Tag: Greg Johnson

Ian Watson names his squad for pre-season friendly at Warrington

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has named his squad for the upcoming pre-season friendly against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.
 Luke Burgess is set to play his first game back in the red of Salford after missing the 50-12 victory over Swinton Lions last weekend with a minor knock.
Kriss Brining, who was named in last week’s squad but didn’t feature, will miss the game this weekend as a precaution. Ryan Lannon will also miss the game as he serves the second match of a three-game suspension.
Robert Lui is set to start the game alongside Gareth O’Brien in the halves while Jack Littlejohn moves down to the bench. Derrell Olpherts and Manu Vatuvei will start on the wings in place of Greg Johnson and Jake Bibby with the latter moving into the centres.
Watson has picked the same five-man forward pack as he did for last week’s comfortable victory over Swinton however fully expect all 25 men named in the squad to feature at some point.
Here is the squad in full:

Salford Red Devils 50-12 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils opened their pre-season campaign with a victory after overhauling local rivals Swinton Lions 50-12 in a competitive friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Two tries from Derrell Olpherts  alongside scores from Greg Johnson, Kris Welham, Gareth O’Brien, Tyrone McCarthy, Niall Evalds and Rob Lui ensured The Red Devils kicked off 2018 with a merciless display.
After a slow start to the contest, Greg Johnson opened the scoring after ten minutes after some quick hands from Jack Littlejohn and Kris Welham allowed the winger to touch down to claim Salford’s first try of 2018. Occupying a new role in the halves, Gareth O’Brien made no mistake in adding the extras to give Salford a 6-0 lead.
The opening seemed to have instilled a sense of momentum in the Salford camp as The Red Devils swiftly extended their lead through Tyrone McCarthy just seven minutes later. A quick pass from Lama Tasi enabled the Irish international to open his account for the year. Gareth O’Brien kicked the conversion to extend the hosts lead.
Just four minutes later Kris Welham capitalised on a gap in the Swinton defence to claim a fine individual effort. Although, on this occasion O’Brien was unable to kick the conversion, slicing the ball wide.
It was a tough opening period for the visitors, The Lions struggled to gain any distance in their attack due to the resilient Salford defence. Josh Wood skipped from hooker and broke down field before finding the onrushing Niall Evalds whose momentum carried him over the try line soon after.
The visitors did get onto the scoreboard as Hayden Hansen scored his first try for the club.  Chris Hankinson confidently added the conversion in what was the final point scoring action of the half.
Salford made the perfect start to the second period when just three minutes into the half O’Brien threw a neat dummy to deceive the entire Swinton back-line before racing 30m to cross over. He then kicked the resulting goal.
The hosts were ruthless throughout and extended their lead shortly afterwards as debutant Derrell Olpherts scored his first try for the club after linking up well with Evalds. Despite the spirited efforts of a committed Swinton defence the lively Olpherts claimed his second try of the game after O’Brien picked the centre out with a looping pass.
Swinton were finally rewarded for their efforts when Chris Hankinson broke clear with eight minutes remaining to add a second try to the Lions account. With a number of minor injuries reducing their squad size, Stuart Littler’s side gave a good account of themselves although Salford proved too much to handle as Rob Lui scored two minutes from time.
However, Salford were not finished there. This time Gavin Bennion broke through a deflated Lions line to score his maiden try for The Red Devils. O’Brien kicked his seventh goal of the contest the complete the scoring.
The squad’s focus now switches to next Saturday’s pre-season friendly at nearby Warrington and after the dominant display versus Swinton, Ian Watson will be confident his side can build some momentum at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, O’Brien, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Jones, Hauraki, McCarthy  Interchanges: Lui, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Nakubuwai, Vatuvei, Olpherts, Nzoungou, Murray, Bennion 
Swinton Lineup: Fell, Webb, Hankinson, Tyson, Butt, J Hansen, Bracek, Waterworth, Austin, Lloyd, Sarsfield, Worrall  Interchanges: H Hansen, Taylor, Caine, Hall, Djaout
Salford Scorers: Tries – Johnson (10), McCarthy (17), Welham (21), Evalds (25), O’Brien (43), Olpherts (49, 65) Lui (78), Bennion (79)
Goals- O’Brien (7)
Swinton Scorers: Tries- H Hansen (34), Hankinson (72)
Goals- Hankinson (2)
Man of the Match: Jack Littlejohn
Referee: M Griffiths
Touch Judges: A Smith, S Houghton
Attendance: 2,036
 
By Ryan Booth.

Ian Watson names his 19-man squad for the visit of St Helens

Ian Watson has made just one change to his 19-man squad for this weekend’s visit of St Helens in the Red Devils final game of the 2017 season.
George Griffin drops from the squad after picking up a knock in last Friday’s defeat to Leeds Rhinos. Josh Wood comes into the 19-man squad for Thursday night’s game.
Wood was included in the match day squad last weekend after Kris Welham had to pull out with a toe injury however the centre returns this weekend.
Michael Dobson, Olsi Krasniqi and Todd Carney, who are all set to depart the club at the end of the season, aren’t included in the 19-man squad.
Lama Tasi, Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Greg Johnson all remained sidelined.
 
Tickets are on sale for our final home game of the season against St Helens and can be purchased over the phone, at the Club Ticket Office or online here. Fans can also watch our end of season awards for an extra £5 in the 1873 suite post-game. Season Tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.

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.

Ian Watson confirms 19-man squad for trip to Leeds

Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for the Red Devils trip to Headingley to take on Leeds Rhinos on Friday night.
George Griffin returns to the 19-man squad after suffering from a knock sustained last week. Daniel Murray also enters the fray after not featuring since the defeat to Castleford in early August. Olsi Krasniqi is left out of the squad for Friday night’s game.
Greg Johnson was named in last week’s squad but had to pull out through with a hip injury late in the week which means he drops from this week’s 19-man squad. Jake Bibby is likely to start on the wing again after scoring a try last weekend against Huddersfield.
Gareth O’Brien moved into the halves last week and looks to be set to partner Robert Lui again with both Michael Dobson and Todd Carney absent from the 19-man squad.
Tickets are also available for our final home game of the 2017 season against St Helens on Thursday 21st September and are available over the phone, at the club ticket office and online here. Season ticket holders are reminded that their season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games but are encouraged to look at our hospitality deal for season ticket holders against Saints.

Ian Watson – "Happy to get that win under our belts"

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson was delighted with his sides dominant victory over Huddersfield and feels ‘the boys did themselves proud’.
Watson said: “We’re a good team and this period has been real tough for us and we’re happy to get that win under our belts.
“We’ve not been as good at sticking to our game plan as we were today for a while.
“The intensity with which we started the game I thought won us the energy battle with the likes of Sebastine Ikahihifo and Ukuma Ta’ai.
“They were under the pump early doors and that came to show as they came off pretty early whereas they normally do big minutes – we won that energy battle.
“The big one for us was when we conceded the try and then we pushed them in touch after the next set. That’s the sort of resilience we’ve been talking about in defence and we’ve not had that for a few weeks.”
The Red Devils ran in nine tries in a magnificent attacking display and Watson hailed his right-hand edge as well as Gareth O’Brien who started at half-back.
“We spoke about it on our right edge and executing a few things I didn’t expect us to do it so quickly after half-time though.
“Some of the young lads out there Jake Bibby and Ryan Lannon were fantastic. Young Jake was on that right-hand side and was a last-minute replacement for Greg Johnson.
“Gareth O’Brien was a smart half when he played for Warrington and I love him playing out the back with his ability but Niall Evalds has been good as well so it was well worth the risk moving Gaz into the halves.”

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.

Factfile: Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils

The Red Devils last visit to the DW Stadium yielded Salford’s first victory at Wigan in 20 years as Ian Watson’s men came away with a memorable 16-31 victory.
But, Salford have had a torrid time of it at Wigan in previous seasons. The Red Devils last victory, before this season’s triumph, came back in 1997 with a 14-21 victory with four Steve Blakeley goals and a Mark Lee drop-goal being the difference.
It isn’t just on the road against the Warriors where the Red Devils have struggled but with just 2 victories in their last 22 meetings with Wigan it’s fair to say Wigan are Salford’s bogey side. Unfortunately, Salford endured a 17-game losing streak against Wigan between 2006 and 2014.
Narrow defeats to the Warriors in 2016 and 2015 were an improvement on the Red Devils visits to the DW Stadium in earlier seasons. Salford conceded 38 points or more in five consecutive visits to the DW.
The Red Devils do have several former Warriors in the side with Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Logan Tomkins all having donned the Cherry and White of Wigan at some point.
Flanagan featured for the Warriors in 2009 before moving to NRL side Wests Tigers while Mossop and Tomkins had longer spells with Wigan. Tomkins spent four years with the Warriors with one being spent on loan with the Red Devils before the move was made permanent in 2016 while his brothers Sam and Joel still represent Wigan however only Sam is in this weekend’s matchday squad.
Mossop also joined Salford from Wigan however his move came at the start of this season. The former England international won both the Challenge Cup and Super League with the Warriors throughout two spells with the club spanning seven seasons which were split by a year in Australia with the Parramatta Eels.
Wigan and Salford have met on three occasion this season with Wigan winning twice and the Red Devils earning one victory. Both sides picked up wins on the oppositions patch before Wigan knocked off the Red Devils at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in last month’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final.
Greg Johnson has scored in two of the three meetings this season for Ian Watson’s side while Niall Evalds grabbed a brace in the visit to the DW earlier in the season. However, it is Oliver Gildart who has dominated this fixture in 2017 scoring four tries against the Red Devils this season.
Fans can still purchase tickets for Friday night’s game against Wigan at the DW Stadium. Supporters are also reminded that they can now buy tickets for all of the Red Devils home Super 8s games against Wakefield, Huddersfield and St Helens. Season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.

Flashback: Wigan Warriors 16-31 Salford Red Devils

Ahead of Friday’s Super 8s trip to Challenge Cup finalists Wigan Warriors we look at the Red Devils previous visit to the DW Stadium this season.
Ian Watson’s side headed into the game having lost just one of their last eight games in all competitions but knowing they hadn’t picked up a win in Wigan since a 21-14 victory over the Warriors back in 1997.
Wigan came into the fixture on the back of three wins from their last four games however their most recent was a 54-4 hammering at the hands of early runaway league leaders Castleford.
The Red Devils managed to put an end to their retched 20-year winless run in Wigan by sealing a 16-31 win, which was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. Watson’s men warded off a late fightback from the Warriors to continue to climb the Super League table.
Kris Welham broke in the opening stages to get the Red Devils off to the perfect start. Niall Evalds crossed for his first of the evening as his decision to run the ball on the last tackle proved dividend and Ben Murdoch-Masila continued his trend of powering over from close-range moments later to send the visitors into the break with a 16-point lead.
Salford began the second half in identical fashion to the way they ended the first – in control. Full-back Evalds grabbed his second of the game as the full-back latched onto a low Michael Dobson kick before Greg Johnson rounded off a flowing Red Devils move.
However, Wigan wouldn’t lie down and back-to-back tries in quick succession courtesy of Liam Marshall and Ryan Sutton gave the hosts hope. Lewis Tierney found his way over shortly after to cut the arrears to just 12 points.
But, a late drop-goal and penalty goal from Gareth O’Brien confirmed a memorable victory for the Red Devils.
Salford team that day: Evalds, Johnson, Welham, Jones, Bibby; Dobson, Lui; A. Walne, Tomkins, Tasi, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, Krasniqi. Interchanges: Kopczak, Murray, Brining, O’Brien.