadium for a move to Championship side Toulouse but he is still one to watch for Huddersfield. Rapira offers some real steel down the middle for the visitors and the Red Devils forwards will need to watch him at all times.
Kopczak and Rapira offer up a great head-to-head in the forwards and if one is to get the upper hand early on it would be reasonable to assume that their side will find themselves on the front foot.
The meetings this season
Salford have two victories over the Giants this season earning their first win of the season against Huddersfield back in February before overcoming them once again in early July.
Gareth O’Brien notched a 22-point haul including two tries and seven conversions to help the Red Devils to a 30-20 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium. Junior Sa’u and Josh Jones were also on the scoresheet while Jermaine McGillvary, Ukuma Ta’ai and Alex Mellor scored the Giants tries.
The Red Devils won in convincing fashion last time the sides met at the AJ Bell Stadium. Leroy Cudjoe did put the visitors ahead but Junior Sa’u, Robert Lui and Kris Welham gave Salford a lead. Aaron Murphy looked to have gotten Huddersfield back into it but a second from Sa’u before Greg Johnson and Ben Murdoch-Masila crossed confirmed victory. Kruise Leeming and Darnell McIntosh both crossed late on to reduce the arrears.
The Squads
Red Devils: Bibby, Brining, Evalds, Hauraki, Johnson, Jones, Kopczak, Krasniqi, Lannon, Lui, McCarthy, Murdoch-Masila, O’Brien, Sa’u, Tomkins, Vatuvei, A. Walne, J. Walne, Welham.
Giants: Brough, Clough, Ferguson, Gaskell, Hinchcliffe, Ikahihifo, Lawrence, Leeming, McGillvary, Mellor, McIntosh, O’Brien, Rankin, Rapira, Roberts, Smith, Ta’ai, Turner, Wakeman.

Flashback: Salford Red Devils 21-20 Huddersfield Giants

Ahead of this weekend’s Super 8s clash with Huddersfield we look back to a memorable yet narrow victory for the Red Devils over the Giants back in 2013.
Salford went into the game bottom of the pile in Super League however caretaker coach Alan Hunte managed to mastermind an upset against a Huddersfield side who’d started the season well.
The Red Devils managed to race into a 14-6 lead in the first-half. Shaun Lunt opened the scoring but on-loan debutant Lee Gaskell raced 40 metres to put the hosts ahead before Jodie Broughton and Ashley Gibson extended Salford’s lead.
Jermaine McGillvary went over just before the break to reduce the arrears however Hunte’s men regained their lead after the interval as Jordan James forced his way over.
The Giants notched back-to-back tries in quick succession through, then Giant, Craig Kopczak and Danny Brough to draw the scores level at 20-20 going into the closing stages. Brough did have the chance to put Huddersfield ahead but his conversion came back off the post.
However, Red Devils full-back Marc Sneyd stepped up and managed to kick a one-pointer to secure a victory for Salford and helped them earn just their second win of the season.
Despite the impressive result it would be one of just six victories for the Red Devils in the 2013 Super League season while the Giants would go on to win their first ever Super League League Leaders’ Shield.
The team that day: Sneyd, Murphy, Gibson, Gaskell, Broughton; Fages, Foran; Griffin, Godwin, Neal, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild. Interchanges: James, Boyle, Owen, Nero.

Ian Watson names 19-man squad for the visit of Huddersfield

Ian Watson has confirmed his 19-man squad ahead of Saturday’s Super 8s clash with Huddersfield Giants at the AJ Bell Stadium.
There’s two changes to last weekend’s squad as Niall Evalds returns to the side in place of Todd Carney.
Ben Murdoch-Masila, who did end up playing last weekend, returns to the 19-man squad while prop-forward George Griffin is left out.
Olsi Krasniqi, who confirmed he will leave the Red Devils at the end of the season earlier in the week, is also named. Craig Kopczak is set to face his old club on Saturday afternoon.

Salford Red Devils 18-43 Wakefield Trinity

The Red Devils fell to the defeat against Wakefield Trinity for the third time in the league this season, suffering a 18-43 loss.
Ian Watson’s side took an early lead but found themselves behind at half-time and a slow start to the second half left the Red Devils with too much to do in the latter stages.
Centre duo Kris Welham and Junior Sa’u returned for Salford while Ben Murdoch-Masila was re-introduced after picking up a rib injury against Castleford. Tyler Randall debuted for Trinity with Joe Arundal returning to the side, also.
Salford had started well when Craig Kopczak powered his way over from close-range to open the scoring. Todd Carney followed up with the boot and the Red Devils looked to be on their way however it wasn’t to be.
Wakefield hit back as Jacob Miller was quickest to react to his low kick which took several deflections. The returning Arundal then put Trinity ahead midway through the first half. Finn converted both.
But, Salford managed to pull level as Greg Johnson muscled his way over out wide following some quick hands. However, the Red Devils found themselves back behind almost immediately as Miller again latched onto a kick after a mix-up at the back. Liam Finn converted before kicking two penalty goals before the break and one afterwards to open up a ten-point lead.
Chris Chester’s men were slowly pulling away and two tries in quick succession confirmed the outcome. Debutant Randall broke from the scrum and sliced through the Salford defence before Bill Tupou scored after several half-breaks and some off-the-cuff play from Trinity. Finn converted both.
Randall went on to join Miller as he grabbed a second as he again split the Red Devils defence from close-range. Tyrone McCarthy scored his first Super League try for Salford in the closing stages and it was some try as he spun, put through a neat grubber kick before collecting the ball himself and scoring. However, it was nothing more than a consolation for the Red Devils who face Huddersfield next up at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Red Devils: O’Brien, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Vatuvei; Lui, Carney; Kopczak, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, McCarthy. Interchanges: Jones, Griffin, Krasniqi, Brining.
Wakefield: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundal, Tupou; Miller, Finn; England, Tyler, Hirst, Ashurst, Kirkmond, Arona. Interchanges: Hadley, Fifita, Huby, Annakin.
Referee: Phil Bentham. Touch JudgesP Brooke & J Smith. Attendance: 2489.