Tag: Greg Johnson

Three talking points | Salford Red Devils 32-16 Catalans Dragons

Following yesterday’s impressive 32-16 victory over Catalans Dragons in the opening fixture of the Easter weekend we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Physicality
There will be some sore bodies this morning after that bruising encounter with the Catalans Dragons.
Yesterday afternoon’s game saw both sets of forwards really throw themselves about with the likes of Luke Burgess, Lee Mossop and Craig Kopczak standing strong in the middle.
Club Captain Weller Hauraki and Lama Tasi put on a show reel of big hits while Ben Nakubuwai continued to impress following his move to the AJ Bell Stadium. The game did get heated in spells, but Salford managed this better and came out on top.
Salford’s threat from deep
The Red Devils crossed for five tries and there were some very stylish and impressive scores from Ian Watson’s men.
Greg Johnson’s try saw a line break from Mark Flanagan who find fellow forward Ben Nakubuwai, the move would continue through the hands of half-back duo Josh Wood and Rob Lui before Johnson rounded off a fantastic try.
This ability to break from the middle of the field was on display again for Josh Jones’ first try of the season when Flanagan again found a gap before Lui and Niall Evalds linked up to put the second-rower over.
Home and Good Friday fortunes
Salford’s impressive run of form in Good Friday fixtures continued with five wins from their last six outings in the opening fixture of the Easter weekend.
Yesterday’s victory also saw the Red Devils extend their run of home victories in 2018 to three on the bounce with wins over Hull KR, Hull FC and now the Catalans Dragons.
The Red Devils will be hoping the AJ Bell Stadium continues to be a fortress in the coming weeks starting with Warrington Wolves next Saturday, 3:15pm kick-off.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 32-16 Catalans Dragons

Salford Red Devils returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion after cruising to a crucial 32-16 victory over Catalans Dragons in a feisty Betfred Super League encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium on Good Friday.
Tries from Jake Bibby, Niall Evalds, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones and Kris Welham along with six goals from Robert Lui ensured The Red Devils bounced back from their defeat at Widnes to earn a crucial two points in what was a clinical display.
After the disappointment of last Thursday’s loss to the Vikings, it was clear from the off that Salford were intent on immediately bouncing back to make a statement versus the Dragons this time around.
Salford opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Robert Lui’s fizzing pass allowed Niall Evalds to break through the Catalans backline before cooly finding Jake Bibby who produced an emphatic finish in the right-hand corner, Lui added the extras to give Salford a six point lead.
Evalds soon turned from provider to scorer – Lee Mossop found Lui who broke clear of the Catalans line before playing the ball to the onrushing Evalds who had the simple task of crossing over, Lui again kicked the resulting goal.
Salford were temporarily reduced to twelve men as Weller Hauraki was sent to the sin-bin midway through the half for a dangerous tackle, however The Red Devils immediately forced a Catalans error as Lama Tasi powered through an opponent which ultimately resulted in a knock-on.
However, the visitors responded well and clawed their way back into the contest when Tony Gigot spotted a huge gap behind the Salford line and produced a looping kick which enabled Fouad Yaha to touch down in the corner, but Gigot was unable to land the subsequent conversion.
The first score of the second period arrived in the 51st minute when Greg Johnson finished off a free-flowing move after a good break by Mark Flanagan, followed by some quick hands from Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood and Lui –  half-back Lui then kicked the resulting to extend Salford’s lead to fourteen points.
Salford were almost over again minutes later when Lui bypassed several tackle attempts before sprinting 30m and offloading to the onrushing Evalds who quickly found Wood, but the half-back was stopped in his tracks just when a try looked a certainty.
Despite a good spell of pressure from the hosts, Catalans fought back yet again and claimed arguably the best try of the tie when Yaha intercepted Logan Tomkins’ cross-field pass before racing 90m to cross over for his second, Gigot then added the extras to reduce the deficit to eight points.
The Red Devils extended their lead by a further two points through a penalty, Lui opted to kick at goal and successfully converted to take Salford up to the twenty point mark.
Lui’s penalty appeared to spur Salford on, Evalds deceived the Dragons backline with an excellent step before some slick passing from Lui and Flanagan allowed Josh Jones to dive over under the sticks and claim his first try of the season – Lui converted the resulting goal.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Salford weren’t finished there – this time Kris Welham fought off the defensive efforts of three Catalans defenders before powering over the line, Lui added the extras in what was an excellent conversion attempt.
Despite being second best for the majority of the fixture, Catalans produced a valiant effort and claimed a late consolation when Greg Bird dived over from close range late on, Gigot added the extras but Ian Watson’s men hung on to claim a crucial two points.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby, Lui, Wood, Mossop, Tomkins, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan
Interchanges: Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tasi, Burgess
Catalans Lineup: Tierney, Broughton, Mead, Williame, Yaha , Gigot, Langi, Casty, McIlorum, Moa, Bird, Garcia, Baitieri
Interchanges: Aiton, Bousquet, Simon, Jullien
Salford Scorers: Tries- Bibby (8’), Evalds (10’), Johnson (51’), Jones (68’), Welham (73’)
Goals- Lui (9’, 11’, 52’, 66’, 69’, 74’)
Catalans Scorers: Tries- Yaha (26’, 59), Bird (78’)
Goals- Gigot (60’, 79’)
Man of the Match: Josh Wood
Referee: Gareth Hewer
Touch Judges: G. Jones & A. Smith
Attendance: 2,328 

Factfile | Widnes Vikings vs Salford Red Devils | Thursday 22nd March

Ahead of tonight’s Betfred Super League clash against Widnes Viking we take a quick look over the facts behind the fixture.
Head-to-head
Salford have enjoyed some sustained success against the Vikings over recent seasons and head into tonight’s fixture on the back of a six-game winning streak against Widnes.
This winning run has included victories in each of their last three trips to the Select Security Stadium with the most recent being a dominant 10-46 victory in the Betfred Super League, almost a year ago to the day.
In fact, the Red Devils have won eight of their last ten meetings with Widnes with one of these victories coming at St James’ Park, Newcastle in the 2016 Magic Weekend. Salford have also managed to keep Widnes scoreless in the first half of both of their last two meetings.
Overall, in the Betfred Super League, Salford have won 15 of the meetings, Widnes have won 9 and there is yet to be a draw between the sides in the Betfred Super League.
Try-scoring
Greg Johnson made a try-scoring return to the Salford side in last weekend’s 24-8 victory over Hull FC and he has a solid record against the Vikings.
Johnson crossed in the last meeting between the sides back in April 2017 as the Red Devils won 30-10 at the AJ Bell Stadium. The winger also scored a month earlier in the Salford’s convincing 10-46 win over Widnes at the Select Security Stadium.
Johnson’s run has seen him score three tries in his last five appearances against Widnes while over a handful of Red Devils have crossed in recent meetings between the teams.
The 46-10 victory saw nine different Red Devils cross the line meaning nine of the current squad have scored against the Vikings in recent seasons – Jake Bibby, Niall Evalds, Greg Johnson, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi, Robert Lui, George Griffin, Josh Jones and Mark Flanagan.

Stat Pack | Salford Red Devils 24-8 Hull FC

Following the Red Devils 24-8 victory over Hull FC in the Betfred Super League we delve into the stats from Friday night’s clash.
Greg Johnson
Each week we’ll focus on one Red Devils stats from the game and this week’s player in focus is winger Greg Johnson.
Johnson, who returned to the side last weekend against Castleford Tigers, was Salford’s top metre-maker against Hull FC on Friday night amassing an impressive total of 116 metres over 16 carries. The winger also made the most breaks for the hosts with two.
The wingers work bringing the ball out from the Red Devils own half was instrumental and this is how Johnson broke from deep in the lead-up to Jack Littlejohn’s try. It was in this sequence that Johnson made his only offload of the game, but it was a crucial one as it saw Salford extend their lead further.
Hull FC struggled to break Salford down and Johnson made seven successful tackles on his flank preventing the Airlie Birds from scoring down the left-hand side.
Club Captain leads from the front
Club Captain Weller Hauraki led from the front this weekend when it came to defensive efforts has he racked up 34 successful tackles – five more than any other Red Devil. Hauraki also averaged nine metres with each carry against the Hull defence.
Mark Flanagan, Tyrone McCarthy, Lee Mossop, Logan Tomkins and Craig Kopczak were all in the thick of it with each making 25+ tackles in Friday night’s victory.
Assists
Junior Sa’u was the front runner when it came to assists this weekend as he played a vital role in both Jack Littlejohn and Greg Johnson’s tries.
The centres support play along with a well-timed pass to the Australian half-back helped Salford extend their lead at a key stage in the match before a pass wide allowed Johnson to round off the victory in the closing stages.
Tyrone McCarthy also got a neat try-assist in the first half as he somehow pulled off a brilliant offload to find Ben Nakubuwai who crossed for his first Salford try.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 24-8 Hull FC

Salford Red Devils produced a stunning all-round team performance to cruise past Hull FC 24-8 in a hard-fought contest at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Maiden tries from Ben Nakubuwai and Jack Littlejohn along with further efforts from Robert Lui and Greg Johnson ensured The Red Devils ran out deserved winners and earned their first Betfred Super League victory since last month’s 36-18 triumph over Hull’s cross-city rivals Hull KR.
The Red Devils made a bright start to the contest and opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, Salford earned an early penalty and opted to take the two – Robert Lui successfully converted the resulting goal.
However, Hull responded well and crossed over less than ten minutes later when Dean Hadley latched onto Jake Connor’s low kick before touching down, Marc Sneyd added the extras.
The visitors were awarded a controversial penalty after Lama Tasi’s challenge was deemed late by referee Scott Mikalauskas – former Red Devil Sneyd successfully landed the goal to extend The Airlie Birds’ lead to six points.
Salford dug in and found themselves level minutes later – first Tyrone McCarthy offloaded to the onrushing Ben Nakubuwai who dived over for his first Salford try, before Lui added the extras to leave the scores tied at 8-8.
Nakubuwai’s score seemed to spur The Red Devils on as they took the lead for the first time in the tie just two minutes later – Salford earned another penalty and for the second occasion Lui opted to kick at goal, before successfully added the extras.
Salford extended their lead midway through the half when Greg Johnson broke away from the FC backline before offloading to Junior Sa’u who’s quick hands forged an opening for Jack Littlejohn to sprint 20m and dive over to claim his first try for the club, However Lui’s goal attempt was unsuccessful as the ball landed narrowly wide.
The hosts dominated throughout the second period and found themselves in again, Lui produced an eye-catching dummy which caught the entire Hull backline off guard – thus providing the half-back with enough space to touch down in the corner, Lui successfully added the extras to take Salford up to the 20 point mark.
Ian Watson’s side were thriving by this point and crossed over again two minutes later, the ever present Sa’u superbly offloaded to Johnson who produced an astonishing finish in the left-hand corner to claim his first score of the evening and cap off a fine all-round Salford performance.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby, Lui, Littlejohn, Mossop, Tomkins, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan
Interchanges: Tasi, Nakubuwai, Wood, McCarthy
Hull FC Lineup: Shaul, Faramaio, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Washbrook, Green, Hadley, Minichello, Abdull
Interchanges: Matongo, Fash, Bowden, Lane
Salford Scorers: Tries- Nakubuwai (35’), Littlejohn (61’), Lui (72’), Johnson (74’)
Goals- Lui (6’, 36’, 38’, 73’)
Hull Scorers: Tries- Hadley (14’)
Goals- Sneyd (15’, 28’)
Man of the Match: Ben Nakubuwai
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Touch Judges: M. Craven,  J. Roberts
Attendance: 2,902

Flashback | Castleford Tigers 16-32 Salford Red Devils | Sunday 13th March 2016

Ahead of tomorrow’s Betfred Super League tie with Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle we take a look at the last time Salford earned victory at Castleford.
Salford managed to earn a comfortable 16-32 victory which marked their first win at Castleford since 2004.
On-loan winger Justin Carney was the difference between the sides on his return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle however he spent ten minutes in the bin in the early stages following an altercation with Nathan Massey.
Gareth O’Brien got the scoring underway converting a long-range penalty goal before Greg Johnson’s try extended the lead for Salford. However, Castleford did narrow the arrears to just two points before the interval with a score in the corner from Denny Solomona.
Josh Griffin would cross in spectacular fashion after half-time before Carney grabbed his first try of the afternoon to put Salford in command.
The Tigers hit back as Solomona notched two tries in quick succession. His first coming from a break from Paul McShane before squeezing over in the corner to round off his hat-trick.
But, any hope Castleford had off completing a comeback was soon diminished as Griffin scored his second of the afternoon. Carney also scored a double in the dying stages latched onto a long kick to add insult to injury for The Tigers.
Following the game Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said: “We haven’t seen the game out over the last few weeks so it’s pleasing to come to Castleford and get such a massive result. They’re a good team.”
The teams that day:
Castleford Tigers: Dorn, Monaghan, Crooks, Webster, Solomona; Hampshire, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Jewitt, McMeeken, Cook, Massey. Interchanges: McShane, Boyle, Springer, Maher. 
Salford Red Devils: O’Brien, Carney, Sa’u, J. Griffin, Johnson; Lui, Dobson; Kopczak, Lee, G. Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Lannon. Interchanges: Flanagan, A. Walne, Tomkins, Joseph.

Match Preview | Salford Red Devils vs Hull Kingston Rovers | Friday 23rd February

Ian Watson’s Salford Red Devils host newly-promoted Hull Kingston Rovers this evening in their third Betfred Super League tie of the 2018 season and are looking to get off the mark this year.
Match Preview
Salford Red Devils are built up quite the rivalry with Hull Kingston Rovers in recent seasons with Ian Watson’s side relegating the Robins in a dramatic 2016 Million Pound Game which was resolved following a mammoth Gareth O’Brien drop-goal in extra-time golden point.
Form
It may be difficult to use the word ‘form’ just a few weeks into the 2018 season but Hull Kingston Rovers do come into this weekend on the back of a comfortable victory over Catalans Dragons last week.
Tim Sheen’s side also put in a very impressive performance a fortnight ago narrowly losing against 2017 Super League winners Leeds Rhinos at Elland Road.
Salford head into tonight’s game looking for their first victory of the 2018 Betfred Super League season. However, the Red Devils were unlucky not to come away from Wakefield’s Mobile Rocket Stadium two weeks ago with at least a point.
The Red Devils outscored Trinity but, in the end, a Liam Finn penalty goal was the difference between the sides. Despite being edged out a fortnight ago Ian Watson’s men will head into tonight’s game fill of confidence.
Previous Meetings
Salford and Hull KR have become regular opponents in recent seasons – even playing each other last season despite the Robins being in the Betfred Championship. Salford came back from 0-14 down to win 24-14 in a match you can read about here.
In fact, Salford are now on a two-game winning run against KR including that dramatic Million Pound Game which maintained the Red Devils Betfred Super League status.
Salford have won seven games against Hull Kingston Rovers in the Betfred Super League while KR have won ten. There has been the solitary draw between the sides.
Head-to-head
In this week’s head-to-head we take a look at the prop-forwards in Lee Mossop and Mose Masoe.
Mossop, who was named team captain prior to the season, was extremely impressive a fortnight ago against Wakefield and is looking to make his mark on the Betfred Super League this season after an injury-hit 2017.
As for Masoe, the man is a powerhouse who will cause issues for any side down the middle with his sheer size alone. However, if Salford can deal with him in a similar fashion to Pauli Pauli and David Fifita they should have no issues.
Team News
Mark Flanagan and Greg Johnson come into Salford’s match day squad while George Griffin and Greg Johnson drop out.
Danny McGuire is the biggest absentee from Tim Sheens’ match day squad. Chris Clarkson and Will Oakes also miss out.
Andrew Heffernan, Nick Scruton and James Greenwood come into the Robins 19-man squad.
Salford: O’Brien, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Evalds; Lui, Littlejohn; Kopczak, Tomkins, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan, Tasi, Burgess, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Mossop.
Hull KR: Quinlan, Minns, Heffernan, Shaw, Scruton, Lunt, Masoe, Blair, Greenwood, Kavanagh, Jewitt, Lee, Marsh, Mulhern, Salter, Atkin, Walne, Tickle, Carney.

Ian Watson names 19-man squad for visit of Hull KR

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has made just two changes to his 19-man squad to face Hull Kingston Rovers in Round Three of the Betfred Super League.
Mark Flanagan and Greg Johnson come into the squad for George Griffin and Derrell Olpherts.
Ben Nakubuwai retains his place in the squad following an impressive debut at Wakefield Trinity a fortnight ago. Logan Tomkins is also named after returning from injury against Trinity.
Here is the squad in full:

Match Preview | Wakefield Trinity vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 9th February

Ian Watson’s Salford Red Devils travel to the Mobile Rocket Stadium to face Wakefield Trinity in their opening Betfred Super League away game of the 2018 season and will be looking for their first competitive victory of the year.
Match Preview
Last season both Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity were two of the surprise packages. Both sides managed to earn their places in the Super League Super 8s with The Red Devils earning their highest-ever Super League regular season finish.
While Salford started the season stronger, Wakefield finished the season in fine form and almost really upset the apple cart by earning a Super League semi-final spot but were just edged out by St Helens.
Both sides have strengthened in pre-season bringing in big names and will be looking to build on their positive campaigns last year. Salford are looking for their first win of the 2018 Super League season while Wakefield will want to make it back-to-back victories in front of their home crowd.
Last Time Out
The Red Devils didn’t have the perfect start to the 2018 season suffering a 12-40 defeat at the hands of Wigan Warriors. Kris Welham crossed early for Salford to open the scoring but unanswered tries from Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart (2), Morgan Escare, Liam Marshall (2) and Tony Clubb sealed victory for the visitors. Niall Evalds grabbed a late try for Salford.
As for Wakefield, they carried on where they left off last season defeating Betfred Super League newboys Hull Kingston Rovers. Tom Johnstone was pivotal crossing for a hat-trick while Bill Tupou, Liam Finn and debutant Ryan Hampshire all scored for Chris Chester’s men. Hull KR managed just a solitary try through Chris Clarkson after the break.
Previous Meetings
Salford overcame Wakefield in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final last season but lost the other three meetings against Trinity in the Super League and Super 8s.
However, the arrears are even in the last ten meetings between the sides with The Red Devils winning on five occasions and Wakefield similarly. Salford’s last victory at Trinity came in 2015 thanks to a Harrison Hansen double – more details in this week’s factfile here.
In this week’s flashback we took a trip down memory lane to a memorable 32-6 win over Wakefield in 2011 which you can read here.
Head-to-Head
This week’s head-to-head sees us pit two young wingers against each other in Salford’s Jake Bibby and Wakefield’s Tom Johnstone. Both have broken into their respective teams in recent seasons and offer serious threats on the flank for both sides.
Bibby has really consolidated a regular first team spot in The Red Devils side and with Manu Vatuvei looking to be out for the season this really could his breakout season. As for Johnstone, he grabbed a hat-trick in Trinity’s opening game of the season against Hull Kingston Rovers and is looking to continue where he left off before his injury.
Whichever winger can keep the other one quietest this evening could well see their side come out on top.
Team News 
Greg Johnson and Mark Flanagan are the two people who leave the Salford squad this weekend with Ben Nakubuwai and Logan Tomkins coming into the 19-man squad. Tomkins has recovered from a small knock which saw him miss last weekend’s game against hometown Club Wigan Warriors.
Craig Huby is set to make his first appearance for Wakefield since returning from an injury which saw him miss the backend of last season. Pauli Pauli, Ryan Hampshire and Justin Horo could all be set to make their home debut for Trinity.
Squads
Wakefield: Arona, Ashurst, Caton-Brown, England, Fifita, Finn, Grix, Hampshire, Hirst, Horo, Huby, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Kirkmond, Lyne, Miller, Pauli, Tupou, Wood.
Salford: O’Brien, Welham, Sa’u, Evalds, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Jones, Hauraki, Tasi, Burgess, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby.

Factfile | Wakefield Trinity vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 9th February

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.
Head-to-Head
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.
Scorers
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.