Tag: St James’ Park

Burke – “It’s somewhere we can go and express ourselves”

Salford Red Devils forward Greg Burke believes tomorrow’s Dacia Magic Weekend opener against Castleford Tigers at St James’ Park, provides the perfect tonic to put on a display for the travelling fans.

Burke, who has shared the armband with Kevin Brown over recent weeks since Lee Mossop’s retirement, has revealed that the mood in the camp this week has been positive, as the Red Devils look to build on their Bank Holiday bruising over Hull FC, in Newcastle tomorrow afternoon.

Burke said: “It’s a showcase for the Super League and we have spoken about that this week, about how it’s somewhere we can go and express ourselves.

“All the games are on Sky and we want to put in a good performance first and foremost for ourselves, but also for the fans and the viewers watching.”

Recently surpassing 200 career appearances, Burke has been a Salford player for two years now, excluding his loan spell in 2018, helping the side reach the 2019 Betfred Super League Grand Final in his first season as a permanent Red Devil, and the Betfred Challenge Cup Final last year.

Salford’s number 16 is one of the more senior players in the camp and has stepped up since Moose’s retirement.

Speaking on captaining the club recently, Burke said: “It’s been a massive honour to be seen as a leader.

“To be asked to be captain, I was happy to accept that. I’ve been really happy to be honest.”

Burke revealed that the team have been fully focused on tomorrow’s opponents, who will be fielding an almost full strength side in Newcastle, compared to the last Tigers side that were on the receiving end of a 70-18 thrashing at the hands of Marshall’s men in July.

Speaking on Castleford, Burke added: “It’ll be a massively different challenge this week. It’s a Cas team that are at the best strength they can be.

“We know we have to be on this week to give ourselves a chance, and that’s what we’ve spoke about.”

DACIA MAGIC WEEKEND FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The fixtures for the 2021 Dacia Magic Weekend, scheduled over the weekend of September 4-5th at St James’ Park in Newcastle, have today been confirmed.

All games will be live on Sky Sports and Salford Red Devils will open the event against Castleford Tigers with kick-off times announced in due course.

Dacia Magic Weekend fixtures have been readjusted from the 2020 schedule to involve Leigh Centurions and all teams are playing on the same day they were meant to play last year, in acknowledgment of the fans who have committed to retaining their 2020 tickets.

The formula for deciding fixtures each day is that teams will play the team they finished closest to in the final 2020 league standings.

Super League chief commercial officer, Rhodri Jones said: “Dacia Magic Weekend is an important part of the Betfred Super League calendar and it is great to have the event back in our plans for the upcoming 2021 season.

“Following the Prime Minister’s latest update about the easing of lockdown restrictions, we are optimistic that we will be able to welcome fans into St James’ Park to enjoy the festival atmosphere that makes Dacia Magic Weekend so special”

“With the event falling later in the calendar this year, it could be all to play for in the closing stages of the season with teams chasing the League Leaders shield, play-off spots or looking to avoid relegation.”

“I’d like to pay thanks to Dacia for their on-going support of this event as well as our event partners at Newcastle United, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative and NE1, and once again to Sky Sports for continuing to bring fans their excellent coverage of this unique event.”

Callum Chamberlain, Senior Brand Communications Manager at Dacia said: “Dacia Magic Weekend is an incredible moment in the rugby league calendar, so we are delighted with the recent announcement that the event will take place over the 4th and 5th September at St James’ Park. Super League have worked incredibly hard to pull together an exciting, jam-packed weekend of fixtures and Dacia is proud and excited to continue to play a part in this pinnacle event.”

Cllr Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture said: “I am really pleased that Super League is planning on bringing back Magic Weekend to Newcastle this September.

“Our city has a world class reputation for hosting events, and we have an unrivalled passion for all sports and culture. Newcastle knows how to put on a show and we look forward to welcoming fans from across the country to enjoy the weekend in our great city.

“The Prime Minister’s route out of lockdown means fans will once again return to stadiums in the coming months, meaning we can look forward to this excellent event with renewed optimism.

“The Covid pandemic has already impacted many of the events that take place in Newcastle every year, spectacular showcases which welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors and support businesses across the region. It is vital that as part of our recovery we develop and host events of all shapes and sizes and provide unique experiences across Newcastle and provide a much-needed boost to our wider economy.

“It is important that we look ahead to this event and plan for any eventuality. The vaccine roll out, localised test and trace systems and a greater understanding of the virus provide us a glimmer of hope that Magic Weekend can once again attract record crowds to St James’ Park. However, if any restrictions are still in place, we will work closely with the Super League, NE1 and businesses across the city to maximise on the opportunity in whatever way possible.”

Stephen Patterson Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd said: “We are delighted that a date has been set for Magic Weekend’s welcome return to Newcastle.

“We were obviously disappointed the event had to be postponed last year but now the date is set, we can all look forward to the celebrations in September. Magic Weekend is always a highlight in the city’s event calendar, and we hope that by the autumn we’ll be able to welcome the fans back to St James’ Park to enjoy all the associated activities that the event brings.

“Magic Weekend and all its loyal supporters always give a huge boost to trade in Newcastle and this year, will play a significant part in helping the city and the wider region to bounce back from the pandemic.”

Anyone who purchased Dacia Magic Weekend tickets for the 2020 event and haven’t yet claimed a refund, your tickets will still be valid for the 2021 event.

Details of when more tickets will go on sale will be announced in due course, with Spring likely to be the earliest you will be able to purchase one. If you have any queries, updated FAQs can be found here.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 12-26 Catalans Dragons

Salford Red Devils succumbed to defeat at the Dacia Magic Weekend as former Red Devil Jodie Broughton’s hat-trick helped the Catalans Dragons on their way to a deserved 26-12 triumph at St James’ Park.
Alongside Broughton’s treble, scores from Benjamin Garcia, Julien Bousquet plus three goals from Tony Gigot ensured the French side secured a pivotal victory at the weekend extravaganza.
The Red Devils flew out of the blocks and found their way over the line with just three minutes on the clock.
Kris Welham cleverly flicked Robert Lui’s lofted cross-field kick into the path of the onrushing Derrell Olpherts who forced himself over. However, the score was chalked off due to offside in the build-up.
Salford weren’t to be denied for long though as Weller Hauraki broke forward and flicked inside to Mark Flanagan, the latter then returned the ball after producing a terrific offload which forged an opening for second-rower Hauraki to cross over under the sticks.
Lui then comfortably landed the resulting conversion to extend the lead to 6 points but Salford’s efforts were undone less than five minutes later as Benjamin Garcia pierced through the Reds backline before powering over – although Josh Drinkwater did miss the subsequent goal.
Garcia’s score seemingly spurred the Dragons on and the French side soon forged another point scoring opportunity as George Griffin conceded a penalty through an interference. Catalans opted to kick for two, but Tony Gigot was unable to convert the goal despite it appearing harder to miss.
Catalans soon turned the game on its head when Logan Tomkins spilled Gigot’s grubber in-goal before Julien Bousquet pounced onto the loose ball to touch down before Gigot calmly added the extras.
Ian Watson’s men were struggling to build any momentum at this point and were fortunate not to have suffered another score just a minute later as Garcia found his way over again but luckily for Salford, the forward was unable to successfully ground the ball.
Catalans headed in at the break with a 10-6 lead and they picked up where they left off after the break as former Red Devil Jodie Broughton latched onto a loose ball before jinking past Niall Evalds to stretch over the whitewash.
Gigot was unable to add the extras, but that was where Salford’s luck ran out as Broughton claimed his second try of the contest in style.
Lewis Tierney found a gap and produced a sensational pass to allow Broughton to dart 40m and score despite the best efforts of Lui and Jack Littlejohn.
Things worsened for the Red Devils when Broughton completed his hat-trick a minute later. After Josh Drinkwater went close seconds prior, Gigot delivered a looping kick to allow the winger to cross over.
Kris Welham exited the field after picking up an injury and the Dragons extended their lead immediately afterwards as Gigot added his third goal to inflict further misery upon the Salford players.
Salford did claim a consolation try though, Littlejohn’s short ball found its way to George Griffin who crossed over the line unchallenged. Lui added the extras to make the scoreline more respectable.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Mossop, Griffin, Hauraki, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Tasi, Murray, Wood, McCarthy.
Catalans Lineup: Gigot, Broughton, Mead, Williame, Tierney, Bird, Drinkwater, Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Julien, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Baiteri.
 
Salford Scorers: Tries-  Hauraki (9’), Griffin (75’) | Goals- Lui (10’, 76’
Catalans Scorers: Tries- Garcia (20’), Bousquet (23’), Broughton (49’, 61’, 63’) | Goals- (Gigot 24’, 62’, 72’)
Man of the Match: Niall Evalds.
Referee: Gareth Hewer. Touch Judges: M. Craven & R. Thompson. Video Referee: Robert Hicks.

Flashback | Leigh Centurions 22-36 Salford Red Devils | Dacia Magic Weekend

Ahead of this weekend’s Dacia Magic Weekend crucial Betfred Super League clash with Catalans Dragons we take a look back to last year’s fixture against Leigh Centurions in this week’s ‘Flashback’. 
The Red Devils travelled to Newcastle to face event debutants Leigh Centurions searching for another victory which would keep them in touching distance of Betfred Super League leaders at the time Castleford Tigers.
It was actually Leigh who took the lead when Matty Fleming – on loan from St Helens – crossed to open the Centurions’ account at the event however Ben Murdoch-Masila scored from a Michael Dobson kick on the ten-minute mark before Gareth O’Brien followed up with a penalty goal six minutes later to level the scores.
Leigh regained control when Mitch Brown went over but it was Murdoch-Masila who again returned the favour powering his way over for Salford. Kris Welham was next to score for Salford and give the Red Devils the lead for the first time in the match, O’Brien followed up with the conversion.
Greg Johnson scored his first of the afternoon with seven minutes of the first half remaining while Danny Tickle was denied by the video referee giving Ian Watson’s men a 12-point lead going into the interval.
The Centurions – in similar fashion to the first half – started the quicker thanks to a Ben Crooks try but they were soon reduced to 12 men following a poorly timed high challenge from Adam Higson on Gareth O’Brien.
Salford took advantage when Niall Evalds looked to have sealed the victory for the Red Devils but a Matty Dawson score did give Leigh a glimmer of hope. But, a second try from winger Johnson with fifteen minutes remaining did round off a solid 22-36 victory for Salford which moved them into 2nd in the Betfred Super League.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach, Ian Watson, said: “Every week is a big one, but it’s pleasing to come here to the Magic Weekend and pick the two points up because it’s a big occasion.
“It’s a derby and we expected Leigh to turn up. We fell off some of the things we pride ourselves on, which probably made the score in the second half slightly closer than it needed to be.
“But the boys are an honest group and they will know that, and they will fix it up because every game is becoming bigger and bigger the higher we sit in the table.”
The teams that day:
Salford: O’Brien; Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Evalds; Lui, Dobson; Kopczak, Tomkins, Tasi, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Krasniqi.
Interchanges: Hauraki, Flanagan, Lannon, Brining.
Leigh: Brown; Dawson, Crooks, Fleming, Higson; Hampshire, Drinkwater; Burr, Hood, Hansen, Paterson, Vea, Stewart.
Interchanges: Pelissier, Hock, Tickle, Hopkins.

Factfile | Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils | Dacia Magic Weekend

We’ve got a special stat-packed ‘Factfile’ this week covering everything you need to know about Salford’s history at the Dacia Magic Weekend and our upcoming fixture against Catalans Dragons.
Magic Weekend
Salford are one of eleven teams to have featured at the Magic Weekend on ten or more occasions. The Red Devils have competed at the Magic Weekend ten times, the same amount as Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Salford currently sit 9th in the all-time Magic Weekend table with eight points (four wins), the same as Hull FC with the Black and Whites having played one more game at the event. A win against Catalans on Sunday would see Ian Watson’s side climb to 8th in the all-time table as they currently trail the Dragons by one point however the Frenchmen have played one more fixture at the Magic Weekend.
Salford at the Magic Weekend
Salford’s Magic Weekend record didn’t get off to a good start with the Red Devils failing to win any of their opening four games at the event.
Warrington beat Salford in Cardiff in 2007 18-50 in a season which saw the Red Devils relegated meaning they missed out on a place in Cardiff the year after.
Once Salford returned to the top flight they suffered defeats in Edinburgh in 2009 and 2010. Harlequins beat Salford 16-24 before Warrington once again earned a dominant victory, 16-68.
Wales-based Crusaders overcame Salford 42-12 in 2011 as the Magic Weekend returned to Cardiff. However, the Dacia Magic Weekend moved closer to home and it garnered the Red Devils first win at the event as Adam Sidlow’s late try won the game 38-34 against Huddersfield Giants.
Another year in Manchester marked another victory for Salford as they edged out Widnes Vikings 28-22. However, Salford couldn’t remain unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium as the Vikings returned the favour a year later with a 30-24 win.
Widnes and Salford shared victories in the first two events at Newcastle’s St James’ Park. The Red Devils won their most recent Dacia Magic Weekend fixture with a 22-36 win over event debutants Leigh Centurions in the Toon.
Catalans at the Magic Weekend
Catalans have a similar record to Salford at the Dacia Magic Weekend winning four, losing six however they have played an extra game which they drew.
The Frenchmen’s first two Magic Weekend appearances came against Harlequins RL (Now London Broncos) with a narrow 28-32 in 2007 before an even smaller margin of victory a year later as Catalans won 18-16.
In Edinburgh, Catalans suffered defeats to Leeds and Castleford before another loss at the hands of Harlequins RL in Cardiff in 2011. The Dragons finally ended their losing-streak at the Dacia Magic Weekend in 2012 as they overcame London Broncos (Previously known as Harlequins RL).
A 42-18 win over London in 2012 was followed up by an almost identical win in 2013 as they ran-out 46-18 win at the Etihad Stadium. Catalans earned a two-point victory over London in 2014 at Newcastle before a 22-22 draw with Huddersfield Giants in 2015.
Wakefield Trinity edged out the French side thanks to a monster Jacob Miller drop-goal in 2016 before Catalans lost to Huddersfield 10-18 in last year’s event.
Scoring in Salford games at Magic Weekend
Luke Dorn crossed for Salford’s first-ever Dacia Magic Weekend try in the 18-50 loss against Warrington in 2007. Martin Gleeson crossed in this game for Warrington and would score for Salford in the event six years later.
Dorn – alongside Gleeson – was a player who scored both for and against Salford at the Dacia Magic Weekend as he crossed for Harlequins RL when the sides met in 2009. Richie Myler is also amongst the list of players to score for and against Salford crossing for the Red Devils in 2009 before scoring a brace for Wire a year later in 2010.
Stefan Ratchford scored a brace for Salford in this game which he followed up with another double a year later against Warrington. Ratchford is Salford’s all-time top try-scorer at the event with four tries.
While Ratchford sits on two doubles at the event there’s a host of other Red Devils who have also scored braces at the Dacia Magic Weekend – Joel Moon (2012), Jodie Broughton (2012), Adam Sidlow (2012), Jordan James (2013), Daniel Vidot (2016), Ben Murdoch-Masila (2017) and Greg Johnson (2017). Salford are yet to have a player score a hat-trick at the Dacia Magic Weekend.
However, three players have scored hat-tricks against the Red Devils at the Dacia Magic Weekend – Michael Witt (Crusaders, 2011), Joe Mellor (Widnes, 2013) and Kevin Brown (Widnes, 2015).
Of the current squad, Greg Johnson leads the way with Dacia Magic Weekend tries sitting on three after a double last year against Leigh Centurions alongside a solitary try versus Widnes in 2015. Junior Sa’u (2014), Kris Welham (2017) and Niall Evalds (2017) are the other current Salford players to score for the Club at the event.
Head-to-Head
Salford Red Devils and Catalans Dragons have had shared success in recent seasons with three wins apiece in the fixture since a memorable 40-40 draw in March 2015.
The Red Devils have won each of the last two meetings between the teams both coming in the form of dominant home victories at the AJ Bell Stadium – 32-16 (March 2018), 50-12 (May 2017).
The back and forth results against each other have been a regular feature since Catalans’ inclusion into Betfred Super League with Salford winning 11, the Dragons winning on 12 occasions and there being one draw between the two sides.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the sides at the Dacia Magic Weekend.

Ian Watson | “We need to improve and look forward”

That four week run of high profile matches, which commenced with the televised game against St Helens, culminates this Sunday with arguably the highest profile of all, with our visit up to Newcastle for the Magic Weekend. 
The importance of both the occasion, and the encounter there with Catalans Dragons is very much to the forefront of Head Coach Ian Watson’s focus.
Watson said: “It’s a really big showpiece, with the feel of both the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final with all the Super League teams being involved, it generates a similar profile to each of those, not only for rugby league as a whole, but also for the individual players.”
Indeed, over and above both of these other two events, this is the one occasion each year when every club, every player, and every fan has the opportunity of being involved, or watching their own team participating, in a big occasion, whilst Ian adds a coach’s perspective to the concept.
“It’s also an opportunity to see the majority of all the other Super League players in action.  It has also become a bit of a feeding ground for the NRL clubs, who send their agents and CEO’s over to assess the talent on display. It’s a great spectacle too for the supporters.
“Nevertheless, there is the seriousness of two league points being at stake, which has been our focus for the week.”
As supporters we might have expected that the coaching staff would have been endeavouring to get the specialness of the occasion into the preparations for the team but Ian belies this assumption.
Watson said: “The main thing for us is to take the emotion out of it all, and putting the showpiece element aside, in order to focus on the game, particularly after last week’s disappointment at Leigh.
“One penalty on the fifth tackle followed by a try under the posts swung the game away from us after we had seemed to be on fire, moments earlier.  If you give teams opportunities by failing to complete your sets it is an absolute killer and we were embarrassed by our second half completion rate.
“That, along with decision-making, has been a big aspect of our preparations, this week, because we need to improve on these and look forward positively.
“We had a great training session today [Thursday], with good ball skills, lines run, execution of plays, and decision making on the edges.”
It will be remembered that Sunday’s opponents, Catalans, were the team against whom we played at home last season just a few days after the Manchester Arena bombing, on which occasion donations, in lieu of admission fee, went to the resultant We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
One year on, on the self-same weekend of the bombing, the Red Devils will be sporting the shirt, dedicated to the memory of the victims and voted – by an extremely large majority – the most impressive of all Magic Weekend shirts on display this year by fans via the Super League Twitter page.
“When you line all that up, it does bring that tragedy into focus and, of course, having that particular shirt, in support of such a noteworthy charity is magnificent especially with it being almost to the day on which it all happened.  We, ourselves, though, must remain clear in our vision of getting winning points on the day.”
That those tragic events came so close to last year’s Magic Weekend certainly will not be lost on Salford fans, many of whom might well have caught the train up to Newcastle, the day before, from a platform on Victoria Station, in very close proximity to where the blast was to be detonated.
“Because it happened so close to home it feels much more real, and so there is a lot more sentiment around it.  We shall be continuing this on Friday next, at the Huddersfield game, when we shall entertain guests affected by the bombing.
“In our own way, through all of this, the club is simply paying its respects to all the victims.”
With Catalans being the one team whom, this year, we shall be playing three times, it would seem imperative, therefore, that we should win at least a majority of these, which means that Sunday’s fixture becomes crucial in this respect, though it comes just as the Dragons are showing signs of improvement.
“They had been playing well ahead of our Good Friday match with them, but for us now, over the next few weeks it’s all about getting the wins, starting with this one, and we are confident that we have the quality within the squad to be able to do this.”

Squad | Ian Watson names his squad for Dacia Magic Weekend

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for this weekend’s battle with Catalans Dragons at the Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle.
Halfback Rob Lui returns to the side following a month out with a calf injury. Gavin Bennion could also be in line to appear at the Dacia Magic Weekend after debuting a fortnight ago against Wigan Warriors.
Daniel Murray will be looking to return to the side after missing out on a spot in the team in last week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup defeat to Leigh Centurions.
Ben Nakubuwai misses out due to failing his concussion assessment in last week’s loss to Leigh Centurions. Jake Shorrocks misses out on the 19-man squad.
Tickets for the Dacia Magic Weekend can be purchased from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. 
There is also coach travel to Newcastle available to book from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The coach is priced at £25 for all classes and pick-up points and times can be seen here.
The full squad can be seen below:

Luke Burgess | “I’ve always enjoyed the concept”

Salford Red Devils prop-forward Luke Burgess endorses the Dacia Magic Weekend ahead of the sides clash with Catalans Dragons on Sunday.
The Dacia Magic Weekend is now in its third season at St James’ Park, Newcastle and Burgess feels it offers the players of the Betfred Super League a bigger stage than usual to perform on.
Burgess, sponsored by Ideal Corporate Solutions, said: “I’m looking forward to it I’ve always enjoyed the concept when I was playing in England previously and I’m looking forward to being part of it again.
“All the weekend is great and hopefully the weather is like it was at the media day and all the teams come and bring a lot of fans – it’s always a lot of fun.
“It’s always nice to have an atmosphere and it always leads to bigger games especially if we put on a bit of a show and the fans get into it they go hand in hand with each other.
“I think the general Rugby League fans enjoy this weekend, so I should imagine we’ll see quite a few getting up here and enjoying themselves particularly if the weathers nice.
“We’ve got a new jersey for the occasion which the fans love and it’s a bit of a milestone in the season the Magic Weekend we’re about halfway through the season and now we need to get up the hill and make a bit of a run towards the end.”
The Red Devils face Burgess’ former side Catalans Dragons on Sunday afternoon and the prop-forward knows the importance of getting some consistency in the second half of the regular season.
Burgess said: “We just need to be consistent and cut out the individual errors which can be easily fixed which is promising and hopefully everything else will come on the back of that.
“It’s still early in the week and we’ve got a long week ahead of preparation before we get to Sunday but we’re building towards it.” 
Tickets for the Dacia Magic Weekend can be purchased from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. 
There is also coach travel to Newcastle available to book from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The coach is priced at £25 for all classes and pick-up points and times can be seen here.

Tickets | Warrington Wolves away is now on sale

A wide range of Dacia Magic Weekend tickets will be getting sent back later today with the Club only keeping hold of Category Three tickets in the Gallowgate End.
Tickets are available in the East Stand and Milburn Stand however fans will need to purchase before 4pm today.
However, Salford Red Devils supporters can purchase tickets in the Gallowgate End up until Sunday’s game. Remember, Season Ticket holders can get their tickets at half-price with the Club retaining 100% of all purchases at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570.
Here is a ticket breakdown for all the areas of St James’ Park:

Retail | All Limited-Edition Magic Weekend kits being dispatched

Advantage Sports have advised that all Salford Red Devils supporters who ordered their Limited-Edition Dacia Magic Weekend shirt before the cut-off point on Sunday 15th April will receive their shirt before this weekend’s fixture.
Shirts have already begun being dispatched with the first shirts landing with fans last Friday. Deliveries will continue throughout the week up until the end of the week meaning all fans will be able to wear their colours with pride at the Dacia Magic Weekend.
To read more about our Limited-Edition Dacia Magic Weekend shirt, click here.
To visit our online store, click here.
And remember you can still purchase tickets for the Dacia Magic Weekend from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Coach travel for the event is priced at £25 for all classes and can be booked at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570.