Tag: Lama Tasi

Stat Pack | Huddersfield Giants 12-30 Salford Red Devils

Following yesterday’s emphatic away victory over Huddersfield Giants we’ve rounded up the key figures in this week’s ‘Stat Pack’.
Rob Lui
Half-back Rob Lui earned yesterday’s Man of the Match award and he is this week’s ‘Player in Focus’.
Lui kicked a pivotal 40/20 early in the game which set Salford off on the front foot and the Australian almost kicked another in the second half but was denied by a matter of inches.
The half-back put in ten kicks throughout the game with six of them being clever positional kicks at key times for Salford.
With 17 carries amounting to 136 metres – the most of any Red Devil – meant Lui was a constant threat for the Giants defence. Lui also racked up one try assist, one break pass, two initial breaks and ten tackle busts in a brilliant attacking display.
Hard yards
There were some hard yards earned all over the park by the Salford Red Devils in yesterday’s victory against Huddersfield Giants with six players averaging eight metres or more per carry.
Greg Johnson averaged a ten-metre gain per carry helping the Red Devils bring the ball out from their own half. Jake Bibby and Junior Sa’u both averaged over eight metres per carry in a physical afternoon for the backs.
Lama Tasi came on from the bench and made the impact we’ve come to expect this season averaging almost nine metres per carry. Jack Littlejohn and Logan Tomkins also averaged over eight metres per carry.
Overall control
Salford were in front from the moment Mark Flanagan crossed just after the ten-minute mark and the Red Devils controlled the game from thereon out.
The Red Devils spent more time in possession than Huddersfield by almost three minutes, had a total of five more sets and completed ten more than the Giants throughout the game.
Of course, this led to more carries for the Red Devils, more play-the-balls, more quick play-the-balls and 128 more metres made.

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.

Lama Tasi | “It’s always going to be tough against Leeds”

Salford Red Devils prop-forward Lama Tasi was pleased with victory over Catalans on Good Friday but knows the side need to back it up with a performance against Leeds on Easter Monday.
The Easter period offers players a shorter turnaround which has seen the Red Devils but a heavy focus on recovery over the last few days.
Tasi, sponsored by The Salmon King, said: “We’ve just smashed recovery and any lads who’ve needed treatment have been and done that.
“We went straight to Total Fitness after Friday’s win against Catalans and began the recovery and we’ll get some rest before the Leeds game.
“It’s always going to be a tough game against Leeds they weren’t Super League champions last year for no reason and they’ve been successful for years.
“If anything, it’s another challenge and Friday means nothing if we can’t back it up on Monday against Leeds.
“It’s massively important that we try and get a run of results together particularly at this time of the season.
“We’ve got to start getting some momentum and start to move up the Super League table but we’re improving every week and that’s the most important thing.”

Three talking points | Salford Red Devils 32-16 Catalans Dragons

Following yesterday’s impressive 32-16 victory over Catalans Dragons in the opening fixture of the Easter weekend we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Physicality
There will be some sore bodies this morning after that bruising encounter with the Catalans Dragons.
Yesterday afternoon’s game saw both sets of forwards really throw themselves about with the likes of Luke Burgess, Lee Mossop and Craig Kopczak standing strong in the middle.
Club Captain Weller Hauraki and Lama Tasi put on a show reel of big hits while Ben Nakubuwai continued to impress following his move to the AJ Bell Stadium. The game did get heated in spells, but Salford managed this better and came out on top.
Salford’s threat from deep
The Red Devils crossed for five tries and there were some very stylish and impressive scores from Ian Watson’s men.
Greg Johnson’s try saw a line break from Mark Flanagan who find fellow forward Ben Nakubuwai, the move would continue through the hands of half-back duo Josh Wood and Rob Lui before Johnson rounded off a fantastic try.
This ability to break from the middle of the field was on display again for Josh Jones’ first try of the season when Flanagan again found a gap before Lui and Niall Evalds linked up to put the second-rower over.
Home and Good Friday fortunes
Salford’s impressive run of form in Good Friday fixtures continued with five wins from their last six outings in the opening fixture of the Easter weekend.
Yesterday’s victory also saw the Red Devils extend their run of home victories in 2018 to three on the bounce with wins over Hull KR, Hull FC and now the Catalans Dragons.
The Red Devils will be hoping the AJ Bell Stadium continues to be a fortress in the coming weeks starting with Warrington Wolves next Saturday, 3:15pm kick-off.

Ian Watson | “We’re definitely disappointed and frustrated”

Salford were left ‘disappointed’ and ‘frustrated’ following a late defeat against Widnes says Head Coach Ian Watson.
The Red Devils led heading into the final fifteen minutes however tries from Greg Burke and Aaron Heremaia were the difference between the sides.
Watson said: “After 65 minutes we were disappointed to go on to lose the game because you feel like you’re in control.
“The sin-bin didn’t help us at that point and then I think they then had nine sets to our one in that next ten minute spell which really sealed the game for them.
“I thought they just did what we’d spoken about in that last section of the game by getting to the end of their sets and kicking well on the back of it.
“They got the rewards for doing the right things in those conditions.
“I think they completed at 95% in the second half and if you complete at that rate and have as many sets as they did you’re always going to break a team down.
“I’m disappointed and frustrated really. We thought we had the game won really when we took the two points under the posts to take us into a four-point lead, we felt pretty in control.
“Obviously the knock-on effect with energy from defending with twelve men and the penalties we gave away on the back of that cost us.
“For 65 minutes we were in control of the game and we should have gone on to win it.
“There were a few little things that changed the game whether that’s us or that’s the decisions that have been made.
“We’ll have a look at that but we’re definitely disappointed and frustrated that we’ve not come away with the win.”

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 24-8 Hull FC

Salford Red Devils produced a stunning all-round team performance to cruise past Hull FC 24-8 in a hard-fought contest at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Maiden tries from Ben Nakubuwai and Jack Littlejohn along with further efforts from Robert Lui and Greg Johnson ensured The Red Devils ran out deserved winners and earned their first Betfred Super League victory since last month’s 36-18 triumph over Hull’s cross-city rivals Hull KR.
The Red Devils made a bright start to the contest and opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, Salford earned an early penalty and opted to take the two – Robert Lui successfully converted the resulting goal.
However, Hull responded well and crossed over less than ten minutes later when Dean Hadley latched onto Jake Connor’s low kick before touching down, Marc Sneyd added the extras.
The visitors were awarded a controversial penalty after Lama Tasi’s challenge was deemed late by referee Scott Mikalauskas – former Red Devil Sneyd successfully landed the goal to extend The Airlie Birds’ lead to six points.
Salford dug in and found themselves level minutes later – first Tyrone McCarthy offloaded to the onrushing Ben Nakubuwai who dived over for his first Salford try, before Lui added the extras to leave the scores tied at 8-8.
Nakubuwai’s score seemed to spur The Red Devils on as they took the lead for the first time in the tie just two minutes later – Salford earned another penalty and for the second occasion Lui opted to kick at goal, before successfully added the extras.
Salford extended their lead midway through the half when Greg Johnson broke away from the FC backline before offloading to Junior Sa’u who’s quick hands forged an opening for Jack Littlejohn to sprint 20m and dive over to claim his first try for the club, However Lui’s goal attempt was unsuccessful as the ball landed narrowly wide.
The hosts dominated throughout the second period and found themselves in again, Lui produced an eye-catching dummy which caught the entire Hull backline off guard – thus providing the half-back with enough space to touch down in the corner, Lui successfully added the extras to take Salford up to the 20 point mark.
Ian Watson’s side were thriving by this point and crossed over again two minutes later, the ever present Sa’u superbly offloaded to Johnson who produced an astonishing finish in the left-hand corner to claim his first score of the evening and cap off a fine all-round Salford performance.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby, Lui, Littlejohn, Mossop, Tomkins, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan
Interchanges: Tasi, Nakubuwai, Wood, McCarthy
Hull FC Lineup: Shaul, Faramaio, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Washbrook, Green, Hadley, Minichello, Abdull
Interchanges: Matongo, Fash, Bowden, Lane
Salford Scorers: Tries- Nakubuwai (35’), Littlejohn (61’), Lui (72’), Johnson (74’)
Goals- Lui (6’, 36’, 38’, 73’)
Hull Scorers: Tries- Hadley (14’)
Goals- Sneyd (15’, 28’)
Man of the Match: Ben Nakubuwai
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Touch Judges: M. Craven,  J. Roberts
Attendance: 2,902

Factfile | St Helens vs Salford Red Devils | Sunday 4th March

Ahead of Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash with St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium we take a look at the facts behind this fixture.
Head-to-head
Saints are somewhat of a bogey team for Salford however the Red Devils have begun to curve that in recent seasons with two wins against St Helens in their last five meetings with the six-time Betfred Super League winners.
Both of these victories came at the AJ Bell Stadium with a comfortable 44-10 win in 2016 followed by a 22-14 victory in round eight of the 2017 Betfred Super League season.
However, it’s on the road where the difficulties lie for Salford as they are without a win at St Helens since 1980. The closest the Red Devils have come to edging out Saints at St Helens came last season when a last-minute drop-goal from former Red Devil Matty Smith sealed a win for Justin Holbrook’s side.
Overall in the Super League era, Salford have won six times against St Helens while the hosts have won 36 times against the Red Devils. There is yet to be a draw between the two sides in the Betfred Super League.
Try-scoring
Last weekend Niall Evalds crossed twice in a convincing 36-12 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers at the AJ Bell Stadium and in the process became the first-ever Salford player to score in each of the opening games of a Betfred Super League season.
Evalds also enjoys playing at the Totally Wicked Stadium as the versatile back scored twice in the narrow 25-24 loss at St Helens last season. In fact, Evalds has scored in his last four competitive outings including a try in the final game of the 2017 season which came against St Helens.
As for Saints – they also have a regular threat against Salford. Prop-forward Alex Walmsley has scored three tries in his last three appearances against Salford including a brace in last season’s Super 8’s clash between the sides in late September.
Played for both
There are a host of former St Helens players in Ian Watson’s 19-man squad for this weekend. Prop-forward Lama Tasi spent time at the Totally Wicked Stadium between his two stints with the Red Devils while Josh Jones and Mark Flanagan were both part of St Helens’ 2014 Betfred Super League Grand Final winning team.
Gareth O’Brien also earned seven appearances with the Saints on loan from Warrington Wolves.
St Helens half-back duo Matty Smith and Theo Fages both enjoyed spells at the AJ Bell Stadium. Smith’s original stint in 2010 was on loan from St Helens before joining the Red Devils on a permanent basis. Fages came through the ranks at Salford and went on to make over 65 appearances for Salford before signing St Helens in 2016.

Three talking points | Salford Red Devils 36-12 Hull Kingston Rovers

A 36-12 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers on Friday evening opened Salford’s account for the 2018 Betfred Super League season and we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Multiple standout performers
It’s difficult to pick one standout performer for the Red Devils from Friday’s victory over Hull KR. Junior Sa’u was awarded the Man of the Match for his tough defensive efforts combined with a crucial try but there were over a handful of Salford players who shone.
Young hooker Josh Wood was once again impressive with his speed and decision making around the ruck and looks to be settling into a regular first team role with ease.  Gareth O’Brien was a constant threat coming into the attacking line from full-back while Niall Evalds crossed for a brace.
All the Red Devils forwards put on a good showing and completely dominated the KR pack.
Defensive effort 
A fortnight ago we hailed Salford’s defence against Wakefield and this weekend the defence was just as impressive again conceding just twice.
Hull KR were extremely impressive down the middle against Catalans Dragons in their last outing however the likes of Lama Tasi, Lee Mossop and Tyrone McCarthy were just too solid in defence for the Robins to break down.
Out wide the Red Devils were equally as tough to break down with Junior Sa’u and Kris Welham standing up strong every time the ball came their way.
Resilience
While the Red Devils sealed a comfortable victory over the Robins it may have been forgotten that Ian Watson’s men fell behind through a Thomas Minns try after just two minutes however this didn’t impact the final result.
Salford hit back almost immediately through Gareth O’Brien before then taking control of the game and never looking back.
This is a real indicator of the team’s resilience and determination to come away with the result after almost fighting back two weeks ago against Wakefield.

Three talking points | Wakefield Trinity 14-12 Salford Red Devils

Following a narrow defeat at the hands of Wakefield Trinity in Round Two of the Betfred Super League we take a look at three talking points from Friday’s game.
The forward battle 
Wakefield’s power in the pack has been a big talking point heading into the 2018 season however Ian Watson’s forwards equalled, and if not, bettered Trinity up the middle on Friday evening.
Lee Mossop and Lama Tasi set the stall early for The Red Devils while a big interchange bench including Luke Burgess, Ben Nakubuwai and Craig Kopczak made a massive impact which is something Wakefield Head Coach Chris Chester eluded to in his press conference. Watch here.
Salford’s pack stood up to the likes of David Fifita and Pauli Pauli and kept Wakefield’s dangerous forwards quiet for the most part. This impressed Ian Watson who’s post-match press conference can be seen here.
Fijian debutant
Fijian World Cup star Ben Nakubuwai debuted for The Red Devils on Friday night and made a massive impact from the bench. Nakubuwai missed out against Wigan but he has certainly put his marker down for a position in the side against Hull Kingston Rovers.
The 21-year-old brought the ball forward constantly making metres with every carry and he was an absolute stalwart defensively in an all-around solid defensive performance from Ian Watson’s side.
Ben Nakubuwai’s post-match interview will be on Salford Red Devils TV later today.
Kris Welham and Niall Evalds
Niall Evalds moved from full-back to winger for Friday evening’s game at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, but it didn’t stop the 2017 top try-scorer from crossing for his second in as many games this season. Evalds finished off a flowing move from The Red Devils to draw them level on Friday.
Kris Welham also made it tries in consecutive appearances as he spun his way over in the final minute to give Salford the opportunity to earn a point. While it wasn’t to be Welham and Evalds are already showing the try-scoring threat Salford possess out wide in 2018.

Ian Watson | “We deserved more out of it”

Following a narrow 14-12 defeat against Wakefield Trinity, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson thought his side were outstanding and deserved more from the game. 
Watson said: “I thought we were outstanding to be fair and consistent in areas which is what we’d spoke about.
“Against Wigan we were really good for like forty-five, fifty minutes and after that we kind of fell off it and we stopped doing things together as a team.
“We’d asked for consistency in our performance today and that’s what the boys worked on and to be fair I think they delivered and deserved more out of it to be fair.”
The result went down to the wire as Gareth O’Brien’s late conversion attempt went wide but Ian Watson concentrated on his sides performance rather than the result.
Watson said: “We’ve come to a team who’ve been talked up and spoke about being a top four team this year and kicking on from where they’ve been for the last three years.
“To come here and outscore them 3-2, we defended really well in large parts where our backs were against the wall on our goal-line defence in the first half.
“I just think the boys have stuck to the task and they’ve shown what we want to be about this season really which is competing against the top teams we just need to learn how to turn those into our results.”
Both sides turned the game into a real arm-wrestle at times and Watson was particularly impressed with his pack.
Watson said: “I thought our bench really lifted us.
“Lama [Tasi] and Moose [Lee Mossop] always gives us a solid start but I think our bench today really lifted us and lifted the intensity of the game.
“I’d say that’s probably the best game Koppy’s [Craig Kopczak] had for a long time.
“I thought Ben [Nakubuwai] showed what I kind of saw in Ben – great footwork at the line, getting his nose through and defensively very solid and worked really hard.
“He’s going to be a big player for us with a big future in the game as well.”