Tag: Jack Littlejohn

Three Talking Points | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s hard-fought affair against Warrington Wolves we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Key moments
In his post-match press conference Ian Watson pointed towards a key moment in the second half which may have turned the game.
Rob Lui looked to flick on a short ball to an onrushing Kris Welham which clipped the centres shoulder and went to ground. Had Welham gone through the line the Red Devils would have likely scored and taken the lead for the first time in the game.
Warrington went on to score three tries after this moment and win the game. Throughout the game, Salford caused Wire a lot of issues down the right-hand flank and were on top in the early stages of the second half.
Resilience
There was a tonne of resilience and heart in defeat from Salford against Wire.
The Red Devils had to muscle up in defence for a large period in the second half and managed to keep Warrington at bay – for the most part – until the final ten minutes of the game.
Both Derrell Olpherts and Junior Sa’u made try-saving tackles out wide last night while Ryan Lannon and Jack Littlejohn making last ditch efforts, also. Littlejohn, in fact, prevented Warrington forward Ben Westwood from close-range with a brilliant one-on-one tackle which forced a knock-on.


Even in the closing stages Kris Welham pulled off a great tackle on Bryson Goodwin before Rob Lui prevented two scores with well-timed interceptions which will have pleased Head Coach Ian Watson.
Flowing rugby
Earlier in the season we have seen the Red Devils display some fantastic attacking Rugby League in victories over Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons and Hull FC – to name a few – and those slick hands were on display at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Jack Littlejohn – who continues to impress in his new role at fullback – was the beneficiary of these fast hands crossing twice in the first half. Both times we saw the Australian hit a great line out the back with his second try on the back of a sensational offload from George Griffin.


Jake Bibby’s second half score also came from a string of off-the-cuff offloads which saw the Red Devils break down field beginning with a well-timed pass from Ben Nakubuwai. If the Red Devils continue to display this kind of attacking presence they’ll cause a lot of sides issues in the coming weeks.
 

The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder!
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Match Report | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils fell to defeat against Warrington despite a resilient performance which saw them cause the hosts problems and go into the final thirty minutes on par with the Wolves.
Jack Littlejohn crossed for a first half double but tries from Sitaleki Akauola, Tom Lineham and Toby King saw Warrington go into the break ahead by four points. Red Devils forward Ryan Lannon spent ten minutes in the sin bin for a professional foul before the interval.
Jake Bibby’s early second half score edged Salford in front however three unanswered tries from Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark and Mike Cooper pulled the game away from Ian Watson’s men.


Salford started strongly but fell behind after eight minutes as Tyrone Roberts stepped through the line and found Akauola who finished under the posts. However, the Red Devils soon found themselves level when Jack Littlejohn capitalised on some slick hands out wide to force his way over from close-range. Rob Lui converted to level the scores.
Warrington regained their lead in just a matter of minutes when Lineham scooped up a loose pass and managed to race to the corner despite pressure from Lui. Goodwin missed the conversion attempt. Midway through the half Wire extended their lead further as Toby King latched onto Roberts’ low kick.
As the Wolves built momentum they almost crossed again through Charnley but a wonderful tackle from Lannon prevented the winger. However, Lannon would be sent to the sin-bin for holding Charnley down for too long yards from the Salford try-line.
While this could have seen Warrington kick on it instead invigorated the Red Devils as Littlejohn went over for his second try. Lui managed to pull off a late pass to George Griffin who flicked the ball out of the backdoor in turn to Littlejohn who doubled his account for the evening.
And, it was Salford who started the second half stronger and pulled themselves level thanks to Jake Bibby. The Red Devils played some expansive rugby to break down field before Bibby picked up a low pass and raced thirty metres to score.
Again, Watson’s side weren’t level for long as Charnley pulled off a spectacular finish in the corner despite the best efforts of Derrell Olpherts. A back-and-forth twenty-minute spell ensued with the Red Devils going close on a number of occasions but failing to cross.
Warrington – with ten minutes remaining – mounted some sustained pressure on the Salford line and Daryl Clark jinked his way over. Mike Cooper finished the scoring in the closing stages to help Warrington pull away.


Salford Lineup: Littlejohn; Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby; Lui, Shorrocks; Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Griffin, Lannon, Burke.
Interchanges: Tomkins, Nakubuwai, Murray, Flanagan.
Warrington Lineup: M.Brown; Lineham, Goodwin, T. King, Charnley; K. Brown, Roberts; Akauoloa, Clark, Cooper, Pomeroy, Hughes, Westwood.
Interchanges: Philbin, G. King, Patton, Crosby.
Salford scorers: Littlejohn (12, 35’). Bibby (46’) | Goals: Lui (13’)
Warrington scorers: Akauola (8’), Lineham (16’), T.King (24’), Charnley (52), Clark (70’), Cooper (79’) | Goals: Goodwin (9’, 53’, 71’)
Salford sin-bin: Lannon – professional foul (27’)
Man of the Match: Jack Littlejohn.
Referee: Chris Kendall. Touch Judges: G. Jones & P. Brooke.
Attendance: 9171.

Three Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 26-12 Widnes Vikings

Salford Red Devils returned to winning ways on Thursday evening with a crucial victory over Widnes Vikings at the AJ Bell Stadium and we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Fightback
Ian Watson’s men went into half-time trailing 8-12 however managed to comeback in the second half and go on to win the game 26-12. Watson and Assistant Head Coach Willie Poching both pointed to the side ‘overcoming adversity’ and ‘showing real character’ to come from behind to seal two points in the Betfred Super League.
Thursday’s game was the first time this season that the Red Devils have won a game when being behind at the interval. In fact, Salford’s last victory in which they overcame the odds in the second half came against Hull Kingston Rovers in last year’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on May 12th.
The fightback was made even more impressive when you consider the Red Devils had just two interchanges for the majority of the game with both Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Shorrocks leaving due to injury. In addition, new recruit Ed Chamberlain didn’t enter the field until the 79th minute meaning the hosts did a large period with just one interchange.
Heading into the business end of the season the side will be looking to build on this resilience shown to push for a position in the Betfred Super League Super 8s.
Movement in the backs
Thursday’s game saw some positional changes in the back line however these seemed to prove dividend for the Red Devils.
Jack Littlejohn – who moved to fullback last weekend against Hull FC in the absence of injured Niall Evalds – occupied the role at the back once again this week and was a standout performer. Littlejohn was safe under the high ball and caused the Vikings issues when he came into the attacking line particularly when executing a delayed pass to put Jake Bibby over in the second half.
Jake Shorrocks and Rob Lui paired in the halves and Shorrocks continued to improve for Salford until he was forced to leave the field due to a facial injury. However, Josh Wood moved into the halfback role and excelled as he has for the majority of the season with Logan Tomkins then doing long minutes at hooker.
While Evalds being out is a blow for Salford, Thursday’s game displayed the versality and options the red Devils still have in the backs.
Kris Welham
Centre Kris Welham was voted as Salford’s Man of the Match by Match Sponsor Turner Parkinson and the veteran was exceptional on Thursday evening.
Welham was quickest to react to a loose ball in the first half before racing 60m to cross for the Red Devils first try of the evening before then pulling off a magnificent weaving finish for his second just minutes later.
The second was Welham’s 150th of his career so far and the centre has been a fantastic signing since arriving back in 2017. The centre has missed just one game so far in 2018 and the Red Devils will be looking to him to maintain this kind of try-scoring form in some massive upcoming Betfred Super League games.

Ian Watson | “The boys have shown real character”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson credited the players with last night’s victory over Widnes saying they’ve ‘overcome adversity’ to get back to winning ways.
Watson said: “I’m really happy with the victory.
“We’ve faced a lot of adversity as a club on and off the field and the one thing that’s always stayed really good is the character of the players and they’ve still been coming in wanting to learn, wanting to improve and wanting to get better.
“They deserve all the credit.”
While Watson points to the adversity over the last few weeks, the Head Coach also feels his side battled against adversity throughout the game against the Vikings.
Watson said: “They’ve faced adversity in that game there like the Wakefield game when we faced adversity, also.
“The boys have shown real character and they came out and fought for each other and we got the result on the back of that.
“I’m really proud of the group for what they’ve faced and what’s been thrown at them with people saying they’re not good enough to get into the Super 8s.
“It’s a credit to how they’ve come through it because it does pile a lot of pressure on you.”
In previous weeks, the Red Devils have had to get through more work than usual and Watson feels that by cutting out errors and penalties they lessened this workload which proved dividend.
Watson said: “The big thing is we weren’t doing 100 extra tackles today whereas every other week we’ve been spilling the ball and making this extra work for ourselves.
“We’re a very good defensive team and are also a good attacking side and when we have an equal share of possession we come out of the other side and show the ability we have with ball in hand.”
Watson pointed to new arrival Greg Burke and Jack Littlejohn – who has moved to fullback in recent weeks – as standout performers for his side.
“I knew what Greg [Burke] was about and I was really surprised Widnes let him go,” Watson said.
He added: “Greg is a 25-year-old who works really hard in defence and leads the pack in attack. It’s a real coup for us as a club and I think you could see why with his performance.
“Jack [Littlejohn] showed some real good touches away at Hull FC last week and we just had a few early teething problems with him moving to fullback.
“He’s got to get used to a winger jamming in your face which is different to when you’re in the halves, but I thought his rugby smarts came into play against Widnes and worked really well for us.”

Ian Watson | “We’re making silly errors”

Head Coach Ian Watson bemoaned his sides ball control and ability to ask questions of Hull FC following their 45-14 defeat at the KCOM Stadium. 
However, Watson did see an improved side after the interval with the Red Devils winning the second half.
Watch Ian Watson’s full press conference below:

Preview | Hull FC vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 8th June

Salford Red Devils travel to Hull FC in search of two crucial points in the hunt for a spot inside the Super 8s.
Here is our preview of the fixture including both teams recent form, team news, full squads and a head-to-head between two players who could be pivotal in the outcome of the game.
Last Time Out
The Red Devils suffered defeat at the hands of Huddersfield Giants in their last outing but did go into the break in the lead thanks to tries from Niall Evalds and Junior Sa’u. The centre did power over for a second late on, but Huddersfield’s comeback had already been complete with scores from Darnell McIntosh, Daniel Smith, Jordan Turner and Kruise Leeming.
Hull FC’s two-year unbeaten run in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup came to an end last weekend as they suffered a 25-22 defeat at the hands of current Betfred Super League leaders St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Albert Kelly, James Green, Scott Taylor and Hakim Miloudi all crossed for Hull FC however doubles from Mark Percival and Regan Grace alongside a terrific kicking display from Danny Richardson, which included a drop-goal, sealed victory for the Saints.
Form
Salford will be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend against Hull FC after a difficult spell in May. The Red Devils came close to turning their fortunes around last weekend against Huddersfield and a victory on Friday evening could see them climb back into the top eight.
FC have had a mixed bag of results lately with the defeat against St Helens following a 30-12 loss to Warrington Wolves at the backend of May. However, prior to this the Black and Whites had won consecutive games against Featherstone Rovers in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup and local rivals Hull Kingston Rovers at the Dacia Magic Weekend.
Team News
Ian Watson welcomes back Josh Jones into the squad who has been out since the Red Devils last away victory against Huddersfield Giants. Kris Welham has also recovered from an injury he sustained at the Dacia Magic Weekend.
Jack Littlejohn also returns to the squad to face the side he scored his first-ever Red Devils try against. Lama Tasi is also reintroduced into the squad while Ryan Lannon and Gavin Bennion are the two changes from last week’s squad.
Niall Evalds is sidelined with a broken leg which he picked up against Huddersfield a fortnight ago while Kriss Brining also remains out due to injury.
Lee Radford’s Hull FC have been struggling with injuries and have a number of first team regulars missing including Sika Manu, Danny Houghton and Dean Hadley.
Long-term absentees Marc Sneyd, Josh Bowden, Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa and Jordan Abdull are all also unavailable.
Head-to-Head
With Josh Jones looking set to return for the Red Devils the second-rower features in this week’s head-to-head against Hull FC back-rower Mark Minichiello.
Jones has a powerful running game out wide for the Red Devils and is always a threat on the opponent’s line. The former St Helens man still sits second in terms of offloads for the team this season despite being sidelined for two months and his hands could very well create some openings for Salford on Friday evening.
Minichiello is a workhorse for the Black and Whites sitting fourth in FC’s tackle count so far this season. The Italian international – much like Jones – has terrific hands and sits second in the Hull’s offloading ranks thus far in 2018.
While both forwards defensive efforts will be massive for their respective sides the game could come down to one pivotal offload or play from the back-rowers to edge their team in front.
Squads:
Hull FC: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Kelly, Taylor, Minichiello, Connor, Green, Washbrook, Fash, Paea, Logan, Lane, Downs, Miloudi, Matongo, Scott, Westerman, Harris.
Salford: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, G. Griffin, Jones, Flanagan, Tasi, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby, Murray, Shorrocks.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man squad for visit to Hull FC

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s trip to Hull FC with a number of players making their return to the squad.
Josh Jones returns following a two-month spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the Red Devils last away victory against Huddersfield Giants in April.
Centre Kris Welham is also named in the squad after missing Salford’s last outing against Huddersfield Giants at the AJ Bell Stadium. Jack Littlejohn also makes his return to the 19-man squad.
Niall Evalds misses out after picking up a broken leg a fortnight ago. Ryan Lannon and Gavin Bennion are the two players omitted from the squad which was listed to face Huddersfield two weeks ago.
New loan signings Greg Burke and Ed Chamberlain aren’t available for this weekend’s fixture but could feature for the Red Devils against their parent club – Widnes Vikings – next Thursday.
Tickets for our trip to Hull FC are available to purchase now at the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Ticket prices will rise on gameday so purchase early from us. For more ticket information regarding Friday’s game click here.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 38-4 Wakefield Trinity

Salford earned back-to-back victories Betfred Super League for the first time since May 2017 with an emphatic 38-4 victory over Wakefield Trinity at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Jake Bibby grabbed his second double in as many weeks while Junior Sa’u, Tyrone McCarthy, Ryan Lannon, George Griffin and Greg Johnson all also found themselves on the scoresheet. Lui kicked two goals before leaving the field due to injury with McCarthy and Jack Littlejohn putting on their kicking boots in the second half.
Coming into the game, the Red Devils were already against it with Lama Tasi, Lee Mossop, Josh Jones, Weller Hauraki, Manu Vatuvei and Kriss Brining all sidelined however Salford couldn’t have asked for a better start.
A flowing move to the left-hand side eventually found Sa’u who’s sheer pace and power got him through the Wakefield line before he shrugged off Reece Lyne in the process of scoring. Lui converted and would add a further penalty goal midway through the half. Ian Watson’s men defended resiliently in the first half and went into the break with an 8-0 lead.
Half-back Lui – who had been partaking in a fitness test prior to kick-off – pulled up with a calf injury early in the second half meaning the Red Devils had to move Josh Wood into the halves and Logan Tomkins would see out the game at hooker.
The reshuffle didn’t faze the hosts as Niall Evalds made a 70m dash from a 20m restart before being hauled down by Lyne, who subsequently slowed the tackle down and was rewarded with ten minutes in the sin-bin. McCarthy kicked his first goal for Salford to extend the advantage to 10-0.
And, it was the back-rower who went over for the next Salford try as McCarthy simply outmuscled the Wakefield defence to plant the ball down from close-range. He again followed up with the boot from in front of the posts.
Salford continued to control the game and Lannon crossed ten minutes into the second-half after being the quickest to react to a fortunate ricochet. Joe Arundel scored Trinity’s only try shortly after, but the Red Devils really grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck when Bibby scored in the corner following some slick hands wide.
With just over ten minutes remaining Salford turned on the style and ran out comfortable winners. Returning forward Griffin powered his way over after the Red Devils forced an error from Wakefield bringing the ball off their own line. Littlejohn converted.
Bibby made it four tries in two games with an almost identical effort to his first of the game before Johnson rounded off a wonderful victory latching onto the ball after Sa’u stabbed the ball into the in-goal.
The victory sees Salford climb above Trinity into 7th place in the Betfred Super League ahead of hosting the current leaders St Helens on Thursday.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Johnson, Lui, Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tomkins, Burgess, Griffin, McCarthy, Flanagan.  Interchanges: Kopczak, Lannon, Wood, Murray.
Wakefield Lineup: Grix; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou; Miller, Finn; Huby, Randell, Hirst, Ashurst, Kirkmond, Horo.  Interchanges: Wood, England, Arona, Baldwinson.
Salford Scorers: Tries- Sa’u (4’), McCarthy (48’), Lannon (51’), Bibby (57’ 74’), Griffin (68’), Johnson (76) | Goals-  Lui (4’, 31’), McCarthy (45’ 49), Littlejohn (69’)
Wakefield Scorers: Tries-  Arundel (54’) | Goals- N/A.
Man of the Match: Tyrone McCarthy.
Referee: James Child. Touch Judges: T. Crashley & D. Bowmer.

Stat Pack | Salford Red Devils 6-22 Warrington Wolves

While the Red Devils may have suffered defeat against Warrington Wolves on Saturday afternoon there were still some impressive stats to delve into in this week’s ‘Stat Pack’. 
Kris Welham
This week’s ‘Player in Focus’ was Kris Welham who was one of the standout performers in his 200th Betfred Super League appearance.
The centre was one of the busiest players on the park in both attack and defence yesterday. Welham racked up an impressive 25 tackles which was more than any other Red Devils back.
Welham also made 14 carries – the third highest of any Salford player – and managed to rack up 132 metres made giving him the title of the Red Devils biggest metre maker on Saturday afternoon.
Outside backs
In fact, all four of the outside backs played their part in returning the ball and getting Salford on the front foot with each amassing over 100 metres.
As mentioned, Welham led the way with 132 before being closely followed by Derrell Olpherts – who made his home Betfred Super League debut with 118. Jake Bibby and Junior Sa’u made 107 and 101, respectively.
Sa’u and Olpherts both made an impressive 15 carries in the game, Welham made 14 while winger Jake Bibby and full-back Rob Lui each took the ball up 11 times.
Mammoth defensive efforts
In the early stages of the game Warrington dominated possession which saw Salford stand tall and some of the forwards build up immense tackle numbers.
Club Captain Weller Hauraki led the way – not for the first time this season – with 43 tackles and was challenged by both Mark Flanagan and Josh Wood who both hit the 40-tackle mark.
Jack Littlejohn, Kris Welham, Craig Kopczak, Lee Mossop and Josh Jones all made over 25 tackles in a tough game at the AJ Bell Stadium. Josh Jones also had a 100% tackle rate.

Three talking points | Salford Red Devils 6-22 Warrington Wolves

Following yesterday’s 6-22 loss to Warrington Wolves in Round Ten of the 2018 Betfred Super League we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Changes to the playmakers
Unfortunately, due to Niall Evalds being ruled out after failing a concussion test last weekend and Logan Tomkins going down with an illness, Ian Watson was forced to make changes in key positions for yesterday’s game.
Rob Lui had to move into the full-back role and did a solid job under the high ball and even crossed for the Red Devils try after hitting an Evalds-esque inside ball.
Josh Wood moved from the halves back into the more familiar role of hooker and was another strong performer for the full eighty minutes. Jake Shorrocks and Jack Littlejohn partnered in the halves with Shorrocks settling in well on his debut.
Both Evalds and Tomkins are expected to return next weekend for the trip to Huddersfield which will mean more rotation in the playmaker roles however it will see players return to their favoured positions.
Battling front-row
For weeks we’ve spoken about how the Red Devils forwards have stuck it to everyone they’ve played and this week we saw another determined effort from the front-row, in particular.
Lee Mossop and Craig Kopczak set the stall for Salford before a weighted interchange bench came on and made a further impact. Lama Tasi’s performances in recent weeks have been fantastic with the former Samoan international really coming forward as the sides enforcer out on the field.
Possible sin-bin
Warrington may have felt fortunate not to have Ben Westwood sent to the sin-bin in the second half for what appeared to be a high shot on Junior Sa’u.
Sa’u was on the way down in the tackle which could have tipped referee Gareth Hewer’s decision but there was definite contact with the head.
Video Referee Robert Hicks did take a look but as with all challenges when the player is on the way down it is difficult to judge whether it could be helped or not. However, had Westwood been sent for ten minutes, Salford could well have got themselves in touching distance of the Wire with a man advantage.