Tag: Post-Match Reaction

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.

Ian Watson | “There were large parts I was really pleased with”

Salford Red Devils got their 2019 Betfred Super League season off to the perfect start with a 14-34 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium. 
We got the thoughts of Head Coach Ian Watson on the performance, standout performers and the Red Devils fans.

On the victory…

“We looked a lot at ourselves in the week leading up to this game rather than looking at Huddersfield. We wanted to build on what we’ve been working on in pre-season and our pre-season friendlies to make sure that we were good and there were large parts of the game which I’m really pleased with. I thought if we had executed a little better in the first half, we could have put some more points on in that first period.”

On the fluidity in attack…

“Having a spine to work with for the full pre-season has been a big plus for us. They were all very keen to get back over after The Qualifiers last year – Rob Lui, Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick – everyone wanted to be back for the first day of pre-season. We are really happy with where we are, but we know we’ve got improvement in us as a group as well.”

On Junior Sa’u’s injury…

“He’s done his ribs. We’ll have to see where he is as we go throughout the week but at the moment it looks unlikely, he will play against London Broncos next week.”

On the left edge…

“I thought Niall Evalds was really good and then obviously Ken Sio attracts defenders. On the second to last try the defenders didn’t know whether to go for Niall or Ken. The directness of Jackson and the way he’s playing into the line as well stands defenders up and frees our guys up.”

On Lee Mossop…

“I don’t like to single individuals out, but I’d like to give a big shout to Lee Mossop who did sixty minutes in the front-row and probably could have gone a bit longer, but we felt the game was won at that point. There aren’t many front-rowers who can do that in the game. Last year was a big year for Lee Mossop in getting as much game time as possible following on from his surgery.”

On the Salford Red Devils fans…

“They were outstanding – we always seem to bring them to Huddersfield. Hopefully on the back of the win this week and the tries we scored they can come back to the AJ Bell Stadium next week against London Broncos to kick us on. There’s a really good feeling around the Club at the moment with the squad, supporters and community links we’re building so hopefully it’ll all fall into place for a strong crowd next week against London.”
The full press conference can be seen below:

 

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.

Ian Watson – “A few of them impressed me to be fair”

Following an impressive 50-12 victory over local rivals Swinton Lions, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson praised the performances of his new additions. 
Levy Nzoungou, Ben Nakubuwai, Gavin Bennion, Jack Littlejohn and Derrell Olpherts all wore the Red Devils shirt for the first time and Watson was impressed with all of them.
Watson said: “A few of them impressed me to be fair. I thought Derrell took his opportunities well he was strong in his back field play as well.
“Levy did well as well when he came on in his spell he was good in his wrestle and ran strongly and was really difficult to put down but all of the guys have stepped up and put their hand up to say I’m here.”
“Gavin Bennion finished off with a nice try at the end there as well but we did have a bit of a scare at the beginning as we thought he’d done his neck but it seems alright now.
“So all the new guys who have come in on the backend of last season have adapted really well and jumped on board with what we’re trying to do and what we’re about as a Club so it’s good.”
Overall Watson was happy to give the majority of his squad a runout and help them continue to gel as a team under the pressure of an actual game.
Watson said: “It was important just to get a little bit of continuity between some of the guys and the spine of the team in a game situation so having a good run there and coming through it healthy is a big plus for us.
“I thought the way we kind of set up from the beginning the team outlined what we wanted to get out of the game which was to start well and we started really well and I’d say the teams application on the back of it was the main thing for us today.”
One player who didn’t feature despite being named in the matchday squad was Kriss Brining however Watson cleared up any injury worries surrounding the former York City Knights hooker.
Watson said: “Kriss Brining just had a little twinge in his neck but he’s fine if it had been a cup final he could have probably played but it was pointless risking him in a pre-season friendly when you’ve got Josh Wood playing the way he did and Logan out there as well.”