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.
Following a massive Betfred Super League victory over Widnes Vikings, Assistant Coach Willie Poching expressed his delight for the lads who got to sing their winning song following a tough few weeks.
Poching also gave an update on Jake Shorrocks and Tyrone McCarthy who both left the field early. Full press conference can be seen below:
Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s Betfred Super League fixture against Huddersfield Giants at the AJ Bell Stadium, 8pm kick-off.
Ben Nakubuwai returns to the squad after having to miss out last weekend due to failing a concussion assessment following the loss to Leigh Centurions.
Gavin Bennion is named in the 19-man squad and could be set to make his home Betfred Super League debut for the Red Devils after featuring against Wigan earlier in the month.
Jake Shorrocks could be set to return to the starting line-up while Ryan Lannon also returns to the squad.
Kris Welham misses out on the squad after picking up a knock in last weekend’s defeat to Catalans Dragons at St James’ Park. Lama Tasi and Jack Littlejohn also miss out. Purchase your tickets for Friday’s clash with Huddersfield Giants now from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. Here is the 19-man squad in full:
Wigan Warriors Head Coach was complimentary of Salford despite his side coming out 0-30 victors saying the Red Devils had a ‘real dig’.
Wane said: “I thought they had a real good dig and they made it tough at times but I thought we looked in control when they attacked in the few sets they had.
“We looked in control and knew what we were doing.”
Jake Shorrocks featured for Salford against his parent Club while Logan Tomkins returned to the DW Stadium to face his former side.
Wane said: “It will have been different for him [Jake] he was in a well-beaten team unfortunately, but it’ll do him good getting a full eighty minutes.
“I was impressed with Logan [Tomkins] he did it tough and stuck in there. I was quite impressed with what they did.
“They’re a good team and have some good systems. They had some middles not playing and [Rob] Lui is a massive player for them like Lockers [Sean O’Loughlin] is for us.
“They’ll be strong, they’ll be okay.”
Salford Red Devils travel to Wigan Warriors looking to make it back-to-back away victories for the first time in 2018. The Red Devils suffered defeat last weekend to St Helens but still remain inside the top eight while the Warriors sit in 2nd place two points behind the Betfred Super League leaders Saints. Form
Salford Red Devils come into the game looking to bounce back following a heavy defeat against current Betfred Super League leaders St Helens last weekend at the AJ Bell Stadium.
However, the Red Devils had hit a good spell prior to the last Friday’s defeat with back-to-back wins over Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity. The away win against Huddersfield was the team’s first since May of 2017 and they will be looking to earn consecutive wins on the road for the first time this season at the DW Stadium.
Wigan have been in fine form lately losing just one of their last nine games; a Good Friday defeat to local rivals St Helens. The Warriors have overcome the likes of Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings since losing to the league leaders at the end of March. Head-to-head
In this week’s head-to-head we pit two centres against each other in experienced Salford veteran Kris Welham and young Wigan star Oliver Gildart.
Welham has been one of Salford’s ever-present players this season and has continued to impress after a great debut season in 2017. The centre scored in the meeting between the sides earlier in the season and has crossed for four tries this season.
Gildart – who has spent time on loan at Salford before – has been one of the standout performers for Wigan again this season already scoring eight tries including a brace against the Red Devils.
The meeting earlier in the season saw Wigan cause issues down the left-hand flank and it will be interesting to see which centre comes out on top this weekend as it could have a big influence on the final result. Team News
Levy Nzoungou and Gavin Bennion are set to make their debuts for the Salford Red Devils at the DW Stadium on Friday evening.
Young forward Daniel Murray also returns to the squad after sealing a new two-year deal at the AJ Bell Stadium. Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Josh Jones are absent.
Robert Lui is still recovering from a minor injury he picked up in the win over Wakefield while Manu Vatuvei and Kriss Brining are long-term injuries with the latter undergoing surgery earlier this week. Niall Evalds also misses out due to failing a concussion assessment last weekend against St Helens.
Jake Shorrocks could feature against his parent club while Ben Nakubuwai also returns to the 19-man squad.
Joe Burgess is the big absentee for Wigan after he picked up a season-ending injury earlier in the week. Liam Farrell also misses out with an ankle injury.
However, John Bateman returns after recovering from an illness while Ben Flower and Sam Tomkins – who missed out against Widnes last week – both return to the squad. Squads Wigan: Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, J. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Williams. Salford: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Littlejohn, Kopczak, L. Tomkins, Hauraki, Tasi, Lannon, Burgess, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Bibby, Nzoungou, Murray, Bennion, Shorrocks. Officials Referee: C. Kendall. Touch Judges: A. Martin & G. Jones.
Following last night’s defeat against St Helens we take a look at three talking points from the game. Red card
Matty Lees saw himself dismissed in the closing stages of the first half for a swinging arm which caught Niall Evalds flush on the chin in contact. The impact forced the full-back to drop the ball which led to a Saints opportunity which video referee Ben Thaler ruled out.
Referee Chris Kendall sent Lees from the field for the challenge which could have signalled a Salford fightback however St Helens didn’t miss a beat and continued in the same vein for the remaining 43 minutes. Returning players
The Red Devils have been hit with a handful of injuries in recent weeks but forward duo Lama Tasi and Lee Mossop both returned last night.
While it was a tough evening for the forwards against a strong St Helens pack it was good to see two of Salford’s standout performers this season back on the field ahead of a crucial run of games in the coming weeks. Jake Shorrocks
Half-back Jake Shorrocks – who has extended his stay with the Red Devils for another month – featured for the second time since joining Salford.
Shorrocks began the game in the halves on a difficult evening which didn’t see Salford with ball in hand for large periods. However, the youngster took the ball to the Saints line well and was always looking for openings.
The 22-year-old moved to full-back following Niall Evalds’ forced departure due to concussion and showed his versatility slotting into the attacking line at speed when the Red Devils went forward.
Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad as the Salford Red Devils look to make it three successive victories as they host St Helens.
Lee Mossop is available for selection for Thursday’s game after missing the win over Wakefield after failing a concussion assessment the week prior against Huddersfield. Lama Tasi also returns to the squad for after overcoming an illness that kept him out of the victory last week against Trinity.
Jake Shorrocks could be set to start for Ian Watson’s side as Rob Lui is sidelined after picking up a calf injury last Friday. Weller Hauraki also remains sidelined.
Forward quartet Luke Burgess, George Griffin, Daniel Murray and Tyrone McCarthy may all retain their places in the side after returning to action in the dominant victory over Wakefield. Here is the full 19-man squad:
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad ahead of Friday’s Betfred Super League clash with Wakefield Trinity.
Tyrone McCarthy and Luke Burgess both return to the squad in the absence of Lee Mossop and Josh Jones. Jake Shorrocks also comes into the 19-man squad and could push for a position in the halves. Here is the squad in full:
Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for the trip to Huddersfield Giants on Sunday, 3pm kick-off at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Niall Evalds is included after missing last week’s defeat against Warrington Wolves following a head knock picked up on Easter Monday at Leeds.
Logan Tomkins also returns to the side after missing out last weekend due to illness. George Griffin also comes back into the 19-man squad.
Tyrone McCarthy is still recovering from a knock picked up prior to the Easter period. Jake Shorrocks and Luke Burgess are the two men who leave the 19-man squad.
Ryan Lannon could make his third consecutive start for the Red Devils after making his first appearance of 2018 at Leeds on Easter Monday. Rob Lui could move back into the halves after featuring at full-back in the defeat against the Wolves last Saturday.
Derrell Olpherts also retains his place in the squad following back-to-back appearances against Leeds and Warrington. You can still purchase tickets for Sunday’s trip to Huddersfield at the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Remember, adult ticket prices will rise by £3 on gameday while seniors and juniors will increase by £4 so purchase early with the Red Devils retaining 25% of any purchases from the AJ Bell Stadium. Tickets can be purchased up until 4:30pm on Saturday 14th April from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone.
Here is the full squad:
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.