Tag: Pre-season friendly

Ian Watson | “We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson spoke to the press following a 18-28 defeat to Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly. Here’s what he had to say on a range of topics post-match. 

On the game and facing Wigan…

Yeah it was brilliant. It was exactly what we wanted with the lift in intensity. We knew Wigan would bring that, having the game against Swinton last week got us back into gameplay with the fitness and contact elements and then against Wigan we knew it was about coming against the intensity we’ll have to face week in and week out in the Super League. It was perfect preparation for us.

On Jackson Hastings leaving the field early…

He just had a little twinge from the Swinton game, so we didn’t want to overwork him. To be fair, he did more than we expected today because he was feeling good, so we worked off him. We didn’t want to risk anybody we didn’t need to. Obviously, Jackson is an important part of our team.

On Ed Chamberlain’s injury…

Ed looks like he’s the one who may have sustained a syndesmosis or something like that, so we just need to get that checked out. A syndesmosis can be any length of time out depending on how bad the grade is. It could be up to twelve weeks, but we’ll see where he is and hopefully it’s not that bad.

On Rob Lui leaving the field early…

Robbie is fine. He just clashed with Jansin Turgut in a tackle. He had another minute to do, I think he just wanted to come off there. He knew how long he had left to do so he came off a little bit earlier than we wanted him to.

On knowing his starting side for Huddersfield….

I more or less know it. With our group we’ve been able to build it over a couple of years in what we want with the characters in our team and how we want to play. We’ve been able to recruit a little bit better this year in terms of the players who’ve we’ve had to choose from. We’ve brought players in who can play the way we want to, and we’re really pleased with the guys we’ve brought in.

On Niall Evalds’ versatility…

I thought Niall was outstanding. He was a little bit like a Darren Lockyer out there playing full-back and stand-off. He’s really developed again this year. We’re just covering bases a little bit and looking at a few things because we need to deal with it if we get an injury to a half or a nine throughout the season. I thought Niall and Rob linked up well and we even had Greg Burke at hooker with Joey Lussick in the halves at one point. We’ve got options to manoeuvre things about which is important for us at a Club that doesn’t have the biggest of squads.

On Connor Davies-Aspey…

Connor has been brilliant. His is a bit more of baby steps as he still has a lot of developing to do. I think the progression will be probably looking to play at Championship or maybe League One, if there’s a side who’ll take a shot on him. He just needs to develop. That’s the difference between the U19’s and Reserves now. Years ago, there were a lot of 16-year-olds who could come through and play first team because they’d played against men already. Connor’s first game against men was last weekend against Swinton. I had to be very careful as there were a few occasions I could have thrown him on but with the likes of Tony Clubb Joe Greenwood, Liam Farrell and Ben Flower who are physical and big specimens to have thrown Connor in front of those would have been a big ask. He just needs to develop his path the right way.
 

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.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 18-28 Wigan Warriors

Salford Red Devils fell to defeat to current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium in their second, and final pre-season, game of 2019.
Debutant Ken Sio put Salford ahead early on however three unanswered tries from Liam Farrell, Sam Powell and Tom Davies gave Wigan a twelve-point lead at the break.
The Red Devils again opened the scoring in the second half through Joey Lussick and inched closer to the Warriors thanks to Jake Bibby’s try. However, Morgan Escare and Zak Hardaker would cross to ensure a Wigan victory. Derrell Olpherts did notch a late consolation.
Sio – who joined in the off-season – took just four minutes to open his Salford account as he latched on to a low kick to the corner from Jackson Hastings. Ed Chamberlain’s conversion fell short of the sticks.
Wigan took their time getting into the game, but Farrell managed to spin away from three Salford defenders to score before Hardaker’s conversion put the visitors in front. Powell would scoot under the Red Devils defence shortly after to extend the lead. Hardaker again converted.
With half-time approaching, Wigan would cross again as a looping George Williams pass found Davies on the wing to further the Warriors’ lead heading into the interval.
It was again Salford who started the quicker in the second half, however. Gil Dudson went close for the Red Devils but a quick play-the-ball on the Wigan line allowed Lussick to throw a nice dummy before burrowing his way under the Warriors defence. Chamberlain added the extras to put Salford just one score behind.
Evalds – who had now moved into the halves in place of Jackson Hastings – was causing issues for the Wigan defence and it was his ball to Bibby which created Salford’s third. The winger adjusted his run well, stepped inside the onrushing Wigan defenders and held three of them off to plant the ball down. Lussick – who was now on goal kicking duties in place of an injured Chamberlain – hit both the post and bar meaning the Red Devils still trailed.
Wigan came back at the Red Devils and would score two tries in eight minutes down the left-hand flank. Escare was the beneficiary of the first break before Hardaker would get on the end of the second in his first game for the Warriors.
In the closing stages Salford would score once more to narrow the deficit. Evalds and Sa’u linked up well before the latter flicked the ball out of the back to find Olpherts who pulled off a fantastic finish in the corner.
Salford: Evalds, Sio, Sa’u, Chamberlain, Bibby; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Murray, Jones, Turgut, Burke.
Interchanges: Griffin, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Flanagan, Olpherts, Dudson, Davies-Aspey, Wellington.
Wigan: Hardaker, Marshall, Sarginson, Gildart, Davies; Williams, Sammut; Flower, Powell, Clubb, Isa, Farrell, Hamlin.
Interchanges: Greenwood, Navarette, Partington, Bullock, Escare, Shorrocks, Tautai, Byrne, Hankinson, Marshall, Ganson, Mullen.
Salford Tries: Sio (4’), Lussick (45’), Bibby (51’), Olpherts (75’).
Salford Goals: Chamberlain (46’),
Wigan Tries: Farrell (17’), Powell (27’), Davies (36’), Escare (61’), Hardaker (69’)
Wigan Goals: Hardaker (18’, 28’, 62’, 70’)
 
Referee: Liam Moore.
Attendance: 2190.

Ian Watson | “I thought we looked quite smooth”

Salford Red Devils got 2019 off to a great start with a 54-6 victory over local rivals Swinton Lions and Head Coach Ian Watson was pleased with various aspects of his side’s performance.

On the game…

I thought it was a good performance and we did what we’ve worked on in the pre-season. We got out of our own half a little bit too easily as we got quite a few penalties on tackle three. I’d have like to see a little more of an arm-wrestle to see more of what we have worked on. But everything that was put in front of the boys they reacted really well to especially when we were making all the changes to mix it up a bit people got plenty of game time.

On adapting following the changes…

I thought we looked quite smooth even when Jackson [Hastings] and Rob [Lui] came off and we put Niall [Evalds] into the halves. We’ve done a bit of practice in training running with different combinations just in case anything happens. We know we’ve got a small squad, but we’ve got players who can play in different positions and that was on show for us against Swinton. 

On Connor Davies-Aspey’s debut…

I was really pleased for him. He’s a baby, to be fair, and I thought he did great. He made a couple of breaks and a little bit of inexperience cost him from making a try for Jansin [Turgut] but he created a nice try for Derrell [Olpherts]. I’m sure he’ll be telling everyone about nearly getting his ribs knocked out as well, but I thought it was great for a young kid to come in and do that.

On fellow triallist – Calvin Wellington…

Calvin did really well coming in at left centre. He has the ability to play on both sides and he transfers the ball really well, but he suits us with him not having a preference as to which side he plays on.

On the players who didn’t feature…

All going well they should be included next weekend against Wigan. With the game being a little different at the moment with the stop clock we wanted our middles to get decent minutes and get used to how it feels to be under the pump and play under the stop clock. That’s why we didn’t make a change in the first half and then let the middles run for a full forty in the second half, also.

On how the players handled the stop clock…

We’ve got players here who are big enough and fit enough to play long minutes if you look at the first half, we had Mark Flanagan, Lee Mossop and Gil Dudson who all did a full forty and handled it really comfortably.

On the stop clock…

It flowed a lot better today. I thought the first ten minutes went really quickly, it used to take a long time to get to the ten-minute mark in some games but today I thought the stop clock helped today and it sped the game up. My thing with it was when you’re watching a game on Sky Sports, they were finishing way beyond 10pm and the game was getting dragged out longer and longer, but I think the stop clock kind of drags that back in really rather than it being stop-start. Hopefully, it’ll make the Betfred Super League more entertaining.

On goal kicking…

No, we’ve no issues there. Ed [Chamberlain] practices religiously so we’ve not got much of a problem with that. It was fairly windy when Ed was out there kicking today. The good thing is last year I don’t think we had a single goal kicker for the majority but now we’ve got a handful of genuine goal kickers – Ed, Jackson, Rob, Joey [Lussick] and Niall likes to put a kick in every now and again. So, we’ve no worries in that department.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.
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.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils got 2019 off to a perfect start with an eleven-try rout over local rivals Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all grabbed braces on a rampant afternoon for Ian Watson’s men while Jackson Hastings, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Ed Chamberlain and Derrell Olpherts also got their names on the scoresheet.
It was Sa’u who opened the scoring powering over from close-range after collecting the ball at the second attempt. Hastings was the provider for the opener, but he soon turned try-scorer six minutes in pouncing on Lui’s neat kick under the posts.
The Red Devils fast start continued when Mark Flanagan found Evalds on his inside to cut open the Swinton defence for the third time in the opening fifteen minutes. However, the Lions did cross shortly after as Oscar Thomas’ low kick wasn’t dealt with by Salford and Mike Butt was quickest to react.
Swinton’s revival was short-lived however as Lui managed to fend off three Swinton defenders to force his way over after jinking inside. With around eight minutes of the half remaining Chamberlain benefitted from some quick hands out wide to further the lead going into the break.
Head Coach Ian Watson made five changes at the break and it was substitute Johnson who got the scoring for the second half underway. The winger went close a minute earlier but was held down by Lewis Hatton who was sent to the sin-bin. However, Johnson did get on the end of a well-timed Kris Welham pass moments later.
In similar fashion to the first half, Flanagan would again find an onrushing Evalds on the inside and the full-back found Lussick in support who notched his first of the afternoon. Evalds was causing all sorts of problems for Swinton and his quick play at first receiver followed by a sublime tip-on from Welham put Johnson in for his second in just six minutes.
A try-scoring run of four in nine minutes was rounded off when Lussick’s low kick was chased down by Welham with the centre then giving it back to the Australian for his second.
Swinton would be handed another yellow card when Butt held down Olpherts who had raced seventy metres from his own try-line. The man advantage again proved dividend for Salford as Academy player and triallist Connor Davies-Aspey cut through the Lions line before finding Olpherts in the corner to round off the scoring.
Salford welcome current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 20th January, 2pm kick-off, in their second pre-season friendly.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Bibby, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Griffin, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Johnson, Olpherts, Davies-Aspey, Wellington.
Swinton Lions: Hansen, Butt, Lloyd, Williams, Aaronson; Fairclough, Thomas; Bennion, Waterworth, Austin, Hope, Jones, Hatton.
Interchanges: Brickhill, Gray, Hall, Halton, Jones, Kenga, Ratu, Warne, Worrall, Ashton.
 
Salford Tries: Sa’u (3’, 35’), Hastings (6’), Evalds (13’), Lui (19), Chamberlain (33’), Johnson (54’ 60), Lussick (56, 63’), Olpherts (76’).
Salford Goals: Chamberlain (7’, 14’, 34’), Lussick (64’).
Swinton Tries: Butt (16’).
Swinton Goals: Thomas (17’).
 
Swinton Sin-bins: Hatton (52’), Butt (67’).
 
Referee: Liam Moore.
Attendance: 1798.

Salford Red Devils 50-12 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils opened their pre-season campaign with a victory after overhauling local rivals Swinton Lions 50-12 in a competitive friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Two tries from Derrell Olpherts  alongside scores from Greg Johnson, Kris Welham, Gareth O’Brien, Tyrone McCarthy, Niall Evalds and Rob Lui ensured The Red Devils kicked off 2018 with a merciless display.
After a slow start to the contest, Greg Johnson opened the scoring after ten minutes after some quick hands from Jack Littlejohn and Kris Welham allowed the winger to touch down to claim Salford’s first try of 2018. Occupying a new role in the halves, Gareth O’Brien made no mistake in adding the extras to give Salford a 6-0 lead.
The opening seemed to have instilled a sense of momentum in the Salford camp as The Red Devils swiftly extended their lead through Tyrone McCarthy just seven minutes later. A quick pass from Lama Tasi enabled the Irish international to open his account for the year. Gareth O’Brien kicked the conversion to extend the hosts lead.
Just four minutes later Kris Welham capitalised on a gap in the Swinton defence to claim a fine individual effort. Although, on this occasion O’Brien was unable to kick the conversion, slicing the ball wide.
It was a tough opening period for the visitors, The Lions struggled to gain any distance in their attack due to the resilient Salford defence. Josh Wood skipped from hooker and broke down field before finding the onrushing Niall Evalds whose momentum carried him over the try line soon after.
The visitors did get onto the scoreboard as Hayden Hansen scored his first try for the club.  Chris Hankinson confidently added the conversion in what was the final point scoring action of the half.
Salford made the perfect start to the second period when just three minutes into the half O’Brien threw a neat dummy to deceive the entire Swinton back-line before racing 30m to cross over. He then kicked the resulting goal.
The hosts were ruthless throughout and extended their lead shortly afterwards as debutant Derrell Olpherts scored his first try for the club after linking up well with Evalds. Despite the spirited efforts of a committed Swinton defence the lively Olpherts claimed his second try of the game after O’Brien picked the centre out with a looping pass.
Swinton were finally rewarded for their efforts when Chris Hankinson broke clear with eight minutes remaining to add a second try to the Lions account. With a number of minor injuries reducing their squad size, Stuart Littler’s side gave a good account of themselves although Salford proved too much to handle as Rob Lui scored two minutes from time.
However, Salford were not finished there. This time Gavin Bennion broke through a deflated Lions line to score his maiden try for The Red Devils. O’Brien kicked his seventh goal of the contest the complete the scoring.
The squad’s focus now switches to next Saturday’s pre-season friendly at nearby Warrington and after the dominant display versus Swinton, Ian Watson will be confident his side can build some momentum at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, O’Brien, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tasi, Wood, Mossop, Jones, Hauraki, McCarthy  Interchanges: Lui, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Nakubuwai, Vatuvei, Olpherts, Nzoungou, Murray, Bennion 
Swinton Lineup: Fell, Webb, Hankinson, Tyson, Butt, J Hansen, Bracek, Waterworth, Austin, Lloyd, Sarsfield, Worrall  Interchanges: H Hansen, Taylor, Caine, Hall, Djaout
Salford Scorers: Tries – Johnson (10), McCarthy (17), Welham (21), Evalds (25), O’Brien (43), Olpherts (49, 65) Lui (78), Bennion (79)
Goals- O’Brien (7)
Swinton Scorers: Tries- H Hansen (34), Hankinson (72)
Goals- Hankinson (2)
Man of the Match: Jack Littlejohn
Referee: M Griffiths
Touch Judges: A Smith, S Houghton
Attendance: 2,036
 
By Ryan Booth.

Tickets prices for our pre-season game against Warrington confirmed

Ticket prices confirmed for our second pre-season friendly at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday 20th January, 3pm kick-off.
This marks Salford’s first away game of the 2018 season and will be just the second opportunity to see Ian Watson’s men in action following their opening pre-season friendly against Swinton and Sunday 14th January.
Salford fans will be situated in the North Stand (Seating) along the side of the pitch with the West Terrace being closed for the match. Prices will be the same as regular West Terrace prices, however.
The Ticket Prices are as follows:
Adult: £15
Concession (65+): £10
Young Adult (17-23): £10
Junior (5-16): £5
Infant (0-4): Free
Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. Fans can pay for their Season Tickets in seven instalments via Direct Debit by visiting the Ticket Office or phoning 0161 786 1570.

Tickets are now on sale for our friendly vs Swinton

Tickets are now on sale for our first pre-season friendly against Swinton Lions on Sunday 14th January at the AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm kick-0ff.
We are delighted to offer 2018 Season Ticket holders a discounted price to our ‘Season Launch’ event prior to the game in the 1873 suite. Come and purchase your ticket now to watch two local rivals go head-to-head as an old rivalry is renewed.
Employees of Salford Council, Manchester Council, Trafford Council and Peel Holdings will also receive discounted prices paying concession fee for their tickets.
You can now purchase tickets for our game against local rivals Swinton from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570.
The ticket prices are:
Adult Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £13
Concession Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £8
Adult non-Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £15
Concession non-Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £10
Adult without access to season launch: £10
Concession without access to season launch: £5
This will be your first chance to see the Red Devils in action in 2018 with new signings such as Luke Burgess, Jack Littlejohn and Ben Nakubuwai set to feature.
The Club Ticket Office is open from 9am-9:30pm throughout the week whilst also being open between 10am-4pm over the weekend for fans to come and purchase their tickets.
 
Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here. Fans can pay for their Season Tickets in seven instalments via Direct Debit by visiting the Ticket Office or phoning 0161 786 1570.

Salford set to travel to Warrington for pre-season friendly

Salford Red Devils can confirm we will play Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in our second pre-season friendly on Saturday 20th January, 3pm kick-off. 
The Red Devils will travel to Warrington the weekend following our friendly against Swinton where the Club will also host our ‘Season Launch’.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “We’re looking forward to visiting Warrington and testing ourselves against a Super League outfit in pre-season.
“We’ve now got two solid warm-up games against Swinton and Warrington and I feel these games will put us in good stead for the start of another big year.
“It’ll give some of our new signings the chance to face Super League opposition for the first time which is massive.”
Salford Red Devils CEO, Ian Blease, said: “Myself and Karl Fitzpatrick have worked closely on getting this friendly sorted and it’ll be a good test for both sides.
“We’ve now got two warm-up games planned and I feel both offer solid yet different tests as we host Swinton before travelling to the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
“I already can’t wait for the season to get started and seeing the lads in action again.”
Tickets will be on sale later this week.
 
Remember to see the Red Devils in action in 2018 you can still purchase your Season Ticket at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. A list of all our ticket prices and their respective Direct Debit payment schemes can be found here with the Direct Debit option being available from the Ticket Office or over the phone.

Red Devils set to host Swinton in first pre-season friendly

Salford Red Devils are set to host local rivals Swinton Lions in a pre-season friendly on Sunday 14th January at the AJ Bell Stadium. 
The game will be the Red Devils opening friendly of the 2018 season as they pit themselves against former Salford player Stuart Littler’s Swinton Lions side.
Both Clubs have enjoyed a rivalry spanning almost 140 years which has seen them do battles for trophies such as the Salford Royal Hospital Cup, the Red Rose Cup and most recently the Agecroft Cup and January’s clash is set to renew that rivalry.
Salford Red Devils CEO, Ian Blease, said: “Myself and Andy Mazey have contacted each other over the past few weeks since Andy took on the role of Swinton Lions Chairman and we are now hoping to build a fruitful relationship as clubs going forward.
“The derbies against Swinton have long been the highlight of rugby league in the City. Despite the game being a pre-season friendly I’m definitely anticipating a hotly-contested game between the two flagship sides of the City.
“This game will be something for all the rugby league fans of Salford and the surrounding areas to get involved with supporting two sides who are embedded in the local community. It will be great way to get the 2018 season underway.”
Swinton Lions Chairman, Andy Mazey, said “We are extremely pleased to have agreed a local derby with Salford as part of our pre-season schedule. It is great to have respectful rivalries in sport and I’m sure both sets of supporters will look forward to renewing this one.
“The AJ Bell is a fantastic stadium with a quality playing surface so what better way to start our exciting “New Era” on the field than with a local derby against a quality Super League side as we prepare for our 2018 Championship campaign.
“I’d like to thank Salford’s CEO Ian Blease for facilitating this fixture. Ian and I have communicated regularly in recent months and I look forward to building the relationship further in the future for the benefit of not only our respective clubs but the sport of rugby league as a whole and with a view to adding value in our communities.”
Salford Red Devils Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “Swinton are a strong side who are heading into their third consecutive season in the Championship.
“With Stuart Littler as Coach they’ll continue to develop next season and will definitely cause a lot of the Championship sides issues in 2018.
“We know they’ll offer us a real stern test in preparation for our 2018 Super League season and it’ll be a great occasion for the City of Salford.”
Swinton Lions head coach, and former Red Devil, Stuart Littler said: “Delighted with the announcement of our opening 2018 friendly game at Salford. This is a massive game for the rugby league community and brings back the traditional derby game rivalry. Salford is a club that is special to me and somewhere that I made many special memories.
“We are looking forward to challenging ourselves against a top eight Super League team. Salford come off the back of a superb season in which Ian Watson has shown what a great coach he is.
“Can I personally thank the Salford fans who joined forces with our own fans in our hour of need last season. That is what is special about the Rugby League community and what separates our game from others.  The help will be forever remembered by all at our historic club.
“Personally, I am looking forward to my first pre-season in charge and the pre-season friendly programme gives us both an opportunity to look at our players as well as the chance to test out new systems and processes.”
Salford are set to announce at least one more pre-season friendly in the coming weeks. Ticket information for the game against Swinton will also be released in due course.