Tag: Kris Welham

Ian Watson – “Absolutely phenomenal bunch of people”

With the 2020 Betfred Super League season now at an end for Salford Red Devils, head coach Ian Watson has spoken highly of his squad. 
After grinding out a 28-2o victory against Wakefield Trinity on Friday night in their last league game of the year, Watson was looking ahead to next season with positivity.
“I’m really positive about this group,” Watson said.
“They’ve really bought into being together as a team and as a club, and then on the field they’ve bought into what we’ve asked of them.
“The group of players are an absolutely phenomenal bunch of people to be around.”


The head coach shared some kind words on Flanagan, who is hanging up his boots, and on Welham, who is stepping into the Betfred Championship to play semi-professional for Featherstone Rovers, as he prepares for a career outside of the sport.
“Adrian Morley was at the club at the backend of his career when I took over and I knew we needed somebody of that kind of stature that all the boys would respect and they’d want to follow,” said Watson.
“Flash (Flanagan) was that guy and he’s done it for the last five or six years, and it’s been an absolute honour to work with him.”
He added: “Welly (Welham) is just mister reliable, I love everything he does. He does everything that supporters don’t really notice about him.”
To hear more from Ian Watson, click HERE to watch the full press conference on RDTV.
Salford Red Devils supporters can get behind Watson’s men, by purchasing their season tickets for the 2021 campaign early.
Adult prices have been reduced across all areas, making it even more affordable to watch the team next year. Further details can be found HERE.
Image credit: Steve McCormick

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 14-46 Leeds Rhinos

Salford Red Devils fell to their first defeat of the 2019 Betfred Super League season against Leeds Rhinos and we take a look at the talking points surrounding the game.

Going close

While the scoreline got away from the Red Devils in the end there were a few times Salford went close while the margin was much narrower. At 6-18, Jansin Turgut got himself over the line following a clever knockdown from Kris Welham however try was ruled out for a double-movement.
In the closing stages of the first half, Rob Lui broke from deep before finding Jackson Hastings who almost made the line. The ball would end up with Joey Lussick, but the support wasn’t there to finish off the move. George Griffin would then be held up just short of the line a few plays later.


After Josh Jones narrowed the deficit early in the second half, Salford almost pulled the scores level as Junior Sa’u powered his way over three Leeds defenders. Unfortunately, the centre couldn’t quite keep hold off the ball. Had any of these opportunities gone the other way then the game could have well panned out differently.

Jansin Turgut’s sin-bin

A big moment in the game came on the 50-minute mark as second-rower Jansin Turgut was sent to the sin-bin following an altercation with Adam Cuthbertson at the play-the-ball. Turgut was sin-binned for running into the melee and escalating the situation.
Following the sin-bin, the Red Devils kept the scores close with Ken Sio’s penalty goal returning the arrears to six points after Tui Lolohea’s penalty goal following the incident. However, playing with twelve men may well have had an effect on the Red Devils in the latter stages but Head Coach Ian Watson made it clear this ‘wasn’t why they’d lost the game.’
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “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.”

Josh Jones continues to impress

One of the standout performers on a disappointing afternoon for Salford Red Devils was back-rower Josh Jones who has made a terrific start to the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Jones was impactful at the John Smith’s Stadium in Round One and has now made try-scoring appearances at the AJ Bell Stadium against both London Broncos and Leeds Rhinos. Both of his tries came in similar fashion with the robust forward forcing his way over from close-range despite the best efforts of numerous defenders.
The 25-year-old has made massive metres already this season often taking on three and four defenders per carry and his offload game continues to cause a threat on a regular basis.

Gameday entertainment

Away from the field there was plenty of gameday activity and entertainment for supporters to soak up at the AJ Bell Stadium. Many supporters took advantage of the FREE entry to the Funderpark amusement park pre-game before packing out the Marquee.
The Salford Red Devils mobile Club Shop provided by WildThang was alongside stalls from the Salford Red Devils Foundation, Mascord Brownz and the Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust all accompanied by music by a ten-piece band.


At half-time local boxer Marc Leach and his trainer Jamie Moore took to the field to promote his upcoming English title fight in March in Oldham. Aaron Parmar also did a lap of the AJ Bell Stadium pitch after bucket collecting to support his incredible efforts in running 22 10km runs in memory of the 22 victims of the Manchester terror attack.
Finally, Dr Devil was joined by Manchester Storm mascot Lightning Jack!
 
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!

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 squad for 2019 opener against Huddersfield

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has named his first 19-man squad of the season as his side travel to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Giants on Friday evening, 7:45pm kick-off.
New signings Ken Sio and Gil Dudson are both in line to make their competitive debuts for the Red Devils after arriving in the off-season.
Jansin Turgut and Joey Lussick both featured in last year’s Qualifiers campaign but could make their Betfred Super League bows for the Red Devils on Friday evening.
Kris Welham comes into the squad after missing the Red Devils most recent pre-season friendly against Wigan Warriors.
Ed Chamberlain and Josh Wood are recovering from injuries however Logan Tomkins – who missed the backend of last season – is included in the 19-man squad.
Here is Ian Watson’s 19-man squad in full:

 
Tickets for Friday’s game against Huddersfield Giants are still available to purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office up until 4pm on Friday 1st February and are also available over the phone on 0161 786 1570.
Supporters can purchase over the phone and pick up their tickets at either the AJ Bell Stadium or John Smith’s Stadium Ticket Office in advance of the game.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 18-28 Wigan Warriors

Salford Red Devils fell to defeat in their second pre-season fixture of 2019 against Wigan Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium. However, there were still some promising talking points from the game.

First look at Ken

Ken Sio made his first appearance for the Red Devils since his off-season move from NRL side Newcastle Knights and was one of a few standout performers for Ian Watson’s side.
It took Sio just four minutes to get onto the scoresheet for Salford as he met Jackson Hastings’ low kick to the corner. The winger continued to impress bringing the ball back from deep within the Red Devils half throughout the game.
Following Hastings and Lui’s departures from the field, Niall Evalds moved into the halves with Sio slotting in at full-back where he looked equally as comfortable. The powerful Australian offers versatility in the back-line with the ability to play full-back, winger and centre which will only benefit Salford throughout 2019.
There is a strong competition for places across the back line with the likes of Jake Bibby, Ed Chamberlain, Derrell Olpherts, Kris Welham, Greg Johnson, Junior Sa’u and Evalds but Sio has certainly put his name forward to start away at Huddersfield in just under a fortnight.

Energetic Evalds 

In last week’s talking points, following victory over Swinton Lions, we mentioned the versatility of some of Salford’s key players, one of which was Niall Evalds who moved into the halves. In the defeat to Wigan, the England Knight once again was moved into the halves when Hastings and Lui left the field.
Evalds is blessed with blistering speed and fantastic ball handling ability which made him a handful for the Wigan defence once he moved into the halves. He directly assisted Jake Bibby’s try in the second half before also being involved in the build-up play to Derrell Olpherts’ late score.
While the Red Devils will be looking to Lui and Hastings to occupy the half-back slots throughout the season, Evalds is certainly showing he has the capability to take up the mantle if necessary. Ian Watson even went as far as saying Evalds reminded him of Darren Lockyer, to watch Ian Watson’s full post-match press conference, click here.

Shot clock 

The 2019 season will see the introduction of the shot clock – which has been massively successful Down Under – and it was in play for the first time at the AJ Bell Stadium against Wigan Warriors.
Two shot clocks have been installed at the AJ Bell Stadium in the South and North stands. These will countdown to encourage teams to pack scrums and take goal line drop-outs quicker.
Both sides packed down and took goal line drop-outs within the allotted time throughout the game however conversions – which aren’t yet being enforced – did often go over the allotted time limit more often than not.
It will certainly be interesting to see how teams – including the Red Devils – adapt to the new rules and the positive effects it will have on the Betfred Super League.
 
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.

Match Report | Halifax RLFC 4-62 Salford Red Devils

Salford made it three wins from three in The Qualifiers to open up a two-point from four other teams with a convincing 4-62 victory over Halifax at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Derrell Olpherts crossed for his first hat-trick in Salford colours while Jackson Hastings and Junior Sa’u both notched braces. Ed Chamberlain, Ben Nakubuwai, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi and Josh Wood were all also on the scoresheet. Sam Wood scored Halifax’s only try.
But it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and opened the scoring early on. Heaton streaked away down the flank before finding Sam Wood in support to give Halifax an early lead.
However, the Red Devils soon found their feet and it was Hastings who levelled the scores as he dummied and ghosted his way through the defensive line. Hastings was central to Salford’s second as his high kick was knocked down by Welham before the ball found Chamberlain out wide who put Ian Watson’s men ahead.


Fellow Australian half Rob Lui settled into the game and began causing the Halifax defence issues and it wasn’t long until Olpherts crossed in similar fashion to Chamberlain before him. This time it was Josh Jones who rose highest before Olpherts grabbed his first of the game.
Nakubuwai would soon force his way through the Halifax defence under the posts as Salford strengthened their grip on the game.
With five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils showed no signs of letting up crossing for two quickfire tries. Hastings scooped up a loose ball when it had looked like the chance had passed finding Niall Evalds who in turn looped the ball wide to Olpherts to score his second of the game.
On the half-time hooter, Chamberlain broke down the opposite wing before throwing the ball inside to an onrushing Welham giving Salford a comfortable lead going into the break.
Half-time didn’t affect Ian Watson’s who scored inside the opening few minutes of the second half with Olpherts claiming his hat-trick. However, the hard work was done by mercurial halfback Hastings who broke from deep before finding the former League One winger.
Tasi was the next Red Devil to break the Halifax defence powering his way over for his first try of the 2018 season. Hastings again provided a try-assist as Sa’u crashed over from close-range before gliding through a big gap in the Fax defence to score himself.


Hastings and fellow halfback Lui were both taken from the field with twenty minutes remaining with one eye on next week’s game against Toronto. Youngster Wood stepped into the halves and went through to score shortly after.
It was down to Sa’u to wrap up a rampant Salford display as he plucked Evalds’ pass out of the air before stepping inside to score in the final minute.
Halifax: Moss, Heaton, Wood, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Baldwinson, Tangata, Grady, Grix.
Interchanges: Maher, Moore, Cooper, Fairbank.
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Tasi, Wood, Murray, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Burgess, Nakubuwai, Burke, Lussick.
Halifax Tries: Wood (9)
Salford Tries: Hastings (12, 65), Chamberlain (19), Olpherts (23, 36, 44), Nakubuwai (27), Welham (40), Tasi (49), Sa’u (54, 80), Wood (71). Salford Conversions: Chamberlain (20, 28, 37, 45, 50, 66, 73)
Man of the Match: Rob Lui.
Referee: Tom Grant.
Touch Judge: Chris Kendall.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
Attendance: 2555.

Kris Welham | “We just need another two points this weekend”

Kris Welham was delighted to return to action a fortnight ago against Widnes Vikings and is now focused on getting another two points this weekend against Halifax RLFC.
The Red Devils have already earned two wins so far in The Qualifiers and the veteran feels Salford need to be aiming for an unbeaten campaign.
Welham, sponsored by Process Gas Services said: “With the team that we’ve got – we finished 4th in the Betfred Super League regular season last year – so there’s no reason we can’t try and win seven from seven.
“We’ve had our fair share of injuries throughout this season but we’ve come past that now and we’re confident we can win all seven games.
“We’ve got a good team and some experienced players and we just need to earn another two points this weekend.”
Watch Kris Welham’s full pre-match interview below:

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man squad for trip to Halifax

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Sunday’s trip to the MBi Shay to take on Halifax in the Red Devils third Qualifiers fixture.
Luke Burgess returns to the squad following a lay-off with a knee injury and could be in line to play his first game since defeat against Wigan Warriors on Friday 4th May.
Tyrone McCarthy also returns after missing the victory over Widnes Vikings a fortnight ago. Daniel Murray is also named in the 19-man squad. Greg Burke retains selection after making his return to the team against his former side two weeks ago.
Kris Welham also retains his place in the side following his return from injury last time out and you can listen to what the centre had to say about this weekend’s game below.

You can still purchase tickets for Sunday’s game at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 with Salford Red Devils retaining 25% of your purchase. Tickets will go off sale at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office on Saturday 1st September at 4pm. Click HERE for ticket prices and Supporters’ Coach details.
The full squad is as follows:  
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Luke Burgess, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man for Qualifiers opener

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his squad for our Qualifiers opener against Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park this Friday, 8pm kick-off.
New signing Joey Lussick is in line to make his Salford Red Devils debut following his arrival at the AJ Bell Stadium just under a fortnight ago.
Fellow Australian acquisition Jackson Hastings retains his place in the squad despite leaving the field early in his impressive debut against Leeds Rhinos in our final Betfred Super League game of the regular season.
Following a short stint on the sidelines, Kris Welham returns to the Red Devils 19-man squad to face his former club while Craig Kopczak may also feature.
Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou are the two changes from the squad named to take on Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago.
Jack Littlejohn, Logan Tomkins, George Griffin, Luke Burgess and Kriss Brining remain sidelined.
The full squad is as follows:
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
 
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Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man to take on KR at KCOM Craven Park

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Sunday’s Betfred Super League tie with Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park.
Ed Chamberlain could be set to make his first start since arriving at Salford last month. Josh Jones returns to the side following an ankle issue while Tyrone McCarthy is also named after a stint on the sideline.
Levy Nzoungou is named in the squad and could make his second Betfred Super League appearance for the Red Devils. Greg Johnson may also return to the starting seventeen.
Jack Littlejohn is absent and is set to undergo surgery on a ruptured bicep on Saturday while Kris Welham is recovering from surgery on a finger injury.
Craig Kopczak is still struggling with an injured quadricep as confirmed by Ian Watson in last week’s post-match press conference which can be seen here.
Niall Evalds and Kriss Brining both remain sidelined.
Here is the squad in full: