Tag: nrl

Taylor all set for Hull but expects tough test

Salford Red Devils’ new number 13 Elijah Taylor is looking forward to the clash with Hull FC on Saturday but is expecting a tough battle with the Black and Whites in Round 2 of the Betfred Super League.

The New Zealand international, who joined from NRL’s Wests Tigers in December, made his Betfred Super League debut last Friday in the 29-6 defeat to St. Helens in Round 1.

However, despite the loss, Taylor was proud to make his debut for the Red Devils, which he capped with a Man of the Match performance.

Taylor said: “I’m disappointed with the result obviously. We worked extremely hard over the last 12 weeks, but it was good to play Super League.

“I have always watched it since I started my career when I was 13 years old. I used to watch it when I was a little kid and to finally play my first game was pretty cool.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Hull FC, Taylor is expecting a tough test from Brett Hodgson’s men.

“I expect another physical game, I know a lot of players who are in that squad.

“They’ll be up for the game, they came off a good win against Huddersfield. So, we’ll be doing our work during the week to hopefully get it over them this week.”

With Salford reaching two major finals in the last two years, continuing to compete for silverware is the 31-year-old’s target now as a Red Devil as well as featuring for New Zealand in this year’s World Cup.

“Playing finals footy is definitely one of the goals and playing for the Kiwis at the end of the year, that is another of my goals.

I am just going to start off with this week, work as hard as I can, train as hard as I can and play my best football for Salford.”

You can rewatch our 28-22 victory over Hull FC in 2020, our last outing against the Black and Whites, HERE by signing up to RDTV.

Image credit: Steve McCormick
Written by: Charlie Mulholland

Salford win Battle for Hastings

Salford Red Devils have swooped to sign Aussie half-back star Jackson Hastings from the NRL, initially for the remainder of the season.
Hastings is awaiting final visa clearance and will link up with the Red Devils for the vital close of the campaign.
Salford’s Director of Rugby Ian Blease said: “Jackson is a signing that should rightly excite everybody in the city. He is an exciting match-winner and will slot into our set-up perfectly at this crucial time.
“A huge amount of hard-work behind the scenes has gone into making this happen over the past few months and we are delighted to get it over the line. Opportunities to sign players this talented do not come along too often and it speaks volumes that we have beaten off some serious competition for his signature.
“I’d like to thank the player’s agent for all his help as well as Marwan Koukash who has honoured his pledge to support the club with the acquisition of a player.”
22-year-old Hastings already has 47 NRL appearances to his name for the Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles and has bagged 81 points in the process.
Salford Red Devils expect the player will join them at the AJ Bell Stadium as soon as his paperwork is complete in Australia.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “He’s a huge talent with huge potential. The fact Trent Robinson let Maloney leave the Roosters so Jackson could partner Mitchell Pearce shows his level of quality.
“Obviously there were numerous Super League clubs chasing him and we are delighted he has chosen to come to us. Hopefully together we can restart Jackson’s first grade career
“He has been the guy we have been missing in terms of organisation and kicking game. He’s looking forward to getting over here and getting stuck in, concluded Watson.
Ian Blease continued, “It’s been a tough transitional year for the Club and we continue to need all the support we can get from our fans and get them to bring a friend along to the game on Friday against Castleford Tigers (kick off 8pm, AJ Bell Stadium). It is vital we stay in Super League this year and the signing of Jackson Hastings shows that we are very serious about this aim.”
 
 
 
 

Tyke Talk #2 | Easter Period and Player Welfare

Well after penning my first player blog last month I was pleased to see the reception it received, and it clearly got people talking on social media which is the aim – the more discussion and sharing of ideas the better.
We’ve just come through the busiest spell of the Rugby League calendar in Britain – the Easter period – and that’s what I’m going to write about today. Unfortunately, I missed all three games over the Easter period due to injury – I’m hoping to be back and fit this weekend – and while I always love to play the Easter spell is so tough on the players.
It’s well documented from the players in the game that the Easter period isn’t really ideal in terms of preparation for a game. Players are being asked to play, recover, prepare and then perform again in just over 48 hours so it’s really difficult. I mean, as players, we love a challenge but if you look at Easter Monday games I’d say the intensity of games are generally down on that of regular weekly fixtures.
The reason for this is that the turnaround is just too short from Good Friday. These games are often derby games for most clubs, which often increases the physicalintensity and can be draining emotionally compared to non-derby fixtures. Generally, the second day of recovery is the day you’re the sorest to be asked to play again the next day is very demanding.
Over the Easter period we played 3 games in 8 days our 3rd game was against Warrington Wolves. They played their Easter Monday game in treacherous conditions at Castleford Tigers and even we had a wet day at Leeds Rhinos and it does sap quite a bit of energy out of you too.
An additional reason why the fixture pile up needs addressing is for the fans, because they are the ones paying their hard earn money to watch and they want to see the best players on the field. They deserve to watch the most intense, fast and high skilled game we can provide, and they aren’t always guaranteed that due to player fatigue and players being rested as a result of the short turnaround.
On the other hand, from the coach’s point of view they’ve got to do what’s best for their side to ensure they continue to get results in the long-term. You have to ask the question whether the same teams that run out at Easter would do if it was just a one game weekend and I’m not entirely sure because players are always competing with niggles and knocks like dead legs but with four and five days you can get over these injuries but after two days maybe not, it probably effects the integrity of the game in a way with teams having to change the sides so much.
If anything, it’s all about managing the workload because I don’t think we play too many games throughout a season, but I do believe the current Betfred Super League model used by clubs it is too long. I think having a pre season friendlies, a 30-game season and the Challenge Cup – as I mentioned in the last Tyke Talk blog – eats into the time that could be spent on internationals. We could still play around 30 games a season but spread it out better over some more interesting and dynamic competitions rather than just the Betfred Super League. At the moment we might be over using our product too? Do the local derbies mean as much if you play each other 4-5, possibly six times a year?
Again, there does need to be a balancing act in terms of players welfare, but your elite players are always going to end up playing more games – that’s a fact. However, they’re compensated for it with bonuses for international and play-off appearances and I am sure all players would be willing to play more games if there are more rewards. A great example of this is the State of Origin players, I often hear about how origin players back up on the weekend after playing on a Wednesday evening. However these players are withdrawn for the NRL games the previous weekend, so in essence are still only playing in three games over three weeks. Furthermore they are heavily compensated for their involvement in the State of Origin, which was around $30,000 in 2017.
The problem with trying to play 30 games and then an international calendar like we currently do is your then eating into pre-season for the following year and it’s a never-ending cycle from thereon and again preparation for the new season is negatively affected.
It’s not fair that players have to burn the candle at both ends when essentially, they’re always playing and fighting for contracts. Everyone needs to be able to put their best foot forward and this is much easier if players are looked after and aren’t overworked. In addition, we really need to look at eliminating things such as high tackles, spear tackles and crusher tackles to the best of our ability. I’ve had to miss three games as a result of a spear tackle – which I don’t for a second think was malicious – however the player in question was only banned for one. I think the displinary process needs to be strict and consistent on certain indiscretions regardless of a player’s previous disciplinary record, we need to make players understand that certain things are not acceptable in our sport. I may be being a little biased, but player welfare and safety needs to be at the forefront of the sport.
We are extremely lucky to be able to do what we do. We earn money for playing the sport that we love but for a lot of players the pay difference isn’t that much more than some ‘regular’ jobs sometimes players earn less than there earning potential away from the game.  The majority of players will need to seek work following retirement so it’s pivotal we try and remain injury free, and really looking at player welfare and workload, such as the Easter period will aid this.
The last thing we want is to have players retiring and just being disillusioned and detached from the sport because they feel they’ve been mistreated. Look after the players and they’ll stick around and give back to the sport following their retirement. I think a big step in doing this after is adapting the Easter period and having a serious discussion about whether it still belongs in Rugby League in the future.

NRL Grand Finalists to visit Red Devils

On Thursday 18th February at 10am, the North Queensland Cowboys will take part in an opposed training session vs the Red Devils. The NRL Premiers side features a number of Australian and New Zealand international stars, including 2015 Golden Boot winner Johnathan Thurston who was also the man behind the phenomenal golden point drop goal that led the Cowboys to their first NRL victory.
 
The following day, the 19th February at 10am Grand Finalists Brisbane Broncos will visit the AJ Bell Stadium for their Captain’s run. The Broncos side features the likes of Anthony Milford, Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker. Wayne Bennett, Head Coach of the Brisbane side and newly appointed England Head Coach will also be attendance. Former Salford player Greg Eden has also been named in the Broncos squad to face Wigan and he’ll return to the AJ Bell Stadium.
 
Last year we welcomed the Broncos ahead of their victory against Wigan Warriors and the event was well attended by rugby league fans from across the country. We’re therefore excited to have both the Broncos and the Cowboys joining the team here in Salford.
Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said, ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our squad to learn from some of the best rugby league players in the world. It’ll be a great experience for the whole team but especially for some of the younger squad members.’
 
Director of Rugby, Tim Sheens said, ‘It’s great that we’ve been able to organise these events here at the stadium. To have both teams from what is arguably one of the best, if not the best NRL Grand Final in history training here is fantastic. It’s a great chance for all fans of rugby league to come and witness these players in the flesh and see their skill.’
 
U16s will gain free entry to both events and Red Devils Season Ticket holders can visit the training sessions free of charge. There will be the chance to watch them train, get photos and autographs with the players.
We’re also offering any fans free entry to the event on production of a ticket for this Sunday’s Widnes Vikings game here at the AJ Bell Stadium.
 
Non Season Ticket holders and fans from other clubs can gain entry to the event for just £3 per Adult.
 
The training sessions are extra preparation for the Red Devils side ahead of their home tie vs Widnes Vikings on Sunday 21st February, KO 3pm. Tickets for this game will also be on sale at the AJ Bell Stadium during the event.

Red Devils welcome NRL Grand Finalists!

The Red Devils are delighted to announce that NRL Premiership winners North Queensland Cowboys and Grand Finalists Brisbane Broncos will train at the AJ Bell Stadium on the 18th/19th February.
 
On Thursday 18th February at 10am, the North Queensland Cowboys will take part in an opposed training session vs the Red Devils. The NRL Premiers side features a number of Australian and New Zealand international stars, including 2015 Golden Boot winner Johnathan Thurston who was also the man behind the phenomenal golden point drop goal that led the Cowboys to their first NRL victory.
 
The following day, the 19th February at 10am Grand Finalists Brisbane Broncos will visit the AJ Bell Stadium for their Captain’s run. The Broncos side features the likes of Anthony Milford, Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker. Wayne Bennett, Head Coach of the Brisbane side and newly appointed England Head Coach will also be attendance. Former Salford player Greg Eden has also been named in the Broncos squad to face Wigan and he’ll return to the AJ Bell Stadium.
 
Last year we welcomed the Broncos ahead of their victory against Wigan Warriors and the event was well attended by rugby league fans from across the country. We’re therefore excited to have both the Broncos and the Cowboys joining the team here in Salford.
 
Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said, ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our squad to learn from some of the best rugby league players in the world. It’ll be a great experience for the whole team but especially for some of the younger squad members.’
 
Director of Rugby, Tim Sheens said, ‘It’s great that we’ve been able to organise these events here at the stadium. To have both teams from what is arguably one of the best, if not the best NRL Grand Final in history training here is fantastic. It’s a great chance for all fans of rugby league to come and witness these players in the flesh and see their skill.’
 
U16s will gain free entry to both events and Red Devils Season Ticket holders can visit the training sessions free of charge. There will be the chance to watch them train, get photos and autographs with the players.
We’re also offering any fans free entry to the event on production of a ticket for this Sunday’s Widnes Vikings game here at the AJ Bell Stadium.
 
Non Season Ticket holders and fans from other clubs can gain entry to the event for just £3 per Adult.
 
The training sessions are extra preparation for the Red Devils side ahead of their home tie vs Widnes Vikings on Sunday 21st February, KO 3pm. Tickets for this game will also be on sale at the AJ Bell Stadium during the event.