Tag: Hull KR

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL KR

A markedly improved second half performance brought the Salford Red Devils close, but not quite close enough, to stealing the game from the resurgent Robins, who had dominated the first forty minutes.

A half-time analysis of the situation, and their performance to that point, though, was sufficient to galvanise the team together for an onslaught on their eighteen points deficit, which almost came off in paying the highest of dividends.

As has been said before, eighteen points is not an insurmountable lead, particularly with a full forty minutes in which to do so.  Starting the half, as they were doing, however, with only twelve players on the field – Ryan Lannon having been sin-binned for the second successive week just before half – was not the ideal way.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils made light of the handicap, after only two minutes, with slick passing from a scrum fifteen metres out from the Hull line, putting Ken Sio in at the corner.  With Sneyd’s conversion from out wide, they were on their way, and only a couple of scores behind.

A much more energised competitive lead was now being given by the pack who were suddenly making great inroads, and good metres, into the visitors’ defence.  The whole approach to their attack consequently appeared much more confident and assured, and out of the blue the Robins found themselves on the back foot.

When, eventually on fifty-five minutes, Shane Wright won the race to touch down Sneyd’s kick-in-goal it came as little surprise.  What was more of a surprise was that the angle proved somewhat awkward for Sneyd’s conversion attempt, and the deficit remained at two scores.

Sneyd certainly made up for the miss, five minutes later, with an interception from within his own twenty metre area, from which he set up Joe Burgess with a clear run to the line, and there was no mistake this time with the extra two points.

The problem was that Salford were still in arears.  It might have been by only two points, but those two points gave Hull the little bit of cushioning they needed to be able to slow the game down, steady themselves, and build pressure of their own, whilst the Reds, on the other hand, were still having to play ‘catch-up’ football.

The hammer blow, though, came ten minutes from the end, when full back, Ryan Brierley, repeated an error he had made towards the end of the first half, misjudging and then failing to take, a high kick from Jordan Abdul, which, on both occasions led to tries from the irrepressible Mikey Lewis.  The eight-point deficit now possibly appeared larger than it was, because the Yorkshiremen then controlled the game so well, and it was they who added further to their score with a late penalty goal.

The damage though, had been done in the first half, when the Red Devils were below par in their overall performance.  Hull certainly showed their intent and determination from the outset, while Salford were slow out of the trap, and made too many handling errors on attack, which promptly gifted the visitors additional possession and field position.

Even the defence which had been so commendable the week before, was well below the standard they had shown then, as was exemplified by the gap left for Storton to slip through for Hull’s second try.

Whether all of this was caused by the significant amount of energy they had had to expend at Huddersfield, and followed by a short turnaround, or attributable to some other reason, is unknown, but it was encouraging to witness the considerable upturn in their performance in that first thirty minutes of the second half, the quality of which will undoubtedly be beneficial in this coming Friday’s fixture with Leeds Rhinos.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: HUDDERSFIELD v SALFORD

It is a saying as old as the game itself, that the best way to prevent a team from scoring is to starve them of the ball, and it was this ploy that the Huddersfield Giants utilised to the full in yesterday’s encounter between two teams, which normally produce an encounter that keeps everyone on the edge of their seats.

Not on this occasion, however.  If you cannot secure your fair share of possession, as happened to the Red Devils, the opportunities of scoring dry up, and that fact is reflected in the final score.  What is also reflected is the abundance of opportunities the Giants had had, over the eighty minutes.

If you do not have possession, the only thing you can do is to tackle, and if there is one absolute positive to take out of this game, it was Salford’s defence, which was truly magnificent.  Thirty-four points is a lot to concede, but when they had had to undertake defending for around two thirds of the game, it could have been very much worse, because there is nothing more draining on your reserves of energy than tackling.

Probably far more significant than the home team’s final points’ tally were the times in the game at which Salford’s line was breached.  Despite the lengthy periods the Giants had spent on the attack in the first half, they had to retire to the dressing-rooms at the interval with only two scores, which had come on the tenth and thirty-first minutes, to show for all their efforts,.

Furthermore, of the six tries that they scored, half of that total came in the final quarter of the game, by which time the Red Devils had been sapped of so much energy from all the work they had been required to undertake throughout the previous hour. The one remaining score came on forty six minutes, when Salford were down to twelve men, Ryan Lannon having been sin-binned just before the interval.

Of all the heroic efforts to halt their opponents progress, perhaps the one which stands out was Ryan Brierley’s tremendous chase and cover tackle, just before half-time, on Germaine McGillvary, in full flight down his right wing, with the line at his mercy.  Brierley showed considerable pace and commitment to overhaul the winger, and then got his tackling technique spot on to halt the big man in his tracks.

There were, however, numerous acts of dedication to the cause from individuals throughout the match, which, without being as eye-catching, were of equal importance in limiting the Giants to a score in the low thirties.

The lack of possession, though, and the reasons for it, will undoubtedly be under scrutiny during this week, because, whilst Huddersfield had clearly mastered their tactics for achieving this, they were helped by some shortcomings of the Reds.

Most significant of these was the number of set-restarts they gave away and, so often, towards the end of a set. When a team gets almost two back-to-back sets, they are able to finish them well within close proximity to their opponents’ line, where they can then secure even further possession by forcing a goal-line drop-out, from a kick into the in-goal area.

It was noticeable that after the half-time talk the number of set-restarts conceded by the Red Devils diminished significantly, whilst Huddersfield’s one and only concession in this respect did not come until the seventy-seventh minute.

With the third of the Yorkshire trio ‘H’s, Hull KR, due to visit the A J Bell, on Friday evening, the players not only have a short turnaround, they have limited time in which to address issues from this game, but I am sure that every effort will be made to do so.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: HULL KR v SALFORD

Any hopes that the roasting which Warrington had administered, in the last outing for the Salford Red Devils, would prove to be the low point of their season, lasted for little more than the opening quarter of this week’s away fixture at Hull KR, after which those hopes wilted and were finally dashed by a Rovers side which soared in confidence as the game unfolded.

True, the Red Devils had the better of the opening exchanges, taking the lead after only five minutes thanks to Ken Sio latching onto Tui Lolohea’s most profitable end-of-set kick of the night, to score in the corner.  This was well deserved, coming, as it did, on the back of a period of sustained pressure on the Rovers’ line, and, although Sio was unable to convert his try, Salford were clearly the dominant team and continued to be so for the following ten minutes.

Indeed, everything they produced throughout that period had the hallmark of a team on its way to victory, dominating position and possession thanks in part to a number of favourable penalties, good kick-chases which pinned the home side in their own thirty metre area, and forcing Hull to have to drop out from between their own posts on one occasion.

Sadly, that all changed on sixteen minutes when a missed tackle caused Chris Atkin to have to chase back and halt Parcell’s progress with a magnificent try-saving tackle.  However. Salford’s number 18 then saw yellow after his ball steal on the Robins’ number 9 was deemed as a professional foul.

That was the point at which by far the majority of Super League sides, enraged by this turn of events, would have rolled up their sleeves, upped their own game, and taken their frustration and annoyance out on the opposition. However, it was KR who took back control of the arm wrestle and put two tries past Salford inside 25 minutes to take the lead.

Despite a third try being conceded before halftime, taking the score to 16-4 at the interval, the game was not totally beyond them, and supporters of any team would have expected their players to shake off the misfortunes of the first half, and begin the resumption afresh, in similar vein to how they had started the game.

To a certain extent Salford did endeavour to do so and managed to put a couple of attacks together, one of which produced the half’s only real threat to the home team’s line, when Sam Luckley charged through only to be brought to a halt just short of the line, as also was his attempted grounding of the ball.

Despite losing fullback Adam Quinlan for a dangerous kick, the hosts held on for ten minutes and celebrated their number one’s return with another three tries of their own on the scoreboard. Their confidence and prowess rose as Salford’s resistance faded, and the Robins continued to build on their lead right up to the final hooter.

Last time out, Warrington had looked virtually unstoppable, and despite the colossal score they racked up, much could be attributed to their immense skill and talent, that day.  That was far from the case, on Friday night, however, for Rovers had appeared most lacklustre in the earlier stages of the game and were there for the taking. Marshall’s men now look ahead to Round 10 against Huddersfield Giants as the perfect tonic for a response to recent defeats.

Ian Watson | “Making sure we build on certain parts of our game”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson knows it will be a difficult task in Perpignan against Catalans Dragons but is looking to see some continued improvement from his team.
“They’ve got to win to secure their place in the top eight which they’ll be desperate to do this weekend with it being a home game.
“Ours is about making sure we build on certain parts of our game that we’re looking for going into the 8s.
“There’s been things we’ve been really pleased with over the last five weeks – apart from the Hull KR game after the first twenty minutes – but there’s little building blocks we’ve put in place that we know we need to get good before we go into the 8s.”
Watch Ian Watson’s full pre-match interview below:
 

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.

Season Ticket holders to get discounted hospitality against Hull KR

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce a discounted rate for Salford Red Devils Season Ticket holders into hospitality for our game against Hull KR which will be hosted by Phoenix Nights legend – Archie Kelly. 
2018 Season Ticket holders can upgrade and book their place in hospitality for the fantastic price of £35 including VAT.
This offers 2018 Season Ticket holders access to our exclusive Platinum Club which will be hosted by Phoenix Nights star Archie Kelly.
Included in this fantastic offer is a complimentary match day programme and access to the Man of the Match presentation.
Non-Season Ticket holders can also get in on the action for just £55 including VAT.
To book please contact Fiona.Woods@SalfordRedDevils.net or ring 0161 786 1570.

Michael Dobson set to leave the Red Devils

Michael Dobson is set to leave the Salford Red Devils at the end of the 2017 season to return to Australia with his family.
Unfortunately, Dobson was not expected to play again this season due to needing an operation on a thumb injury sustained in the defeat against Wigan but this has now been confirmed as his last game for the Red Devils.
Dobson joined the Red Devils from Newcastle Knights back in 2015 and has helped Salford survive a Million Pound Game and guided the side to their first Challenge Cup semi-final for twenty years.
Dobson said: “I’ve been thinking about it for the last year and I’ve got a young family and it’s time to take the family home.
“I’ve been here for ten seasons now and we’re just ready to go back, settle down and take a step back from full-time rugby league and move onto the next phase.
“I’m going to play a little bit semi-professionally back in Australia and working within another club trying to get my foot in the door within the realm of coaching and development.
“I’ve loved it over here I’ve been here for ten years and, I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d be here this long but that’s probably why we’ve loved it so much.
“Obviously, I’ve loved the Salford Red Devils. We’ve had a hard three years but a good three years they’re a great bunch of lads and coaching staff here and the people who are involved with the club are great have been great, so it was a tough decision.
“Marwan’s ambition alongside the quality of players at the club was the reason I signed and since Ian Watson has come in everything’s really clicked and it’s made it hard to leave because of how close-knit we’ve become but, of course, family has to come first.”
Head Coach Ian Watson has coached Dobson for almost two years now and knows how important the Australian half-back has been to the Red Devils rise.
Ian Watson said: “Myself and Dobbo sat down in pre-season together to discuss the possibility of this being his last season due to him having a lovely young family, his wife Sally and two young boys, and he felt the time was right to take them back home.
“While we hoped Dobbo may change his mind his decision to take his family home is the right one for him but as a person, and a player, he will be greatly missed by both the coaching staff and the playing group here at Salford Red Devils.
“Dobbo is someone you can greatly rely on to commit 100% to the cause which is shown in the amount of respect he commands from the coaching staff and players. He has helped drive and install a fantastic work ethic within the team and club as captain.
“His attitude is one that doesn’t rely on his talents, which are obvious to see, but his desire and hard-working nature which rubs off on all the players around him. His professionalism and performances over the last couple of years for Salford have been a massive reason as to why we’ve progressed to being a top eight club.
“On a personal note, it’ll be sad to see Dobbo leave and I’d like to thank him as he has helped me massively as a young coach with the discussions and time we’ve spent together. I wish him and his family all the very best back in Australia and I’m sure we’ll see Dobbo be very successful in the future whether it be in a coaching position or any other ventures he wishes to pursue.”
Dobson points to the Challenge Cup semi-final as the highlight of his time with the Red Devils.
He said: “To make it to the Challenge Cup semi-final was really special. The day, the occasion and the atmosphere was unbelievable and it showed the potential the club has as a whole with the players, staff and fans combining to be successful.
“It makes it tougher for me knowing this club will be playing in the big games going forward but hopefully the fans get behind the boys every week because I certainly will be from home.”
Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash said: “Everyone would like to thank Michael Dobson for his commitment and effort to the Red Devils over the past three seasons. It has been fantastic to have someone as professional and talented as Michael in our side.”

Red Devils looking to continue impressive home record

The Red Devils are looking to get back to winning ways in their first game at the AJ Bell Stadium in over a month as they host league leaders Castleford Tigers in their second Super 8s fixture.
Salford’s last home game was against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday 9th June and Ian Watson’s men have since travelled to Castleford, Leigh, Hull and Warrington for the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final.
Salford have won 10 of their 14 games in all competitions at the AJ Bell Stadium this season. Ian Watson’s side also managed to string together a run of 8 successive victories on home soil between March and May.
A 24-14 victory over Warrington got the Red Devils off the mark at the AJ Bell Stadium before a narrow win against this weekend’s opponents Castleford Tigers, courtesy of a Gareth O’Brien drop-goal, followed.
Hard-fought defeats of St Helens and Leigh helped the Red Devils climb the Super League table as well as securing the AJ Bell as a fortress.
The Red Devils memorable Ladbrokes Challenge Cup run also began at the AJ Bell with a 29-22 victory over the world’s first trans-Atlantic professional sports team – Toronto Wolfpack. The Canadians did scare Salford for a while however the Red Devils proved too strong and progressed to round six.
Widnes were next to fall to Salford at home before the Red Devils welcomed the visit of Championship leaders Hull KR in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup. In similar fashion to Toronto’s visit, KR managed to cause the hosts problems in the early stages but again Ian Watson’s side prevailed.
Salford’s most emphatic home victory of the season followed as they ran riot in a destructive 50-12 win over Catalans with nine different players crossing for tries.
However, the Red Devils impressive home form slowed down towards the end of the season with back-to-back defeats against Hull FC and Wakefield but Salford avenged the Wakefield defeat 11 days later by knocking Trinity out of the Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage at the AJ Bell.
A 36-18 win over Huddersfield strengthened the Red Devils grasp on a top four spot but a defeat to Leeds meant they finished their home fixtures for the regular season with a loss. The Red Devils will be to turn their fortunes around on Friday night against Castleford and continue their push for a position at Old Trafford in October.
Fans are reminded tickets are still available for the upcoming Super 8s game against Castleford and can be purchased at the club’s ticket office, over the phone or online via the club website. Supporters are also reminded that season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.