Tag: Ian Watson

Ian Watson | “We showed real character”

Salford Red Devils got back to winning ways with a brilliant 22-24 comeback victory over Hull Kingston Rovers and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with the character his side displayed.
He covered a number of subjects in his post-match press conference.

On the nature of the victory… 

It was really good for us as a team and as a group going forward. To be able to show that mentality after so many errors in the first half and to turn the tide like that shows real character within the team and emphasises how good our team spirit is.

On the half-time team talk…

It was 8-22 at half-time and when we came in at half time, I just felt like if we’d cut the errors out, we’d win the game and we needed to complete sets and put the pressure on Hull Kingston Rovers. In the first half we started well and were on the front foot with some of our attacks, but we kept compounding it with errors on our own try-line and giving them the opportunities to attack us. We just spoke at half time about tidying that area up as we were carrying the ball too loose and we were causing our own downfall but once we rectified that in the second half, we looked really good.

Any standout performers… 

George Griffin. He’s played eighty minutes in the middle and then at right back-row for us and that is a big ask to play in the middle for that amount of time. Then he moved into the back-row and made a real impact out there so we’ve got to give big credit to him.

On the half-backs…

There are more than Jackson Hastings in our team. Jackson has pulled off a great try-saving tackle in the second half on Joel Tomkins underneath the posts at a delicate time for us. Rob Lui was great, and he plays on the back of Jackson, but the pack has got to set the platform for you to go forward. If your pack doesn’t go forward your half-backs can’t do anything on the back of it so there are more than just one or two players, but Rob Lui was great.

On Joey Lussick… 

He was probably out there for a little bit too long in the first half and he started to fatigue but when he came back on, I thought he settled us down and got us back to our old processes.

On the importance of the victory…

I think it’s a big one this. I don’t think many teams will come to Hull Kingston Rovers and win. It’s a tough place to come despite us having a few decent wins at KCOM Craven Park but they are a good team and they’ve recruited really well, and they play a great style of football. For us to get two points here and come back in the fashion we did we have to give massive credit to the players, and it was a great game but was a little nervy towards the end.

On the start to the season…

It’s been a strong start for us, and it is exactly what we wanted. We’ve got St Helens, Catalans and Castleford in the coming weeks, so this win sets us up nicely going into these games.

On the short turnaround…

With us playing on Thursday night we’ll have to look after the players.
 
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.

Talking Points | Hull Kingston Rovers 22-24 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils made it three wins from four in the 2019 Betfred Super League season with a remarkable comeback victory over Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park and it certainly threw up some interesting talking points.

Comeback

The biggest talking point from the win over Hull Kingston Rovers was, of course, the nature of it. Salford Red Devils found themselves 22-8 down at half-time only to go on and earn a memorable 22-24 victory at KCOM Craven Park.
There were many impressive facets to Salford’s comeback but the key to their success was a resilient and improved second half defensive display. The Red Devils managed to keep to Rovers at bay throughout the whole of the second half and this is now the third time this season that Salford have kept a side scoreless for a full forty minutes.


On the other hand, the Red Devils retention of the ball improved massively in the second half as Ian Watson’s men cut out the errors and were much more sensible with ball in hand. This paid dividend as the half went on with Salford getting more attacking opportunities and eventually taking the chances that came their way.
There was a stark contrast between the Salford team from the first half to the second half and Ian Watson will be looking to ensure it’s the side that went out for the second half who turn up on Thursday evening against St Helens.

George Griffin’s performance 

George Griffin moved up from the interchange bench to loose-forward for this weekend’s win over Hull Kingston Rovers and it was an inspired change from Head Coach Ian Watson as the 26-year-old put in a phenomenal 80-minute display.
The loose-forward, who moved into the back-row, was an absolute rock in defence making a massive 50 tackles against Hull Kingston Rovers, this was 18 more than any other Red Devil. Griffin also took 13 carries and was a constant thorn in the side of the Robins in both defence and attack.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “For him to do eighty minutes like that and move to the right back-row and make an impact there like he did is a massive credit to him.

First games of the season

Along with Griffin moving into the starting line-up, Daniel Murray and Tyrone McCarthy were both named among the interchanges for the first this year and both forwards made strong openings to their 2019 Super League campaigns.
McCarthy has waited patiently for his first opportunity of 2019 to come and he certainly took it with both hands against his former club – Hull Kingston Rovers. McCarthy was solid in defence and certainly lifted the team on his entrance to the field.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuPKj_unJGn/
Murray entered the field in the second half and immediately took it to the Hull Kingston Rovers forwards with some solid defence and strong ball carrying throughout. In fact, the 23-year-old took the carry leading up to both Derrell Olpherts’ and Ken Sio’s tries. Murray has continued to develop year-on-year with the Red Devils and that shows no signs of stopping in 2019.
Both Murray and McCarthy will be hoping their performances have put them in line for a position in the team for Thursday evening’s clash with St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Try-scoring exploits

Josh Jones was – once again – a standout performer for Salford and his he managed to power his way over in the first half for his third try in his last three games now crossing against London Broncos, Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers. This is the first time he has scored in three consecutive fixtures since 2013 during his time with St Helens.
Ken Sio pulled off a spectacular finish to help the Red Devils fight back and this was Sio’s fourth try in his first four outings for Salford. Despite not crossing last week, Sio has now found himself on the scoresheet against London Broncos, Hull Kingston Rovers and twice in Round One against Huddersfield Giants.

Derrell Olpherts’ try begun the comeback and this is Olpherts’ second try of the season after rounding off Salford’s opening win of the season against Huddersfield Giants earlier this month. With two tries this year, Olpherts has already matched his tally from the 2018 Betfred Super League season.
Finally, Joey Lussick has now scored in back-to-back games for Salford after also scooting over against Leeds Rhinos last weekend. Lussick also scored in similar fashion in last year’s Qualifiers meeting between the teams.
 
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.

Ian Watson | “It’s a case of bouncing back from last week”

In a contest which finds both teams with the same number of wins, and sitting adjacently to each other in the league table, Salford’s visit to East Hull, on Saturday promises to be a mouth-watering encounter. 
Head Coach Ian Watson offers his thoughts ahead of the clash…

On opponents Hull KR…

Victories at Hull KR are always hard to come by, but in recent seasons we have had won some extremely important clashes there, such as last season’s victory in the Qualifiers, and Saturday’s game there is important now because it is the next one on the fixture list.
Rover have spent well during the close season, Mitch Garbutt being one of the players they have strengthened their squad with, alongside others such as Jimmy Keinhorst and Ryan Lannon, while their Head Coach, Tim Sheens is very attack minded.

On Sunday’s defeat against Leeds…

We allowed Leeds to determine the pace of the game, and that turned the momentum in their favour.  We, then, compounded that situation with further errors such as immediately kicking off into dead, on the full, and running offside at another kick-off both of which led to further spells of goal line pressure.
What we should have done was to have turned the pressure back onto Leeds, but that didn’t happen until we had good spell at the start of the second half, which culminated in our scoring.
The sinbinning later on, though, really hurt us, not so much whilst we were down to twelve men, but in the knock-on effect, in the later part of the game.  Nevertheless, at sixty minutes, having not played at all well, and having been down to twelve men for ten minutes, we were still in the game against a talented side like Leeds.

On the impact on the week’s training…

We didn’t give a true representation of what we are all about, last week, and that has hurt us all, considerably, so we need to rectify it quickly.  This weekend will be all about us making a big improvement and making sure we get the defensive side of our game back on track because basically if you don’t defend you don’t win games.
The players were all extremely disappointed, and there was also the feeling that they had not done justice to themselves, nor lived up to the standards we had set ourselves.

On the trip to Humberside…

Clubs all like to win their home games, and KCOM Craven Park has always been a difficult place to go to.  Hull KR will undoubtedly have set out to win all of their home games and that will certainly be the case for this weekend, so we will have to be prepared for a tough match, by going and performing as we did in the first two rounds.  It’s a case of bouncing back from last week.
We are just taking it one game at a time, and getting the points on Saturday is our key objective.  We’ve got to go out and put our best foot forward to give everyone a reminder of what we are working to become.
 
Tickets for Saturday’s game against Hull Kingston Rovers are still available from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. You can also book coach travel for this fixture by visiting the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Salford Red Devils retain 25% of any early ticket purchase. To see ticket prices and coach pick-up times and points, click HERE.

Squad | Ian Watson makes one change to 19-man squad

Head Coach Ian Watson has made just one change to the 19-man squad as Salford Red Devils prepare for Saturday’s trip to KCOM Craven Park to face Hull Kingston Rovers.
Daniel Murray has entered the side and is in contention to make his first Betfred Super League appearance of 2019. Tyrone McCarthy will be looking to force his way into the starting side for the first time this year against one of his former clubs while Jake Bibby is also challenging for a spot in the team.
Ken Sio will make his first visit back to KCOM Craven Park since leaving Hull Kingston Rovers back in 2016.
Tickets for Saturday’s game against Hull Kingston Rovers are still available from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. You can also book coach travel for this fixture by visiting the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Salford Red Devils retain 25% of any early ticket purchase. To see ticket prices and coach pick-up times and points, click HERE.
The full squad is as follows:

Ian Watson | “We didn’t control the speed of the game well”

Salford Red Devils suffered their first defeat of the 2019 Betfred Super League season against Leeds Rhinos and Ian Watson offered his thoughts on the loss.

On the result…

I think Leeds got what they deserved in the end. We failed to dominate any field position and they turned over in really good field positions and we’ve got to learn a lesson from that.

On Leeds scoring tries in quick succession…

That was because of the momentum of the game and it’s down to us to stop that momentum. I think they scored three in quick succession in the first half which got us as well. We’ve got to learn to be better at turning the momentum on its head and the only way you can do that is to defend well and we failed to do that on the back of our kick chase today.

On Jansin Turgut’s sin-bin…

I thought it was a big call. Even for the next ten minutes following the sin-bin I thought we got ourselves back into the game and we were looking really strong but after that Leeds really picked up the speed of the game and took it away from us from there. It was a big call, but it isn’t why we’ve lost.
I thought he was going for Kris Welham at first which is unlike Welham but he’s reacted in the tackle so I thought he was going to get him so then to sin-bin Jansin was a little bit of a surprise to me but James Child has said he’s sin-binned him for running it and that he’s not actually anything apparently but we’ll take a look at it on the video.

On the difference between the sides…

Yeah, there’s a massive difference in budget – that’s obvious. I wouldn’t say there was a massive difference in talent today. I think one team turned over the field position much better than the other. If you look at how many good-ball sets they had in comparison to us they turned over in good field position we were generally coming off our own try-line. We were turning the ball over on our 40m line. The more attacking sets you give a team like Leeds who have spent heavily they’re just going to put you under the pump and punish you. We didn’t control the speed of the game well.

On bouncing back against Hull KR…

We’ve got to learn our lessons. We didn’t represent ourselves in the best way against Leeds, we wanted to put up a good showing and build on the strong start to the season especially being at home and being in front of a good crowd we wanted them to see us at our best. We failed to do the hard stuff against Leeds in defending and we probably wanted to just concentrate on the defence and we need to rectify that for next weekend against Hull Kingston Rovers because they’ll pose the same threats.
 
Tickets are on sale for Salford Red Devils next home fixture against St Helens on Thursday 28th February. You can purchase tickets for this game at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You will save money buying in advance!

Squad | Ian Watson names an unchanged squad for the third consecutive game

Head Coach Ian Watson has named an unchanged squad for the third consecutive fixture as the Red Devils prepare to take on Leeds Rhinos at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 17th February, 3pm kick-off.
Salford have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Huddersfield Giants and London Broncos and currently sit atop the Betfred Super League table.
Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Bibby will be looking to make their first competitive starts of the 2019 season.
Tickets for the game are available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. Remember, you can save £2 if you purchase your tickets in advance of gameday.
Here is the squad in full:

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Ian Watson | “We are confident as a team”

Victories over Huddersfield and London in Rounds One & Two have set up a thrilling clash with a Leeds Rhinos side which is still looking for its first league points of the season.
Two rock-solid, all round team performances have seen the Red Devils not only with a maximum four points, but when taking into account points difference, sitting proudly at the top of Super League, going into Sunday’s fixture, none of which has escaped the attention of Head Coach, Ian Watson.

On Leeds’s Need for A Win…

“Leeds have had a really tough start to the season, against teams which many a side would struggle against, so I am pretty sure that they will have targeted this week’s game as the one in which they must get their first win. It will be up to us to ensure that we don’t allow them to do that.
“We are well-focused on what we have to do, and the lads are really excited for this one, because we have done our job in both of the first two matches but this one is going to be the real test. Leeds have recruited really well in the close season, which with their resources they can do, but we are really confident and are going to put our best foot forward.”

On Our Recent Performances…

“We have built our season on team effort and individual commitment to the team, all of which has come through in our opening games.  It will be no different this week because if we are to beat Leeds, we shall have to do it as a team. As individuals we all have our own jobs to do in our own individual roles, but these all come together to give us our team performance.
“The London match showed this, last week. We knew that they would come here and put in a really determined team effort, so we had had to ensure that our attitude and mentality were absolutely right. As a result, the lads countered them with a completely solid, professional performance, and so got the result.”

On Keeping London Scoreless…

“With a fairly low half-time scoreline, we spoke about not getting frustrated, being patient and sticking to our processes, because we knew they were a team which would defend as if their lives depended upon it. We were, consequently, able to nil the opposition for the first time since 2007, when we prevented Catalans from scoring.”

On Topping The League Table…

“We are only two games in, and we have done what we have had to do in those two games, but that is a different proposition for being at the top after twenty-nine games. If we were, we would be absolutely jumping around all over the place.
“Let us just take one game at a time, as we have been doing, because it was only a couple of seasons ago that Widnes were unbeaten at the start of the season until they came here, and after they had lost to us they went for some considerable time without winning again, and ended up in the Qualifiers.
“None of the players has even spoken about the league; it’s just too early in the season. There are other teams with four points from two wins anyway, so it is far more important that we just keep our focus on beating Leeds. It would be nice to make it three wins out of three, because you want to be winning every game you play. We are confident as a team and are happy with everything we have done in preparation, so on we go into the game.”
 
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 24-0 London Broncos

Salford Red Devils earned a second consecutive win to start the 2019 Betfred Super League season with a 20-0 triumph over London Broncos and we’ve taken a look at the talking points from the game. 
Defiant defence
Salford kept London to nil on Sunday afternoon and this is the first time the Red Devils have managed to keep a team scoreless in the Betfred Super League since March 2007 with a 10-0 victory over Catalans Dragons at The Willows. The last time they nilled a side came in a 2008 victory over Batley Bulldogs however this was in the Championship.
There were times when the Red Devils were under pressure from London, but some resilient goal-line defence kept the Broncos at bay most notably when Salford defended back-to-back sets on their own try-line in which London went close on a number of occasions.

Full-back Niall Evalds got the plaudits from Head Coach Ian Watson in the post-match press conference as the ‘leader’ of the defence. The Red Devils have only conceded two tries in their opening two games of the 2019 Betfred Super League season and currently have the best defence in the league.
Competitive home debuts 
Gil Dudson made his 200th career appearance on his home debut for Salford Red Devils and he put in a big shift in his first competitive game at the AJ Bell Stadium. Dudson arrived in pre-season from relegated Widnes Vikings and has been impressive thus far.


Ken Sio also made his competitive home debut and much like his debut at Huddersfield Giants last week the Australian winger crossed for a try. Sio finished well in the corner after a neat offload from Josh Jones in the second half. 
Crowd on the up
Yesterday’s attendance was confirmed as 3236 which sees a rise on the average attendance from the 2018 Betfred Super League season.


As always, the Salford Red Devils supporters were vocal throughout the game and helped the lads to victory.
Salford welcome Leeds Rhinos to the AJ Bell Stadium next up on Sunday 17th February, 3pm kick-off, and tickets are now available to purchase for this game from the Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and online here.
 
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Ian Watson | “Teams who defend well win games and competitions”

Salford Red Devils moved to the top of the Betfred Super League table following a 24-0 victory over London Broncos and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with various aspects of the win. 

On the result following a tough week…

Happy to get the week over with really. We’ve had a tough week. A lot of the lads have been down with the flu, so much so that I had to cancel training on Thursday afternoon. Rob Lui was a doubt for the game as he was struggling with it on Saturday. What the lads have done is outstanding earning the victory over London.

On the game…

We knew not to underestimate London. Both times we’ve played them while I’ve been here, and we’ve played them in The Qualifiers we’ve been beat. We know they’re a dogged team and we knew that it didn’t matter if we got a lead on them whether that be 6-0 or 18-0 like Wakefield found out last week. You have to defend well and be on it to beat London, every week you’ve got to be right to play a team like London, so we knew exactly what they’d bring and the fact that we’ve done the job proves that we’re a better team than we were last year.

On the defence… 

We spoke a lot about the defence in the build-up, history shows you that teams who defend well win games and competitions. It is something we’ve worked really hard on. I thought it was led really well by Niall Evalds from the back who is the boss of our defensive line and I thought his goal-line efforts were outstanding. To defend as well as we did do as a team and keep London Broncos to a nil was a massive effect and it bodes well for the team.

On proving people wrong…

If you listen to the pundits on Sky Sports the other day, we shouldn’t be in the league the way they were talking but that’s for people to have their opinions. People said us and London would be down there and getting relegated. We’re only two games in and we’re not getting carried away, but we’ll see who is right at the end of the season.

On next week’s game against Leeds…

They’ll be coming here ready to play and they’ll be fired up. They’ve got a new coach and despite losing their opening two games they’ll come to play and they’re still a strong team. They’ve had a tough opening with the games that they’ve had but we’re confident as a group, we don’t need to shout about it we just need to go about our business and do the job.

On the new signings…

That was a big thing for us – would our new signings make the team better? They definitely have done on and off the field. Ken Sio is great around the place and is brilliant with the younger guys, he’s fitted in well. Greg Burke is like a new signing this year as well alongside Gil Dudson and they’ve all added to us and given us a better edge to us as a team.

On any injury concerns… 

No, I think we’ve come through okay. Mark Flanagan didn’t come back on due to back spasms but I think that’s just old age with Flash!
 
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 24-0 London Broncos

Salford Red Devils earned a hard-fought 24-0 victory over Super League new boys London Broncos which puts Ian Watson’s side atop the table after the second round of fixtures.
The hosts went into the break with a slender 6-0 lead thanks to Ken Sio’s try on his competitive home debut. Salford pulled away in the second half with tries from Jackson Hastings, Niall Evalds and Josh Jones.
A real arm-wrestle ensued for the opening twenty minutes but the Red Devils did have the better of possession and position and it eventually paid dividend when Sio crossed following a neat offload from Jones.
Salford continued to control the first half however failed to add any more points.
But it would take just two minutes of the second half for Salford to extend their lead. Evalds’ low kick came back off the upright and Hastings was the quickest to react getting his tally for the 2019 season underway.
London did apply some pressure to the Salford line, but the Red Devils resilience shone through and Hastings would add a penalty goal in the 55th minute to maintain control.
With ten minutes remaining, Evalds found an opening in the Broncos defence and jinked his way through for his fourth of the season. Hastings would add the extras to all but confirm victory. Salford were reduced to twelve men with five minutes left as Lee Mossop was sent to the sin-bin for an altercation with Greg Richards.
The Red Devils weren’t done however as Jones – who provided the assist for the opener – would get himself on the scoresheet in the final minute. The robust second-rower bounced off two London defenders before planting the ball down to round off a brilliant afternoon at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Sio; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Burke, Nakubuwai, Griffin, Tomkins.
London Broncos: Walker, Dixon, Morgan, Kear, Williams; Abdull, Cunningham; Mason, Fozard, Richards, Pitts, Gee, Yates.
Interchanges: Battye, Ioane, Lovell, Pelissier.
Salford Tries: Sio (20’), Hastings (42’), Evalds (70’), Jones (79’)
Salford Goals: Hastings (21’, 43’, 55’, 71’) 
London Tries: N/A.
London Goals: N/A.
 
Salford sin-bin: Mossop (75′)
 
Referee: James Child.
Attendance: 3236.