Tag: The Qualifiers

Three Talking Points | Halifax RLFC 4-62 Salford Red Devils

A rampant twelve-try performance from the Red Devils against Halifax saw Salford go clear at the top of the Qualifiers table and here are three talking points.
Defensive effort
It was another resilient performance with Salford conceding just one try at the MBi Shay Stadium. The Red Devils currently have the strongest defence in The Qualifiers conceding just twenty points so far; thirty less than any other side.
Halifax scored first through Sam Wood, but Ian Watson’s men toughed it out for over seventy minutes afterwards without breaking in defence. The hosts put pressure on Salford’s line on numerous occasions as Scott Murrell tried to unlock the defence.
However, the Salford forwards held Halifax up short on a few occasions while the outside backs covered any threats out wide from the Fax dangermen.
The Qualifiers could very well come down to points difference this season and with Salford’s stern defence being on show for the first three rounds this puts the Red Devils in good stead for the upcoming weeks.
Ruthlessness  
Despite the Red Devils controlling the game for the full eighty minutes and heading into half-time with the game almost won we saw a ruthlessness from Ian Watson’s men that we haven’t seen for some time.
The likes of Rob Lui, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick, Josh Wood and Niall Evalds caused Halifax problems in attack throughout. Once Hastings scored the first try, Salford’s momentum just built throughout with a number of Red Devils ending up on the scoresheet.
Derrell Olpherts was the main beneficiary of this ruthlessness with Red Devils realising they could cause issues down the left-hand side and Olpherts crossed for a hat-trick. Salford’s attack was in full force until the final minute when Junior Sa’u scored with the last play.


The Red Devils have racked up more points than any other side so far in The Qualifiers and will be looking to take that attacking form into next week’s game against Toronto.
Travelling support
It wasn’t just the players who turned up at the MBi Shay Stadium as the Red Devils travelled in numbers with almost 1000 Salford fans making the trip over the Pennines.
The support was the largest away following since last year’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final and the constant stream of noise pushed the lads on to victory.
Thanks to everyone who made the trip.


 

Match Report | Halifax RLFC 4-62 Salford Red Devils

Salford made it three wins from three in The Qualifiers to open up a two-point from four other teams with a convincing 4-62 victory over Halifax at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Derrell Olpherts crossed for his first hat-trick in Salford colours while Jackson Hastings and Junior Sa’u both notched braces. Ed Chamberlain, Ben Nakubuwai, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi and Josh Wood were all also on the scoresheet. Sam Wood scored Halifax’s only try.
But it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and opened the scoring early on. Heaton streaked away down the flank before finding Sam Wood in support to give Halifax an early lead.
However, the Red Devils soon found their feet and it was Hastings who levelled the scores as he dummied and ghosted his way through the defensive line. Hastings was central to Salford’s second as his high kick was knocked down by Welham before the ball found Chamberlain out wide who put Ian Watson’s men ahead.


Fellow Australian half Rob Lui settled into the game and began causing the Halifax defence issues and it wasn’t long until Olpherts crossed in similar fashion to Chamberlain before him. This time it was Josh Jones who rose highest before Olpherts grabbed his first of the game.
Nakubuwai would soon force his way through the Halifax defence under the posts as Salford strengthened their grip on the game.
With five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils showed no signs of letting up crossing for two quickfire tries. Hastings scooped up a loose ball when it had looked like the chance had passed finding Niall Evalds who in turn looped the ball wide to Olpherts to score his second of the game.
On the half-time hooter, Chamberlain broke down the opposite wing before throwing the ball inside to an onrushing Welham giving Salford a comfortable lead going into the break.
Half-time didn’t affect Ian Watson’s who scored inside the opening few minutes of the second half with Olpherts claiming his hat-trick. However, the hard work was done by mercurial halfback Hastings who broke from deep before finding the former League One winger.
Tasi was the next Red Devil to break the Halifax defence powering his way over for his first try of the 2018 season. Hastings again provided a try-assist as Sa’u crashed over from close-range before gliding through a big gap in the Fax defence to score himself.


Hastings and fellow halfback Lui were both taken from the field with twenty minutes remaining with one eye on next week’s game against Toronto. Youngster Wood stepped into the halves and went through to score shortly after.
It was down to Sa’u to wrap up a rampant Salford display as he plucked Evalds’ pass out of the air before stepping inside to score in the final minute.
Halifax: Moss, Heaton, Wood, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Baldwinson, Tangata, Grady, Grix.
Interchanges: Maher, Moore, Cooper, Fairbank.
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Tasi, Wood, Murray, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Burgess, Nakubuwai, Burke, Lussick.
Halifax Tries: Wood (9)
Salford Tries: Hastings (12, 65), Chamberlain (19), Olpherts (23, 36, 44), Nakubuwai (27), Welham (40), Tasi (49), Sa’u (54, 80), Wood (71). Salford Conversions: Chamberlain (20, 28, 37, 45, 50, 66, 73)
Man of the Match: Rob Lui.
Referee: Tom Grant.
Touch Judge: Chris Kendall.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
Attendance: 2555.

Niall Evalds | “We need to keep tabs on him”

Salford’s Niall Evalds will face his hometown side this weekend and the England Knights fullback has pointed to one man who the Red Devils need to keep quiet. 
Evalds, sponsored by The Dog and Partridge, said: “Scott Murrell is their main go-to man. He controls everything for Halifax and we need to keep tabs on him for sure.
“His kicking will slow the game down, he’s always trying to find touch and kill momentum and it’s going to be an arm-wrestle.
“Hopefully, we’ll start stong because we know if we go into the game with the wrong attitude or the failure to start quickly that they can turn us over.
“The fans will get behind them and they’re a tough side to beat at home. We’ve got to remain composed and not try to score on every play, sometimes you’ve got to grind games out and I think that’s something we’ve done well so far in The Qualifiers.
“Our completion rate has got to be high and we’ve got to force some repeat sets if we’re not scoring.
“We’ve worked hard in training all week and we’ll go there confident we can claim another win.”
 
Welcome the Wolfpack! 
Tickets for our next home game against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or SAVE MONEY by buying online, just CLICK HERE.

Kris Welham | “We just need another two points this weekend”

Kris Welham was delighted to return to action a fortnight ago against Widnes Vikings and is now focused on getting another two points this weekend against Halifax RLFC.
The Red Devils have already earned two wins so far in The Qualifiers and the veteran feels Salford need to be aiming for an unbeaten campaign.
Welham, sponsored by Process Gas Services said: “With the team that we’ve got – we finished 4th in the Betfred Super League regular season last year – so there’s no reason we can’t try and win seven from seven.
“We’ve had our fair share of injuries throughout this season but we’ve come past that now and we’re confident we can win all seven games.
“We’ve got a good team and some experienced players and we just need to earn another two points this weekend.”
Watch Kris Welham’s full pre-match interview below:

Factfile | Halifax RLFC vs Salford Red Devils | Sunday 2nd September

Ahead of this weekend’s huge Qualifiers clash against Halifax – for which Salford will be taking a large away following – we take a look at some interesting facts behind the fixture.
Previous Meetings
While Salford Red Devils did win the last meeting between the sides back in 2015 thanks to a 50-28 victory in the Qualifiers – which you can read more about here – they haven’t enjoyed much luck against Halifax over the years.
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Prior to this, the Red Devils hadn’t met Halifax since 2002 in a season where they lost twice against the West Yorkshire side but did earn a 15-12 win at the MBi Shay in April of that season.
The 2001 season also favoured Halifax. Two high-scoring affairs at The Willows saw Halifax win 34-50 and 30-41 in addition to a 30-18 win earlier in the season. In fact, you have to go back to 2000 to find the last time Salford won consecutive games against Fax with the first of those coming thanks to a Martin Offiah drop-goal on 23rd July.
Salford won the first two meetings following the move to the Summer era but would then lose six consecutive matches against Halifax between 1998 and 2000.
Home vs Away
In the build-up to this weekend’s game, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson pointed to Halifax’s terrific home form throughout the 2018 season as an indicator of how tough Sunday’s match will be.


Halifax have won 11 home games in the Betfred Championship this season including victories over full-time opposition like Featherstone Rovers and Leigh Centurions. A 22-22 draw with Dewsbury Rams and two losses to Toronto Wolfpack – with the most recent coming in Round One of The Qualifiers – are the only blips on this record.
On the other hand, Salford’s away form this season has been a contrast to that of Fax’s home form. The regular Betfred Super League season saw the Red Devils notch just one away victory over Huddersfield Giants in April, but they did win their last match on the road against Hull Kingston Rovers in Round One of The Qualifiers.
The form book – in terms of home vs away – will need to be thrown out the window if the Red Devils are going to make it three from three in this season’s Qualifiers.
Played for Both
Salford prop-forward Daniel Murray has actually featured for both clubs this season following a short loan spell with Halifax at the start of the year. Murray made five appearances for Halifax in 2018 powering his way over for two tries in this time.


Last year the two clubs worked a dual-registration agreement which saw a number of Salford players take to the field for Halifax. Murray, Ryan Lannon, Josh Wood and Jake Bibby all featured for Fax in 2017 and have now made themselves regulars in the Salford first team.
Halifax centre Steve Tyrer – who will miss this weekend’s fixture through injury – enjoyed a season with the Red Devils back in 2010. The centre made 20 appearances for Salford crossing for six tries including a hat-trick against Harlequins – now known as London Broncos – in just his third outing.

Preview | Halifax RLFC vs Salford Red Devils | Sunday 2nd September

Salford are heading into this weekend’s fixture against Halifax RLFC at the MBi Shay looking to make it three consecutive Qualifiers victories. 
Last Time Out
The Red Devils backed up a massive away victory over Hull Kingston Rovers with a dominant 32-6 win over Widnes Vikings at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Charly Runciman opened the scoring however this didn’t faze Salford who went into the break ahead thanks to a Junior Sa’u double. Ian Watson’s side controlled the game and tries from Rob Lui, Niall Evalds and Mark Flanagan capped off a terrific performance.

As for Halifax, they fell to a second defeat in The Qualifiers in France against Toulouse. Chris Centrone grabbed a brace in the second half before tries from Paul Marcon, Stan Robin and Anthony Marion gave the French side the victory. Dan Fleming scored a late consolation try for Fax.
Form
Salford come into this weekend’s game in their best form of the 2018 season on the back of three consecutive victories over each of the fellow Betfred Super League teams in The Qualifiers – Leeds Rhinos, Hull Kingston Rovers and Widnes Vikings.
There have been a number of factors in the Red Devils upturn in form with new acquisitions Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick being key alongside Rob Lui’s consistent quality and a returning Niall Evalds down the spine.


Halifax, as mentioned, are yet to win in The Qualifiers with defeats against both Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique but prior to the split they had lost just one of their final seven Betfred Championship fixtures.
Richard Marshall’s side suffered a narrow defeat against London Broncos but did overcome the likes of Swinton Lions, Batley Bulldogs, Barrow Raiders, Featherstone Rovers, Toulouse Olympique and Rochdale Hornets in the lead-up to The Qualifiers.
Head-to-Head
This weekend will see two very different halfbacks go head-to-head as Salford maverick Jackson Hastings will face Halifax’s experienced campaigner Scott Murrell.
Hastings arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium last month and has been instrumental in the Red Devils upturn in form and renewed vigour in attack. He has managed to carve openings in Betfred Super League teams in recent weeks and will be looking to do the same this weekend.


Murrell is now in his fifth season with Halifax and has been an integral part of the Club consistently challenging for a top four spot in the Betfred Championship. His organisational skills and ability to read the game make him a constant threat.
Sunday’s game will come down to who makes the most openings for their side and will no doubt centre on some very important game management from either halfback.
Team News 
Luke Burgess returns to Ian Watson’s 19-man squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. In fact, the prop-forward could make his first appearance since a defeat against Wigan Warriors in early May.
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Fellow forward Tyrone McCarthy also returns to the squad after missing out against Widnes a fortnight ago. Greg Burke and Kris Welham retain their places while Craig Kopczak and Lee Mossop are the forwards who miss out for Salford.
Halifax head into this weekend’s game with issues out wide. Centre Steve Tyrer suffered a season-ending injury a fortnight ago against Toulouse while fellow three-quarter Ed Barber remains sidelined with a knee injury. Harry Kidd is also out.
However, the hosts welcome the return of powerhouse forward Adam Tangata.
Full Squads:
Halifax: Jordan Baldwinson, Chester Butler, Liam Cooper, Jacob Fairbank, Dan Fleming, Shane Grady, Simon Grix, Ben Heaton, Ben Johnston, Sion Jones, Ben Kaye, Will Maher, Brandon Moore, Kieren Moss, Scott Murrell, Will Sharp, Adam Tangata, Sam Wood, James Woodburn-Hall.
Salford: Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Luke Burgess, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
Table Permutations
Salford head into Sunday’s fixture at the top of The Qualifiers table ahead of Leeds Rhinos on points difference. Leeds face host Hull Kingston Rovers on Saturday afternoon but Salford will remain top as long as they better the Rhinos results – should Leeds win.
Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, Hull Kingston Rovers and London Broncos all currently sit on two points, but would all need a significant points swing if they were to overtake the Red Devils this weekend.
Halifax are currently one of two winless sides – alongside Widnes Vikings – but a win over Salford could see them climb off the bottom of The Qualifiers table. The Vikings face Toulouse in France on Saturday.
Match Officials
Referee: Tom Grant.
Touch Judge: Chris Kendall.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
 
You can still purchase tickets for Sunday’s game at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 with Salford Red Devils retaining 25% of your purchase. Tickets will go off sale at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office on Saturday 1st September at 4pm. Click HERE for ticket prices and Supporters’ Coach details.

Ian Watson | “It will centre on our attitude, professionalism and discipline”

This weekend’s opponents Halifax are yet to register a win in the Qualifiers however Head Coach Ian Watson knows the talent and danger they possess ahead of Sunday’s clash at the MBi Shay.
Watson said: “Thinking back to a couple of years ago, Halifax did really well in this competition and in Widnes and Leigh they beat a couple of teams they hadn’t expected to beat. I think that they will shock a couple of teams again this time, so it means we will have to be completely up to speed on Sunday.
“I really enjoyed playing there in my playing days because the pitch is immaculate and enables you to produce good rugby. We are going to go to enjoy playing there.
“The danger for us is that having lost those early couple of games Halifax will be keen to get some points. They have been used to winning all season, and we know that they have some good systems in place and some really good, experienced players in their team.
“We simply have to be aware of the threats they pose to us, but equally aware of the threats we can pose to them.
“I do watch quite a lot of Championship games so I am well aware of the players in there and know just what Halifax are going to throw at us, how they play, and how their systems work. I also know their coach Richard Marshall. They do like to express themselves but it will all centre upon our attitude, professionalism and discipline.”


Salford head into this weekend’s clash on the back of two Qualifiers victories against Hull Kingston Rovers and Widnes Vikings.
“The lads have shown good game management, which is taking account of the playing conditions, knowing when to kick, and when to run the ball.
“We have a really good balance within the spine of the team now, and this is showing itself to be the most consistent it has been all season, as they have grown to know one another and build relationships among themselves which is good for the whole team.
“Rob has had a lot of responsibility on his shoulders all season, not only for himself but also the team as a whole, but the acquisition of Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick has freed him up for him to show once again just what he is capable of doing.”
“It all goes to show that we have a good team, and now that these key players have been brought in, it is showing throughout them all. Our pack has been dominating other sides throughout the season, but at that time we just lacked the link to take the advantage, but we knew that sooner or later the right personnel would become available and we would then be able to turn it all around.”
Tickets are still available to purchase from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 up until 4pm on Saturday 1st September. Remember, the Club retain 25% of any advanced purchases from the AJ Bell Stadium. All ticket details can be found HERE.
There is still room on the second Supporters’ Coach available to book at the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. The Club retain 100% of your booking fee. All Coach details can be seen HERE.

Flashback | Salford Red Devils 50-28 Halifax RLFC | Saturday 5th September 2015

This weekend Salford travel to Halifax in their third Qualifiers fixture of 2018 however it’s not the first trip to the MBi Shay in this competition.
We take a look back to 2015 when the Red Devils earned a 50-28 victory over Fax in a back-and-forth game, almost three years to the day of Sunday’s fixture.
In a high-scoring affair, three Red Devils managed to cross for hat-tricks with Niall Evalds, Ben Jones-Bishop and Greg Johnson all notching three tries apiece. Josh Griffin and Michael Dobson shared kicking duties kicking four and three goals, respectively.


Dobson created an opening in the early stages to send Evalds over to get the scoring underway before Johnson broke down the left-hand to further the Red Devils lead. Another Evalds try shortly after continued Salford’s dominance.
Halifax refused to lie down and managed to get themselves on the scoresheet through Dane Manning. However, the hosts would go into the break trailing 6-22 after Johnson scored his second before fellow winger Jones-Bishop opened his account for the afternoon.
George Griffin had a try disallowed just after the restart and Halifax capitalised as Scott Murrell collected his own kick to score. However, almost immediately, Evalds managed to scoop up a loose ball and race fifty metres to be the first Red Devil to complete their hat-trick.
The hosts again hit back as Jacob Fairbank went under the posts on the back of a break from Connor Robinson but three consecutive tries from Salford killed any hopes of a Fax comeback.
Jones-Bishop went the length of the field before Johnson followed up with another long-range try for his third. Jones-Bishop also notched his hat-trick in the closing stages on a rampant afternoon in attack for the Red Devils. Adam Tangata did grab a late consolation for Halifax.
The victory marked Salford’s third win in their opening four games of the 2015 Qualifiers after wins against Wakefield Trinity and Leigh Centurions.
The teams that day:
Halifax: Martin, Heaton, Eccleston, Tyrer, Saltonstall; C. Robinson, Murrell; Tangata, Kaye, Calahane, Moore, Manning, Fairbank.
Interchanges: Bracek, Maneely, A. Robinson, Ambler.
Salford: Evalds, Jones-Bishop, Thornley, J. Griffin, Johnson; Lee, Dobson; Taylor, Tomkins, G. Griffin, Hansen, Maitua, Paterson.
Interchanges: Krasniqi, Forster, J. Walne, Hood.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man squad for trip to Halifax

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Sunday’s trip to the MBi Shay to take on Halifax in the Red Devils third Qualifiers fixture.
Luke Burgess returns to the squad following a lay-off with a knee injury and could be in line to play his first game since defeat against Wigan Warriors on Friday 4th May.
Tyrone McCarthy also returns after missing the victory over Widnes Vikings a fortnight ago. Daniel Murray is also named in the 19-man squad. Greg Burke retains selection after making his return to the team against his former side two weeks ago.
Kris Welham also retains his place in the side following his return from injury last time out and you can listen to what the centre had to say about this weekend’s game below.

You can still purchase tickets for Sunday’s game at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 with Salford Red Devils retaining 25% of your purchase. Tickets will go off sale at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office on Saturday 1st September at 4pm. Click HERE for ticket prices and Supporters’ Coach details.
The full squad is as follows:  
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Luke Burgess, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.

Ian Watson | “Our attitude needs to be right”

Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson is looking for the right attitude and professionalism for the remainder of The Qualifiers after his side returned to training this week.
Watson said: “We’ve earned a little bit of time off and that will benefit the players.
“We’ve won two from two, but we’ve got to make sure that our attitude which we talk about in terms of work ethic and mentality is here going into our game against Halifax.
“It’s all about professionalism going through The Qualifiers.
“We’ve managed to overcome two Betfred Super League teams, but our professionalism comes into account when we have to face the Betfred Championship sides such as Halifax and Toronto.”
You can purchase tickets for the upcoming trip to Halifax at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 with Salford Red Devils retaining 25% of any advanced purchases. Click here for price details.
The Salford Red Devils Supporters’ Coach is also available to book for the trip to Halifax on Sunday 2nd September and can be done at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and Salford Red Devils retain 100% of your coach booking fee.
 
Welcome the Wolfpack! 
Tickets for our next home game against Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or SAVE MONEY by buying online, just CLICK HERE.