Tag: SRD Development Academy

HONOURS EVEN IN ACADEMY’S WELSH REMATCH

Just three weeks after our Academy side had delighted the first group of spectators to enjoy a rugby league game at the A J Bell Stadium this year with an impressive victory over the visiting Wales Academy, they made the same three-hour trip that the Welshmen had had to undertake on that previous occasion, in order to partake in the return fixture.

With a luxurious executive coach to fulfil the travelling requirements, the Salford club did the youngsters proud in their efforts to continue their run of having won every game so far this season, and while they did not quite manage to come with a victory to do that, they nevertheless returned home in the same stylish mode of transport, undefeated in all five of their games, thus far.

It was a squad a little depleted from that which had rattled up considerable scores in their last two outings, owing to a few injuries picked in the acquisition thereof.  To compound the challenge they faced, they discovered just what a fine job their hosts are doing in strengthening their squad, with the inclusion of a number of recently acquired youngsters, which gave them an even more dominating physical presence.

As Salford’s coach, Danny Barton, was quick to point out, however, this is all to the good for Salford with the great success which this fine partnership between the two clubs is proving to be.  The future does indeed look most promising, and the closeness of the final result shows just how well matched the two sides proved to be, on this occasion.

It was the home side which was first out of the blocks with an early score to give notice to the Red Devils that this was not going to be the romp for them that they had enjoyed three weeks earlier, but the visitors eventually settled and cancelled this out with a score of their own, and by halftime the two teams were trooping off with a 10-10 scoreline.

The second half was absolutely tit-for-tat, with each side taking it virtually in-turn to cross for tries, and only the accuracy of the conversions appeared to determine the ascendency for whichever of the two teams, at any point during the half.

With less than five minutes to go, it really did look as though the Welsh side was going to end up winning, as they led 34-30, but this Salford side is just not used to, nor prepared to, lose, and they drew level yet again with the final try of the game, leaving everything riding on the conversion attempt from Salford’s Man of the Match, Jack Stevens.

Unfortunately, the kick proved too difficult for him to land, and so the Red Devils returned home, initially somewhat subdued by not having won, but quickly recovering their spirits at remaining undefeated.

Salford Red Devils Development Academy: Morgan Kelly, Clifford Howard, Mike Los, Ben Wharton, Alec Walton, Charlie McManus, Jack Stevens, Kai Barker, Owen Turner, Tom Hunter, Lucas Prescott, Jack Kenway, Josh Connolly

Replacements: Billy Wadeson, Callum Hughes, Euan Hayes, Lucas Coan, Nathan Connell

Salford tries: Clifford Howard (3), Callum Hughes, Euan Hayes, Ben Wharton, Jack Stevens

Salford goals: Charlie McManus (2,) Jack Stevens

RED DEVILS’ ACADEMY SLAY WOLVES IN THEIR OWN DEN

Salford Red Devils Academy team carried on exactly from where they left off last week, for having seen off the Wales Academy, in front of the first actual crowd of spectators, at the A J Bell Stadium, seven days ago, they travelled to Warrington to take on Super League opposition, in the form of the Wolves.

For those who had been fortunate enough to witness the young Red Devils in that dummy run for the opening up of the stadium, last week, there might have been those who expected them to find life considerably more difficult against such renowned opposition.  Nothing could have been further from the truth, and as if to underline the point, the Salford lads racked up what must be something of a record score against a Warrington side, at this level.

The game was barely a few minutes old when the visitors crossed for the first of their tries, courtesy second rower, Jack Kenway, with Jack Stevens adding on the extras.  Within minutes, the score board was in operation again when Michael Los cut through to take the tally into double figures, and it was not long before a second unconverted try was secured by Ben Wharton, taking the score to 0-14.

Jack Kenway, who, unfortunately, had hit the post with his first conversion attempt from Wharton’s try, was on target with his next attempt from in front of the posts, following scrum half, jack Stevens’s individual effort, bringing their points to twenty, in almost as many minutes.

It had been an incredible start to the game by the Red Devils who looked as though they could score whenever they wished to do so.  The platform was undoubtedly laid by the forwards, who ran with such determination and conviction, that it had the Warrington defensive line absolutely reeling.  Add to that a couple of extremely clever half backs, and the spine completed with equally effective fullback and hooker, and virtually one-way traffic was the result.

The only blots on their copybook came with two separate lapses of concentration.  The interception of a Salford pass, some twenty-five metres from their own line, saw the Wolves capitalise with a try of their own, totally against the run of the play to bring the score to 4-14.

A second Warrington try came later in the half, when the right edge defence failed to slide across towards the touchline despite calls from teammates to do so, and a gap large enough for the home attack to exploit saw them double their score.

It was, nevertheless, Salford who finished the half with two further scores to put themselves comfortably in control, 8-30, at half time.

That comfort might have been just a little too much so, as things began to unfold in the second half.  As one might have expected, the home side used the interval to regroup, and they returned to the fray with much greater determination than they had been able to muster in the opening forty minutes.  In the face of this, and coupled with one or two changes of personnel, the Salford side began to lose their way a little.

The absolutely clinical way in which they had put away every clear-cut opportunity was suddenly missing, and they also began to lose a little composure, possibly as a result of frustration, and, after a period with each side vying for superiority, it was Warrington who broke the deadlock, though still without the extras from a conversion which might, otherwise, have caused some rather greater concern in the Red Devils’ ranks.

A return to basics and the hard graft of the early stages of the first half was called for, and this gradually rebuilt the composure and confidence needed.  The final period belonged totally to the Reds, and they exploited it to the full, with tries coming thick and fast to keep the scoreboard turning over, right up to the final whistle.

SALFORD SCORERS

TRIES:  Jack Kenway (2), Mike Los (2), Ben Wharton, Jack Stevens, Alec Walton, Charlie McManus, Lucas Prescott

GOALS:  Jack Kenway (8)

SALFORD TEAM:

Morgan Kelly, Clifford Howard, Michael Loss, Ben Wharton, Alec Walton, Charlie McManus, Jack Stevens, Kal Barker, Owen Turner, Tom Hunter, Lucas Prescott, Jack Kenway, Josh Connolly

REPLACEMENTS:

Billy Wadeson, Callum Hughes, Lucas Coan, Nathan Connell