Tag: Lee Mossop

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD v HUDDERSFIELD

There are few teams with whom Salford have been as evenly matched, season after season in the Super League era, as Huddersfield.  True there have been periods when first Salford, and then later, Huddersfield have had their periods of ascendency, but in the more recent of years there has been virtually nothing to choose between the two of them, with their invariably winning one match each, remarkably, in their away fixtures.

Bearing that in mind, and also the fact that the Red Devils had already come out on top at the John Smith’s Stadium back in June, and with their rivals having shown some rather more impressive form of late, we might have all been of the mind-set, going into the game, that the Giants could prove too strong, on the night. A resilient performance however from Marshall’s men, ensured Salford made it three Super League wins in a row against the Giants.

Not only that, but the manner in which they pulled this off was quite commendable, in a match which turned out to be an arm wrestle from start to finish.  So much of their victory was down to their uncompromising defence, as there were two periods, of ten to fifteen minutes, when they were penned in their own half, having to withstand, and repel, onslaught after onslaught of Huddersfield attacks.

The first came early in the proceedings, when a penalty to the visitors for a high tackle put them in a great field position, where they proceeded to enjoy five, almost continuous, back-to-back sets of six, which ended with them taking a two-point lead, courtesy of a penalty for offside, at a play-the-ball.

It was of interest to note the number of penalties, from which Huddersfield took a shot at goal, rather than running the ball, giving them a total of six points – the equivalent of a converted try.  They must have assessed, from recent matches, that there would be sufficient of these to lay the foundation to their winning the game.  In the event this did not prove to be the case, with, thankfully, the Red Devils being a little more frugal in this respect, than in the previous two matches.

The second period came with a lengthy endeavour from the Giants to get back on level terms, and then possibly steal the game with a drop goal.  Nail-biting as this spell was, it has to be said that the Salford players rose to the challenge superbly, and they never seemed to be hanging on by a thread; that is, until four minutes from the end.

During both these prolonged periods of pressure, Salford had had great reason to be thankful to left winger Joe Burgess, who had dealt with every tricky, end-of-set kick towards his edge with great aplomb, using his height to outleap any challenging Giant, and pluck the ball out of the air before any damage could be done.

Four minutes from time, however, that gratitude turned into indebtedness, when his opposite number headed with ball in hand for the corner.  Not to be outdone, however, five metres from the line, Burgess caught him from behind, and despite being dragged along the ground from the momentum which had been built up, succeeded in halting all progress completely with the ball coming loose before it could be grounded, in what must have been the tackle of the match.

With ball in hand, Salford once again showed the degree of control and understanding with one another in each passage of play, showing incredible patience in the first half when this brought field position and applied pressure, but without reward, points-wise.  That however did not last for ever;  just thirty-six minutes to be precise.  There have been other matches this season when length of the field tries down the right flank have, from the opposition’s mistakes, turned the game in their favour.

This time, it was not Ken Sio who was there to sprint the length of the field but Rhys Williams who did every bit as well.  Nor was it the first time that Krisnan Inu has been the one who intercepted the pass to set up his winger with this race downfield to score.  The beauty of interception tries is that for the opposition it is a ‘double whammy’ because, as on this occasion, they are often within touching distance of a try for themselves, whilst the dent to their confidence takes some little time to overcome.

Even worse, from their point of view, was to succumb to not just one, but a pair of tries, either side of the interval, the second of which came on 42 mins, when Tui Lolohea showed how well he is settling into the fullback role, by timing his insertion into the Red Devils’ attacking line so that he could cut through for a typical fullback’s try, to put Salford ahead for the first time.

That lead had to be recouped fifteen minutes later, after Huddersfield had knocked over two penalty goals to restore their two-point advantage, but what a well-worked try it was, with Andy Ackers drilling the ball into the in-goal area from dummy half, and Jack Ormondroyd showing an exceptional turn of pace for a prop, to ground the ball behind the posts, before it ran dead.

A further six points were available shortly after, when Danny Addy broke through before handing on to Lolohea. Unfortunately, Tui’s pass to Chris Atkin was, surprisingly, called as forward, so the chance was lost.  Had it resulted in a try it is distinctly possible that Salford would have gone on to score a couple of others, on the back of it.  As it was, they were required to return to the high level of defence they had shown earlier which, with Burgess’s final involvement, secured them the win.

It is only fitting that such a gruelling, hard fought, battle should be won in the name of the magnificent Lee Mossop, whose contribution to the development of the club in recent years cannot be overstated.  He has led the team out, at Old Trafford in the 2019 Grand Final, and then at Wembley in the 2020 Challenge Cup Final – two finals for which Salfordians had waited fifty years, to witness.

His contribution on the field has been there for all to see, but his influence off the field has been equally as great.  I, for one, am more than grateful to Lee for his consideration, kindness, and support, which I have received, throughout the time he has been with us, as indeed, I am sure, is everyone else who has had the pleasure and privilege of working with, or playing alongside, him.

We can only now thank him for all he has done for Salford Red Devils, wish him all the very best in the future, and be pleased that the players whom he has led all season, were able to give him, and the rest of us, this victory, in his honour.

CAPTAIN LEE MOSSOP FORCED TO RETIRE THROUGH MEDICAL ORDERS

Salford Red Devils can confirm that skipper Lee Mossop has been forced to retire with immediate effect following medical orders.

Prop Mossop joined Salford in 2017 from Wigan Warriors and became captain in 2018. Throughout his career, Mossop has had 11 reconstruction operations on his shoulders to try and prolong his career as much as possible.

Although we are sad to see our skipper go, we have, and will, fully support Moose in the next stages of his life as he prepares for a career outside of rugby league.

Walking into the AJ Bell Stadium off the back of the 2016 campaign that almost saw Salford relegated to the Betfred Championship, Mossop played a pivotal role in changing the fortunes at the club with the recent success of the last two years.

In 79 appearances for the Red Devils, the prop scored 7 tries – a few of those in big games.

Moose captained Salford to our first ever Grand Final in 2019, scoring a massive try against his former club Wigan at the DW Stadium in the Semi-Final.

The following season, the 32-year-old led Salford out at Wembley for their first Betfred Challenge Cup Final appearance in 51 years.

Speaking on his retirement and his time at the club, Mossop said: “It’s with great sadness that today I have to announce my retirement from rugby league. It’s been no secret that I have struggled with shoulder issues the majority of my career but after seeing the surgeon last week, he has told me there are no more surgeries he can offer to help prolong my career anymore and instead, it will be one final operation to give me a better quality of life with my wife and young children.

“I’d like to thank firstly my family and friends who have supported me through my career, the clubs and supporters I have represented and the players who I have shared a field with.

I joined this club in 2017, planning on only being here one year as I thought I’d be forced to retire then but with a lot of hard work from the coaches and physio staff here, I’ve managed to represent this club for almost 5 seasons and been lucky enough to make some unbelievable memories for a club that I now love!

“I was lucky enough to lead this team out in a Grand Final with my little girls, which will always be one of my main highlights of my career. The fans have been fantastic to play in front of and the most passionate I have met.

“On behalf of me and my family, I thank Salford Red Devils and everyone associated with it for 5 incredible years. We will always owe a debt of gratitude to you.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall said: “What a fantastic career Lee leaves behind. Any good leader or captain’s purpose is to leave the shirt, club and environment in a better place. Well Moose ticks all those boxes. Since my first week at the club he has been a pleasure to work with. His passion for the team is unwavering. He leads by example both on and off the field.

This has not been an easy decision and more so when it’s taken out of your hands. He told me a few weeks ago that this was likely to end his career but said he would wear the shirt for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the time came when he couldn’t carry on. The consultant was adamant he had to finish due to chronic shoulder problems that have plagued him for several years. Being the true professional he is, he tore up preseason and started well. However, the game is unforgiving and it was simply too much to keep backing up.

“Lee leaves behind a great career and memories of trophy wins, overseas success and international honours. He should be proud of all he has achieved and more so the person he is today which has been shaped by all his experiences. We wish himself Chloe, Eden , Nancy and Flynn all the success in the future and a wonderful restful retirement.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “This is really sad news for Lee and the club, but I would like to put on record how Lee has been the ultimate skipper and supreme professional for the club since his arrival in 2017. I spoke to Lee retiring early in the week and I was truly gutted for him. It was a very emotional dressing room after the game on Friday against Wigan when he told the rest of team that he was hanging his boots up for good immediately. To see professional rugby league players sharing that emotion with Lee will be something that we all remember forever .

“As a natural leader, Lee has epitomised our club’s desire and ambition to compete at the highest level, not forgetting Lee leading us to our first Grand Final appearance and our first Challenge Cup appearance for over 50 years. Lee knows he is making the right decision for himself and his family now so he can have a quality of life after rugby. I totally respect his decision and it will be a hard task to replace a leader like Moose.”

Mossop – “We’ve got a really good balance this year”

Salford Red Devils captain Lee Mossop is confident going into the new 2021 Betfred Super League season and has been impressed with what new head coach Richard Marshall has brought to the squad.

The Red Devils face a tough test against back-to-back reigning champions St Helens but go in off the back of a great pre-season following big changes at the AJ Bell Stadium over the winter.

And following the recent friendly win over Wigan Warriors, Mossop was full of praise for the new head coach in his work both on the training field and in his player dealings as well.

Mossop said: “If I am being really honest, this is probably the best squad we’ve had.

“You look at our outside backs, there are some pretty impressive players who will miss out this week just because of the competition in that position.

“I think we’ve got a really good balance this year with our squad and hopefully if we can keep people fit then we should go decent.

“I’ve been lucky enough this pre-season that I’ve done more wrestling contact than I ever have in the last five/six years so I just can’t wait to start.”

With the Rugby League World Cup on the horizon, this season is a big one for the Red Devils’ captain, as he looks to force himself back into the England squad, having been part of the team that finished third on home soil back in 2013.

“I played in the 2013 World Cup, that was probably my best season as a player, won the double with Wigan, signed an NRL contract, played in the World Cup and I had a pretty swift fall from grace” Mossop said.

“I had horrible shoulder injuries and I went from the top to the very bottom and I struggled for form for a few years.

“I feel in the last couple of seasons, I think I am playing better than when I was picked in 2013.

“I am getting to the back end of my career. I want nothing more than to get back into that international set-up and hopefully I can push for that this year.”

You can help Mossop and the team push for success in 2021 by purchasing a season ticket here.

Written by: Will Dickson

Ian Watson | “It’s our defence we take pride in”

Head Coach Ian Watson was delighted with his sides 0-46 victory over Catalans Dragons and discussed a range of pleasing aspects of the performance.

On the performance…

We felt we did a lot of positive stuff last week against St Helens. We did things that maybe the supporters don’t notice but players see in those big game and we knew coming to Catalans we’d have to be at that level of performance or above it so we kept the game plan really simple this week because we knew how good Catalans were but coming here and nilling Catalans is above what we thought we’d achieve here. The defence won the game. The way we kicked them into pockets and then we were really resilient at the back end and that won us the game. The attack is the icing on the cake for us but it’s our defence we take pride in.

On surprising people with the victory…

Every week we go in to play and I know the players and I believe we’ll beat everyone we play. It’s no surprise to me that we’ve won. We’ve got a good group but they’ve just got to grow and mature together in learning how to win the bigger games and the mentality we had against St Helens we had today as well, but we were better against Catalans. It shows we can beat teams by doing things right, but we’re used to people knocking us – it’s nothing new.

On the forward battle…

Our pack had a meeting the day before the game and said that if we were to win this game our pack needed to step up here. Lee Mossop – despite the latter not playing – led the way in that meeting, Mark Flanagan came back in and Gil Dudson has been a leader since he arrived, those guys stood up and made it clear they wanted to set a standard for the pack, and everyone has seen what they’re capable of. I thought Daniel Murray was outstanding and Ben Nakubuwai too. Adam Lawton must have come on and had to defend six goal line sets and that’s the tough part of the game and his attitude was not to be beaten there and that was the pleasing thing.

On Jake Bibby…

He was absolutely outstanding today. He’s been waiting for his chance and we’ve always had Junior Sa’u in there who always does a good job and is a leader for us. Bibby has had to be patient this season, but he’s took his chance today and put a bit of pressure in the centre positions. We’ve been waiting for Bibby to play because we sensed in pre-season, he was ready this year to step up and he’s shown a real good account of himself there.

On the halves…

I think Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui were very mature today. From the sideline you can hear them talking and Robbie was very mature in how he managed the game and he was talking to Jackson all the time, so he was helping him because we have to remember Jackson is only young and Robbie is the experienced half and he’s played outside Jonathan Thurston so he knows how to pass his maturity onto Jackson.

On preparing for Castleford…

We knew we were coming into a tough run of games but we’re confident as a group that we can perform, and we’ll be keeping our game plan really simple, so everybody knows their role. The lads deserve a lot of credit for this performance and should take the plaudits, but we’ll be back to work next week for Castleford.

On the attitude…

The pleasing stuff was when we defended a number of back-to-back sets and then went down the other end and the support play was still there. We did make an error, but our defensive line got straight back in position and that just shows your team is hungry and ready to work hard for each other.

On the travelling support…

We’ve spoken about the away fans all year and I think they’ve been outstanding at every game. You can’t knock them they were unbelievable singing the roof off the place. I know they love a good trip to Catalans, but this will be better for the result and they hope they enjoy their night.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday 17th March are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket and coach details, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 24th March and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For ticket prices, click HERE.

Community | Salford Red Devils celebrate World Book week at St Phillip’s

Earlier this week Salford Red Devils visited local primary school St Phillip’s C of E to read to the children as part of the World Book Week.
Salford stars Rob Lui, Joey Lussick, Mark Flanagan, Ken Sio, Lee Mossop and Greg Burke were accompanied by Head Coach Ian Watson and read to age groups from Reception to Year 5. The Red Devils were promoting reading at a young age and the importance of having male role models to the next generation.
The lads read books on a range of topics from dinosaurs to grandparents with Greg Burke getting through three books and Rob Lui staying behind to continue reading to his class who loved the ‘Star Man’s’ entertainment.
Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “It’s fantastic to have the lads out in the community and doing activities with youngsters such as reading to them as part of World Book Week.
“We’ve got a great group of players at the moment who are more than willing to put themselves out into the community of Salford and promote fantastic initiatives such as this.
“It is important that children are reading from a young age and having positive male role models showing them that reading is enjoyable and beneficial can only help promote that in and around Salford.”
 
Remember, if you have a child under the age of 11, they can claim a FREE Junior Season Ticket for the remainder of our 2019 Betfred Super League season. Just visit the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or call 0161 786 1570 now.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man for trip to Catalans

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad to travel to Perpignan to face Catalans Dragons on Saturday 9th March.
Ed Chamberlain – who has missed the early weeks of the season through injury – is named in the squad and could make his first competitive appearance of the 2019 season.
Jake Bibby is also looking to make his first start of the 2019 Betfred Super League season. Mark Flanagan will be looking to come back into the starting team as will George Griffin who missed last week’s game against St Helens after pulling up in the warm-up.
Lee Mossop misses the game after picking an injury in last Thursday’s game against St Helens.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

Ian Watson | “We’re confident in the teams ability to learn”

Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with the effort from his side and feels the Red Devils can learn a lot from their opponents St Helens.
He also touched on a number of other topics in his post-match press conference.

On the game…

Credit to St Helens on how good they were defensively – that was the key. I thought just they were really consistent in turning us over in a pocket and were really consistent with their line speed and intensity in defence and knowing when to drop off and be really disciplined and not give penalties away coming out of yardage. Their defence was outstanding, and it was something we spoke about at half-time and that we needed to be better at and learn a lesson from a champion team. I think we did do that in the second half, and we were miles better at it and that’s credit to the players. I thought there was a lot of effort and endeavour from our lads.

On learning from St Helens… 

That’s a key thing for us and I think it’s what we’re trying to learn as a group. We’ve got a group in now who understand how we want to play and what we want to be known as. Saints have taught us a lesson in how we want to set about defensively really and to have that patient approach but I suppose that’s why they’re consistently playing in semi-finals and play-offs and until we buy into that and are as good as them at that we won’t get to those semi-finals at this point but we’re confident in the players’ ability to learn and to go forward from here.

On the injuries…

Teams pick up injuries, it wasn’t why we lost the game. Losing George Griffin and Lee Mossop obviously disrupts things but big credit to Daniel Murray he was 18th man and he’s been told to jump in on short notice and stood up against Alex Walmsley and Luke Thompson. Lee Mossop looks like he’s torn his hamstring and is the worst of them all. George Griffin felt it pulling up and when he hit a shield, he felt a pain go through it, so we won’t know how bad that one is until he gets assessed next week.

On the defensive efforts…

Jackson’s trackback try-saving tackle was special as was Ken Sio and Niall Evalds’ effort on Tommy Makinson. We encourage those kinds of efforts from our players because it shows a real desire and work ethic within your team.

On the start to the season…

It’s been a good start and I’d say this performance was good, it’s given us something to build on. I’d say the disappointing performance was the Leeds one for us. I don’t think we represented ourselves well in the Leeds game, but I thought against St Helens we dug in and a lot of other teams may have cracked a lot earlier than what we did. We just need to learn to not get bored doing things and be a little more patient in our approach.

On squad depth…

I’m confident in the squad we have particularly with our middles. We’ve got Adam Lawton who is developing really well playing down at Rochdale Hornets at the moment and his movements have been looking a lot better in those games we’ve been watching. We’ve also got Daniel Murray and Mark Flanagan didn’t play this weekend either so there are guys to drop in there and I don’t think we’re in a desperate situation just yet.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next two home fixtures against Wigan Warriors on 24th March and Hull FC on 7th April are both available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 7861 570 or online HERE. You can SAVE money by purchasing in advance!

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 4-26 St Helens

Salford Red Devils fell to a 4-26 defeat at the hands of St Helens on Thursday evening and there were a number of talking points from the game.

Attitude

While the result wasn’t the one the Red Devils were looking for the performance was certainly a positive one as Salford put up a resilient display full of ‘effort and endeavour’ as Watson referenced in his post-match press conference.
The first half saw a real back-and-forth affair for the first twenty minutes before Saints opened up a lead heading into the break. However, much like large periods of the first half, Salford matched the current Super League leaders for most of the second half but just couldn’t open up the St Helens defence.


Salford’s defence remained strong for long spells of the game in comparison with their last home outing against Leeds Rhinos. If there were two moments that encapsulated the ‘never-say-die’ attitude they were certainly Ken Sio and Niall Evalds hunting down Tommy Makinson as he broke free and Jackson Hastings pulling off a sensational defensive effort on Makinson also as he went to score in the corner.
There is no doubting that if the levels of effort and desire remain the same next week in France that Salford will be confident of coming away from the Stade Gilbert Brutus with two points. 

Injuries

It was a tough evening at the office for the Red Devils and that showed in the warm-up as George Griffin had to pull out of the starting line-up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Daniel Murray.
The injury woes continued for Salford in the early stages as Captain Lee Mossop had to leave the field after just five minutes with a similar injury meaning Salford had to play a huge period of the game with 16 men.

Greg Burke also had to leave the field with for a concussion assessment which meant Gil Dudson returned to the pitch almost immediately after coming off to the interchange bench. Jackson Hastings also missed the final ten minutes of the game as he also needed to undergo a concussion assessment. The game may well have gone a different way had Salford had some better luck with injuries on the night.
Lee Mossop and George Griffin are both being monitored ahead of this weekend’s game against Catalans while Greg Burke and Jackson Hastings will also be looking to be in contention to make the 19-man squad.  

Jansin Turgut

The acquisition of Jansin Turgut last season and his re-signing in the off-season may be one that had slipped under the radar with the other incomings however the Turkish international has put in some sterling performances thus far in the 2019 Betfred Super League.
Turgut was named as the Man of the Match by match sponsor Middleton Barton Group. The back-rower managed to earn an impressive 100 metres during Thursday evening’s game and also racked up a fantastic 44 defensive efforts. He was also prevented his first Red Devils try by a matter of inches in the first half.
The 22-year-old is definitely making an impression at the AJ Bell Stadium during his first full month of game time and he will be looking to carry his fine form into March and onwards.

Gameday shenanigans

Ahead of kick-off, special guests Jackson Yamba and his ten-year-old son David brought the matchball onto the field to an absolutely amazing reception and the Salford Red Devils fans displayed the true meaning of the Salford community! 
Half-time of yesterday’s game saw the debut of ‘Wild Thang’s Wild Five Minutes’ with Dr Devil firing t-shirts into the crowd thanks to our brand-new t-shirt cannon with one lucky fan winning a golden ticket for a fabulous prize at our next home game.


Thursday’s game also saw the Salford University Takeover Day with a number of students, staff and alumni attending in both a professional capacity in the press area and as supporters. There was also a heavy Salford University presence in and around the AJ Bell Stadium as a major step between one our main partners for 2019.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next two home fixtures against Wigan Warriors on 24th March and Hull FC on 7th April are both available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 7861 570 or online HERE. You can SAVE money by purchasing in advance!

Squad | Ian Watson makes one change for Saints

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Thursday’s Betfred Super League fixture with St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium, 7:45pm kick-off.
Mark Flanagan comes into the squad in place of Lee Mossop. Tyrone McCarthy and Daniel Murray retain their places after impressive showings at KCOM Craven Park last weekend.
Jake Bibby will be looking for his first start of the 2019 season.
Tickets for Thursday’s game against St Helens are available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

Talking Points | Huddersfield Giants 14-34 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils opened their 2019 Betfred Super League season with an impressive victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium and there were plenty of talking points from the game.

Dangerous left-hand side

The Red Devils ran in seven tries in their 14-34 victory with five coming down the left-hand side. Two of Niall Evalds’ three tries were down the left-hand flank while Junior Sa’u opened the scoring and Ken Sio grabbed a brace on his debut on the same side.
Jackson Hastings and Evalds combined on numerous occasions throughout the game after quick ball from the likes of Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan and Joey Lussick. Evalds was the standout performer cutting through the Giants line on numerous occasions as well as setting up one of Sio’s two tries.


Sa’u had to leave the field midway through the first half with a rib injury with Jansin Turgut moving into the centres. The Turkish international looked just as comfortable as Sa’u as he set up the first of Sio’s double.

Mossop’s massive minutes

In his post-match press conference, Head Coach Ian Watson pointed to Captain Lee Mossop as a massive contributor to the victory as the prop-forward played sixty minutes for the Red Devils.

Mossop was a constant presence in the middle of the park. The former England international got through a lot of hard yards while keeping a powerful Giants pack quiet for the most part. 

Huddersfield – Happy hunting ground 

Last night’s victory marked the sixth consecutive victory at the John Smith’s Stadium for the Red Devils. It is also now the third consecutive season in which Salford’s first away victory of the Betfred Super League season has come at the John Smith’s Stadium.


It is also Salford’s first victory in Round One of the Betfred Super League since 2014 when the Red Devils overcame Wakefield Trinity 18-14 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The away following

The Salford Red Devils faithful turned out in strong numbers for the opening game of the 2019 Betfred Super League season with both Ian Watson and Niall Evalds praising the following from the supporters.


The away following was extremely similar to that of last season’s trip to Halifax and were loud and proud throughout. The Red Devils host London Broncos on Sunday 10th February and will be looking for some more terrific support.