Tag: Post-Match Press Conference

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.

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!

Ian Watson | “We showed real character”

Salford Red Devils got back to winning ways with a brilliant 22-24 comeback victory over Hull Kingston Rovers and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with the character his side displayed.
He covered a number of subjects in his post-match press conference.

On the nature of the victory… 

It was really good for us as a team and as a group going forward. To be able to show that mentality after so many errors in the first half and to turn the tide like that shows real character within the team and emphasises how good our team spirit is.

On the half-time team talk…

It was 8-22 at half-time and when we came in at half time, I just felt like if we’d cut the errors out, we’d win the game and we needed to complete sets and put the pressure on Hull Kingston Rovers. In the first half we started well and were on the front foot with some of our attacks, but we kept compounding it with errors on our own try-line and giving them the opportunities to attack us. We just spoke at half time about tidying that area up as we were carrying the ball too loose and we were causing our own downfall but once we rectified that in the second half, we looked really good.

Any standout performers… 

George Griffin. He’s played eighty minutes in the middle and then at right back-row for us and that is a big ask to play in the middle for that amount of time. Then he moved into the back-row and made a real impact out there so we’ve got to give big credit to him.

On the half-backs…

There are more than Jackson Hastings in our team. Jackson has pulled off a great try-saving tackle in the second half on Joel Tomkins underneath the posts at a delicate time for us. Rob Lui was great, and he plays on the back of Jackson, but the pack has got to set the platform for you to go forward. If your pack doesn’t go forward your half-backs can’t do anything on the back of it so there are more than just one or two players, but Rob Lui was great.

On Joey Lussick… 

He was probably out there for a little bit too long in the first half and he started to fatigue but when he came back on, I thought he settled us down and got us back to our old processes.

On the importance of the victory…

I think it’s a big one this. I don’t think many teams will come to Hull Kingston Rovers and win. It’s a tough place to come despite us having a few decent wins at KCOM Craven Park but they are a good team and they’ve recruited really well, and they play a great style of football. For us to get two points here and come back in the fashion we did we have to give massive credit to the players, and it was a great game but was a little nervy towards the end.

On the start to the season…

It’s been a strong start for us, and it is exactly what we wanted. We’ve got St Helens, Catalans and Castleford in the coming weeks, so this win sets us up nicely going into these games.

On the short turnaround…

With us playing on Thursday night we’ll have to look after the players.
 
Tickets for our game against St Helens on Thursday 28th February are available to purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and online HERE.

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!

Ian Watson | “Teams who defend well win games and competitions”

Salford Red Devils moved to the top of the Betfred Super League table following a 24-0 victory over London Broncos and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with various aspects of the win. 

On the result following a tough week…

Happy to get the week over with really. We’ve had a tough week. A lot of the lads have been down with the flu, so much so that I had to cancel training on Thursday afternoon. Rob Lui was a doubt for the game as he was struggling with it on Saturday. What the lads have done is outstanding earning the victory over London.

On the game…

We knew not to underestimate London. Both times we’ve played them while I’ve been here, and we’ve played them in The Qualifiers we’ve been beat. We know they’re a dogged team and we knew that it didn’t matter if we got a lead on them whether that be 6-0 or 18-0 like Wakefield found out last week. You have to defend well and be on it to beat London, every week you’ve got to be right to play a team like London, so we knew exactly what they’d bring and the fact that we’ve done the job proves that we’re a better team than we were last year.

On the defence… 

We spoke a lot about the defence in the build-up, history shows you that teams who defend well win games and competitions. It is something we’ve worked really hard on. I thought it was led really well by Niall Evalds from the back who is the boss of our defensive line and I thought his goal-line efforts were outstanding. To defend as well as we did do as a team and keep London Broncos to a nil was a massive effect and it bodes well for the team.

On proving people wrong…

If you listen to the pundits on Sky Sports the other day, we shouldn’t be in the league the way they were talking but that’s for people to have their opinions. People said us and London would be down there and getting relegated. We’re only two games in and we’re not getting carried away, but we’ll see who is right at the end of the season.

On next week’s game against Leeds…

They’ll be coming here ready to play and they’ll be fired up. They’ve got a new coach and despite losing their opening two games they’ll come to play and they’re still a strong team. They’ve had a tough opening with the games that they’ve had but we’re confident as a group, we don’t need to shout about it we just need to go about our business and do the job.

On the new signings…

That was a big thing for us – would our new signings make the team better? They definitely have done on and off the field. Ken Sio is great around the place and is brilliant with the younger guys, he’s fitted in well. Greg Burke is like a new signing this year as well alongside Gil Dudson and they’ve all added to us and given us a better edge to us as a team.

On any injury concerns… 

No, I think we’ve come through okay. Mark Flanagan didn’t come back on due to back spasms but I think that’s just old age with Flash!
 
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. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Willie Poching | “Lot of resilience and character”

Following an important victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the Red Devils opening qualifiers fixture, Assistant Coach Willie Poching feels this will have an impact on his sides confidence.
“It’s been a little while since we’ve won on the bounce – two in a row – so we’re pretty pleased with the start to the Super 8s campaign for us.
“If you’ve been involved in this competition before you understand the importance of trying to get the wins but trying to get them early, so we can’t understate the importance of this win.
“As well as being in the position that we are with only having three home games to pick up an away victory is a big bonus for us. It puts us in a good position confidence wise.
“The guys showed a lot of resilience and character tonight.”
Watch Willie Poching’s full post-match press conference below:

Ian Watson | “I think that resilience showed”

Head Coach Ian Watson was thrilled with the resilience his side displayed as they overcame Leeds Rhinos for just the third time in the Betfred Super League despite spending sixty minutes with twelve men. 
Watson said: “The boys have been goods all the way through the season they’ve always been on the same page alongside what the Club has been going through and the situations we’ve faced but they’ve stayed really strong as a group.
“Even when we’ve lost they’ve come in trying to improve and wanting to get better and I think that resilience showed when we went down to twelve men with how hard they worked for each other.
“We just need to build on that now and take it forward.
“When we complete sets we’ll cause any team issues and that’s what we did. If you look at our games when we complete sets, we normally win games – that’s the key for us.”
Watch Ian Watson’s full post-match press conference below where he also discusses the impressive debut of Jackson Hastings, the imminent arrival of Joey Lussick and how he is expecting some players to return from injury for The Qualifiers.
Full video below:

Ian Watson | “We totally fell away from it”

Head Coach Ian Watson was disappointed to see his side move away from the processes – which saw them start strongly against Hull Kingston Rovers – after the hosts crossed the Red Devils line.
Watson said: “We started as well as we have done for a while.
“We were in control dominating field position and as soon as a little bit of pressure came on us we totally fell away from it.
“Hull KR just turned the tide. We were having a real arm-wrestle for that first twenty minutes and we got our nose in front and just needed to stick with the processes which we were doing really well early on.
“But then a few errors and them going the length of the field from our kick turned the tide and that’s when you need a little bit of resilience and we didn’t have it.
“Hull KR were outstanding. Their packed rolled our pack and they beat us in all areas to be honest.”
Ian Watson’s full post-match press conference can be seen below: