Tag: Ian Watson

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man squad for Wigan game

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for the visit of Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors on Sunday 24th March, 3pm kick-off.
Adam Lawton is named in the 19-man squad and could be in line to make his home debut. Adam Walker retains his place following an impressive debut at Castleford Tigers while Ed Chamberlain is looking for his first start of the season.
Tickets for our game against Wigan Warriors on Sunday 24th March are now available to purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.
Here is the squad in full:
 
 

Talking Points | Castleford Tigers 24-20 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils ran Castleford Tigers close at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and there was plenty to talk about from a thrilling Betfred Super League clash. 
We take a look at some of the key talking points.
Competing with the best
Following last month’s loss to St Helens, Head Coach Ian Watson pointed to positives and said his side would learn from playing and competing with the best on a regular basis and this is something they displayed this weekend at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Red Devils fought till the end against Castleford with a late Jake Bibby try almost being the catalyst for a late fightback. At one stage Salford found themselves 18-4 down but some determined and clever attacking play saw them score two tries in quick succession to close the gap further.

Ian Watson’s side went toe-to-toe with the team who have the best win percentage in the Betfred Super League in recent seasons and on another day could have very well come away from Castleford with two points.
While the result wasn’t quite what the Red Devils wanted, if they can maintain the level of performance, we have seen over the last month there is no reason Salford – as Ian Watson mentioned in his post-match presser – become contenders in 2019.
Adam Walker debuts 
After almost two years away from the field, Adam Walker made his long-awaited Rugby League return coinciding with his debut for Salford Red Devils. Walker was named amongst the interchanges and entered the field midway through the first half in place of Gil Dudson.
Walker immediately looked a threat with ball in hand causing a few issues for the Tigers defence with Paul McShane getting sent to the sin-bin after tackling the Red Devils forward. The former Hull Kingston Rovers, St Helens and Wakefield Trinity man looked to make an impact as well and will only improve with more game time.
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Head Coach Ian Watson said: “I thought he looked dangerously with ball in hand and defensively I thought there were a few times where he lounged in but that’s fatigue and taking that into contact. We’ll see how it pans out when he’s got match fitness. He will get better, and he’ll be a great addition for us.”
Lussick continues to impress 
Joey Lussick played a full eighty minutes against Castleford Tigers on Sunday afternoon and was a standout performer for the Red Devils helping guide Salford around the field and crossing for his fourth try of the season.
Lussick has developed into a real threat on the opposition line whether he gets the ball out to Rob Lui and Jackson Hastings at pace or whether he throws a dummy and ‘goes himself’. The Australian has scored in four games this season with three of his tries coming on the road against Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons and Castleford Tigers, respectively.


In addition, he was an absolute rock in defence making 45 tackles and often going head-to-head with Castleford’s star-man on the afternoon Paul McShane. Lussick’s ability to kick from hooker also offers another option alongside the Red Devils’ halfback pairing.
Lussick will be looking to carry his fine form into another huge Betfred Super League fixture this weekend as Salford welcome Wigan Warriors looking to return to winning ways at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Sin-bin and potential sin-bin 
Paul McShane was sent to the sin-bin in the first half for his involvement in an altercation between the two sides which also involved Adam Walker. Unfortunately, during this period the Red Devils didn’t manage to cross the line and capitalise on their man advantage. Paul McShane was central to everything Castleford produced in attack.

In the second half, Tigers centre Alex Foster was adjudged to have tackled Joey Lussick off the ball by referee Robert Hicks as Jackson Hastings looked to find the hooker on a half-break. While Salford were awarded a penalty, the decision was made not to sin-bin Foster.
However, when questioned about this decision, Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “This wasn’t the reason we lost the game.”

Ian Watson | “We have to believe we’re a good team”

Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased to see his sides display against Castleford Tigers while also feeling frustrated that they didn’t come away from the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with a victory.
He gave his thoughts on a number of subjects in the post-match press conference.
On the performance…
There were a few little errors and defensive lapses and I think they gave Castleford the win. The one thing I have said to the boys is that we have to believe we are a good team and we’re showing it now against Castleford away from home and against St Helens at home which was a game we learnt a lot from. We are quite a young team but we’ve got to believe that we can come to Castleford and win and I think we just didn’t start the game with that mentality as we put them on the front foot and they started playing like a top team does putting you under pressure and getting repeat sets which Paul McShane was central to. Once we got the game in the balance a little bit, we started to control that and got on the front foot and dictating field position as well. It’s our own fault we’ve lost the game.
On the difference between the sides…
They’ve been a top team for the last few years. We’re still quite a young team in many ways with our spine being quite young with Joey Lussick and Jackson Hastings in there. We just need to be a little bit more patient at times instead of chasing the game. Paul McShane did that really well, they started completing sets and earning repeat sets through goal line drop-outs. They persisted and sometimes you just have to deal with that and try and turn the tide, but I want to give massive credit to our players for competing. I do think that game will hit home with the lads to see they’re a good side coming to Castleford and almost winning the game.
On the start to the season…
Yeah, we’re happy with the start to the season but we want more – everybody always wants more. We all want to win every game we go into but I’m hoping the games we’ve played, and the performances and results can kick us on for the remainder of the season. We can show everyone what we’re about then and show that we’re a team that can be contenders. I think if we go about games the way we have in spells and piece that together we’ll be a strong team and we’ll trouble a few more this season.
On Adam Walker…
I thought he looked dangerously with ball in hand and defensively I thought there were a few times where he lounged in but that’s fatigue and taking that into contact. We’ll see how it pans out when he’s got match fitness. He will get better, and he’ll be a great addition for us.
On the result…
I think we’re really disappointed with the result because we know we’ve let an opportunity slip through our own little errors and misreads. I think we’re good enough to compete with these teams now, but we just need to believe that we are good enough on a regular basis, but we need to show that next week against Wigan Warriors when they come to the AJ Bell Stadium. I think we’ve had a tough month here with St Helens, then Catalans away and now Castleford away so we can’t wait to get back to the AJ Bell Stadium and show what we’ve learnt from the last three games.
On Jake Bibby’s performance…
Jake Bibby is a great kid and he’s had to wait for his opportunity to get into the team. He’s got the shirt at the moment if I’m honest as he’s doing fantastic in both attack and defence. We always knew defensively he was brilliant, and we’ve worked on the attacking side of his game – he’s been working closely with Martin Gleeson and spending a lot of time with him. He’s showing us what he’s learned over the last couple of years.
On a possible sin-bin offence by Alex Foster…
I thought so at the time but that’s not the reason we’ve lost the game. We need to be smarter in certain areas so I can’t use that as a reason as to why we weren’t victorious. It was definitely a good contest.
 
Tickets are available for Salford Red Devils next home game against Wigan Warriors at 3pm on Sunday 22nd April. You can buy tickets from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by buying online HERE. You will save money buying in advance!

Talking Points | Catalans Dragons 0-46 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils earned a huge 0-46 victory over Catalans Dragons to move up to 4th in the Betfred Super League and we take a look at some of the key talking points from the dominant display.

Blistering Bibby

Jake Bibby made his first appearance of the 2019 Betfred Super League season and what an appearance it was. Bibby – who has predominantly featured on the wing for Salford – was named at centre and put on a fantastic attacking display down the left-hand side.
The 23-year-old crossed for two tries and also notched two try-assists. Bibby finished breakaway tries either side of half-time firstly planting down a Jackson Hastings kick before taking an offload and linking up with the halfback again to score just one minute after the interval.


Bibby was a constant threat for the Red Devils on the left-hand side and got his hands free on a number of occasions to offload the ball. Two of his offloads led to tries firstly his flick to Niall Evalds who punted the ball down field with George Griffin eventually finishing the move before Bibby returned the favour to Hastings as he flicked the ball out to the Australian for him to find the try-line.
The centre’s inclusion came about due to an injury to Junior Sa’u who had been ever-present up until this weekend. Bibby’s performance has emphasised the strength in depth in Ian Watson’s squad particularly in the centres alongside Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u and Ed Chamberlain.

Dogged Defence

Throughout the 2019 season so far, Head Coach Ian Watson has continuously made it clear that defence will win Salford Red Devils games, and this is something they have been working hard on which has been evident in the opening weeks of the season.
Salford Red Devils nilled London Broncos in Round Two of the 2019 season and this was the first time they had kept a team scoreless in the Betfred Super League since 2006. They also went on to keep Hull Kingston Rovers scoreless in the second half of their recent meeting which allowed a memorable comeback at KCOM Craven Park.

That resilient defence continued this weekend as the Red Devils managed to keep Catalans to nil in a fantastic performance. In the second half, Catalans did earn a number of repeated sets on the Salford line, but Ian Watson’s men stood firm and denied the Dragons.
It is extremely difficult to keep a side scoreless particularly away from home. The Red Devils will no doubt take confidence from this and be looking to carry this dogged defence into next weekend’s fixture against Castleford Tigers.

Away Form

It may be too early in the season to start discussing ‘form’ however one thing that is clear is Salford Red Devils’ improvement on the road in the early stages of the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Last year, the Red Devils won just one away game in the Betfred Super League and they have already trebled that tally in 2019. They earned yet another away victory against Huddersfield before an impressive comeback win against Hull Kingston Rovers.
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However, a 0-46 win over Catalans in Perpignan is certainly the most impressive victory so far considering the Red Devils hadn’t come away from the south of France with two points for eight long years.
This form has been helped by some brilliant travelling support from the Red Devils faithful at Huddersfield Giants, Hull Kingston Rovers and Catalans Dragons. This is something Ian Watson eluded to in his post-match press conference at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Lawton Debuts 

Off-season signing Adam Lawton made his Betfred Super League bow for the Red Devils this weekend at Catalans coming off the interchange bench in the second half. Lawton had spent the last month on loan with Betfred Championship side Rochdale Hornets for whom he powered over for three tries.
While Lawton didn’t cross for a try, he immediately settled at the top level and didn’t put a foot wrong. Catalans had begun to apply a lot of pressure to the Salford line as Lawton entered the fray, but the former Widnes man stood strong and defended a number of goal line sets to help keep the Dragons out.

Lawton will be looking to push for a regular spot in the Salford side throughout the 2019 season and there is no question that the big man will cause issues for Betfred Super League defences with ball in hand.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday 17th March are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket and coach details, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 24th March and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For ticket prices, click HERE.

Ian Watson | “It’s our defence we take pride in”

Head Coach Ian Watson was delighted with his sides 0-46 victory over Catalans Dragons and discussed a range of pleasing aspects of the performance.

On the performance…

We felt we did a lot of positive stuff last week against St Helens. We did things that maybe the supporters don’t notice but players see in those big game and we knew coming to Catalans we’d have to be at that level of performance or above it so we kept the game plan really simple this week because we knew how good Catalans were but coming here and nilling Catalans is above what we thought we’d achieve here. The defence won the game. The way we kicked them into pockets and then we were really resilient at the back end and that won us the game. The attack is the icing on the cake for us but it’s our defence we take pride in.

On surprising people with the victory…

Every week we go in to play and I know the players and I believe we’ll beat everyone we play. It’s no surprise to me that we’ve won. We’ve got a good group but they’ve just got to grow and mature together in learning how to win the bigger games and the mentality we had against St Helens we had today as well, but we were better against Catalans. It shows we can beat teams by doing things right, but we’re used to people knocking us – it’s nothing new.

On the forward battle…

Our pack had a meeting the day before the game and said that if we were to win this game our pack needed to step up here. Lee Mossop – despite the latter not playing – led the way in that meeting, Mark Flanagan came back in and Gil Dudson has been a leader since he arrived, those guys stood up and made it clear they wanted to set a standard for the pack, and everyone has seen what they’re capable of. I thought Daniel Murray was outstanding and Ben Nakubuwai too. Adam Lawton must have come on and had to defend six goal line sets and that’s the tough part of the game and his attitude was not to be beaten there and that was the pleasing thing.

On Jake Bibby…

He was absolutely outstanding today. He’s been waiting for his chance and we’ve always had Junior Sa’u in there who always does a good job and is a leader for us. Bibby has had to be patient this season, but he’s took his chance today and put a bit of pressure in the centre positions. We’ve been waiting for Bibby to play because we sensed in pre-season, he was ready this year to step up and he’s shown a real good account of himself there.

On the halves…

I think Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui were very mature today. From the sideline you can hear them talking and Robbie was very mature in how he managed the game and he was talking to Jackson all the time, so he was helping him because we have to remember Jackson is only young and Robbie is the experienced half and he’s played outside Jonathan Thurston so he knows how to pass his maturity onto Jackson.

On preparing for Castleford…

We knew we were coming into a tough run of games but we’re confident as a group that we can perform, and we’ll be keeping our game plan really simple, so everybody knows their role. The lads deserve a lot of credit for this performance and should take the plaudits, but we’ll be back to work next week for Castleford.

On the attitude…

The pleasing stuff was when we defended a number of back-to-back sets and then went down the other end and the support play was still there. We did make an error, but our defensive line got straight back in position and that just shows your team is hungry and ready to work hard for each other.

On the travelling support…

We’ve spoken about the away fans all year and I think they’ve been outstanding at every game. You can’t knock them they were unbelievable singing the roof off the place. I know they love a good trip to Catalans, but this will be better for the result and they hope they enjoy their night.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday 17th March are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket and coach details, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 24th March and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For ticket prices, click HERE.

Ian Watson | “We want to attack straight from the beginning”

As Salford Red Devils head over to France to face Catalan Dragons on Saturday, Head Coach Ian Watson takes a positive mindset in the hope that his side can bring home two points.

On last weekend’s game against St Helens…

I thought there was loads of positives from playing the best team in the competition at the moment, who everyone’s tipped to win the Grand Final. We competed in large parts and for the first 20 minutes of the game we were really good – really good arm wrestle and we were finishing our sets well in that period.
They just maintained theirs a lot longer and continued to finish the sets really well in corners and upped the line speed defensively. They won the field position through the defence – I thought the defence was outstanding on the day.
For us, a lot of positives. We were a hell of a lot better defensively in the second half and started to dominate on the field position. We just needed to do it straight from the start of the game and have that mentality to stay in those arm wrestles with the top teams for longer.

On Salford’s defence…

It’s a big focus for us as a team and for the lads individually. They want to be known for the defence and they want to build a reputation on having good defence, especially on the back of the chase. Its where the teams win the field position on the back of the early tackles.
We’ve spoken about it this year and we know for four halves of football this year we’ve nilled teams which is a big plus for us as a team, where we’re saying that we really want to be represented in our defence.

On this week’s preparations…

We’ve had a great week after a few niggles after the Saints game, which you get after playing against some of the best teams because they’re tough games like that when they’re pretty much an arm wrestle mentality.
Theres a few players that we’ll assess as we go forward on through the week but the early parts of the sessions from Monday into today and Wednesday, we’ve had two great sessions so hopefully we can take that forward now.

On the squad…

We’ll take Adam Lawton with us this time, so he’ll be in the 20-squad that we take over with us. He’s been doing really well at Rochdale so he’ll put competition on our middles, as will Adam Walker.
With us knowing that he’s back the following week will put more pressure on the players to make sure they’re performing and doing their job because Adam’s a known quality middle so we’ll want to feature him as soon as we can once his bans over. It’s up to the boys to go out there and put their best performance out there so they maintain the place for the following week.

On Saturday’s game against Catalan Dragons…

Catalan are a tough team, it’s a tough place to go. Our records not great over there for the past couple of years so we want to go across there with a real positive mindset and attack that straight from the beginning. We want to do that in attack and in defence so we’re looking to go with a positive performance and try and get the win there this year, but we know it’s a real tough ask to do that and we need to be at our best to do it.
It’ll build on the performance of St Helens. I thought St Helens was a really good performance in terms of our attitude and our effort when playing against the top teams. What we need to do is show that against Catalan and show that we can compete against the best teams, week in and week out because Catalan were up there last year and they won the cup. They had a great performance against Warrington last week, so if we can go out there and set our stall out then I think it’ll bode well for the rest of the season.

On the fans…

I think the support has been great this year and the players talk about it as well! I keep talking about the away games because you can consistently hear them all the time. They’re in good voice and they’re really positive and behind the players when they’re at the games.
The home games have been really loud and vocal and it’s good to see more supporters coming through the turnstiles. We’ve always had a good following go to Catalan so hopefully we can reward those fans with a victory this time.

Community | Salford Red Devils celebrate World Book week at St Phillip’s

Earlier this week Salford Red Devils visited local primary school St Phillip’s C of E to read to the children as part of the World Book Week.
Salford stars Rob Lui, Joey Lussick, Mark Flanagan, Ken Sio, Lee Mossop and Greg Burke were accompanied by Head Coach Ian Watson and read to age groups from Reception to Year 5. The Red Devils were promoting reading at a young age and the importance of having male role models to the next generation.
The lads read books on a range of topics from dinosaurs to grandparents with Greg Burke getting through three books and Rob Lui staying behind to continue reading to his class who loved the ‘Star Man’s’ entertainment.
Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “It’s fantastic to have the lads out in the community and doing activities with youngsters such as reading to them as part of World Book Week.
“We’ve got a great group of players at the moment who are more than willing to put themselves out into the community of Salford and promote fantastic initiatives such as this.
“It is important that children are reading from a young age and having positive male role models showing them that reading is enjoyable and beneficial can only help promote that in and around Salford.”
 
Remember, if you have a child under the age of 11, they can claim a FREE Junior Season Ticket for the remainder of our 2019 Betfred Super League season. Just visit the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or call 0161 786 1570 now.

Ian Watson | “We’re confident in the teams ability to learn”

Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with the effort from his side and feels the Red Devils can learn a lot from their opponents St Helens.
He also touched on a number of other topics in his post-match press conference.

On the game…

Credit to St Helens on how good they were defensively – that was the key. I thought just they were really consistent in turning us over in a pocket and were really consistent with their line speed and intensity in defence and knowing when to drop off and be really disciplined and not give penalties away coming out of yardage. Their defence was outstanding, and it was something we spoke about at half-time and that we needed to be better at and learn a lesson from a champion team. I think we did do that in the second half, and we were miles better at it and that’s credit to the players. I thought there was a lot of effort and endeavour from our lads.

On learning from St Helens… 

That’s a key thing for us and I think it’s what we’re trying to learn as a group. We’ve got a group in now who understand how we want to play and what we want to be known as. Saints have taught us a lesson in how we want to set about defensively really and to have that patient approach but I suppose that’s why they’re consistently playing in semi-finals and play-offs and until we buy into that and are as good as them at that we won’t get to those semi-finals at this point but we’re confident in the players’ ability to learn and to go forward from here.

On the injuries…

Teams pick up injuries, it wasn’t why we lost the game. Losing George Griffin and Lee Mossop obviously disrupts things but big credit to Daniel Murray he was 18th man and he’s been told to jump in on short notice and stood up against Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson. Lee Mossop looks like he’s torn his hamstring and is the worst of them all. George Griffin felt it pulling up and when he hit a shield, he felt a pain go through it, so we won’t know how bad that one is until he gets assessed next week.

On the defensive efforts…

Jackson’s trackback try-saving tackle was special as was Ken Sio and Niall Evalds’ effort on Tommy Makinson. We encourage those kinds of efforts from our players because it shows a real desire and work ethic within your team.

On the start to the season…

It’s been a good start and I’d say this performance was good, it’s given us something to build on. I’d say the disappointing performance was the Leeds one for us. I don’t think we represented ourselves well in the Leeds game, but I thought against St Helens we dug in and a lot of other teams may have cracked a lot earlier than what we did. We just need to learn to not get bored doing things and be a little more patient in our approach.

On squad depth…

I’m confident in the squad we have particularly with our middles. We’ve got Adam Lawton who is developing really well playing down at Rochdale Hornets at the moment and his movements have been looking a lot better in those games we’ve been watching. We’ve also got Daniel Murray and Mark Flanagan didn’t play this weekend either so there are guys to drop in there and I don’t think we’re in a desperate situation just yet.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next two home fixtures against Wigan Warriors on 24th March and Hull FC on 7th April are both available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 7861 570 or online HERE. You can SAVE money by purchasing in advance!

Squad | Ian Watson makes one change for Saints

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Thursday’s Betfred Super League fixture with St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium, 7:45pm kick-off.
Mark Flanagan comes into the squad in place of Lee Mossop. Tyrone McCarthy and Daniel Murray retain their places after impressive showings at KCOM Craven Park last weekend.
Jake Bibby will be looking for his first start of the 2019 season.
Tickets for Thursday’s game against St Helens are available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

Jansin Turgut | “It was a really good team performance”

Salford Red Devils back-rower Jansin Turgut returned to Hull for the first time since joining the Red Devils and he says the side really pulled together to complete a memorable comeback victory at KCOM Craven Park.

On the victory…

It was a really good team performance. There were some outstanding efforts from the lads particularly in defence and then George Griffin did a full eighty minutes. I think we knew that going into half-time – even though we were behind – we knew we’d gifted them points by not completing our sets and giving them easy field position and then, ultimately, they scored on the back of that. We knew if we went out after half-time and got into a battle with them and a ‘set-for-set’ mentality then we would pull through the other side with the win.

On the momentum of the game…

I felt there was a point in the first half in which their middles had fatigued, and we had the chance to capitalise, but we didn’t take that opportunity and took our foot off the gas a little bit and enabled them to get back in it which saw them take the lead. In the second-half, we did have that momentum change which we definitely felt, and we tried to make that the turning point with a couple of repeat sets on their line before we scored.

On the final few minutes…

I was watching on the side-line for the final few minutes, but I was nervous for the lads but I’m always confident that we’ve got enough experience and talent throughout the squad to be able to see the game out and make the right decisions.

On the upcoming week…

It’s up to Ian Watson but we’ll recover and do some video analysis on this weekend’s game and ahead of next weekends. We’ll make sure our training is short and sharp this week focusing on ourselves and we’ll be aiming up going into the St Helens game on Thursday evening.
 
Tickets for our game against St Helens on Thursday 28th February are available to purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and online HERE.