Tag: The Qualifiers

Joey Lussick | “I want to do my part for the team”

Australian Hooker Joey Lussick is in line to debut against Hull Kingston Rovers in the Red Devils Qualifiers opener and can’t wait to get out on the field now he has settled in.
Lussick, who is available for sponsorship, said: “While the Qualifiers are on I just want to get in, play my best performances, keep improving as a player and do my part for the team here at Salford.
“Hopefully we can take care of the eights and move on and potentially go again next year.”
Lussick arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-finals meaning he’s had an extra week to settle in with housemate Jackson Hastings and get to grips with his other teammates.
He said: “The week off helps, an extra week of training, an extra week to get combinations, extra week to get things done with the boys.”
“Me and Jacko [Jackson Hastings] have been good friends for a couple of years now so it definitely helps him getting here a couple of days ago so he sort of found his feet too so it’s good to have a mate here to help me round.”
Watch Joey Lussick’s full interview with Salford Red Devils TV below:

Jansin Turgut | “There’s bags of talent in the team”

Following his arrival late last week the Red Devils newest recruit – Jansin Turgut – has settled in almost immediately and is looking to hit the ground running at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Turgut, who is available for sponsorship, said: “I think we’ve all clicked as a group straight away and you know, they’ve been very welcoming, and I get on well with Watto [Ian Watson] the Head Coach.”
“Obviously it’s a very professional setup, the same as Hull FC, so it’s quite easy to adapt in that way. I’m trying my hardest to fit in with the lads and train hard as well which is hopefully that’s helping me to adapt.
The versatile back has previously captained Hull FC’s academy side and ended a three-year stint with the Black and Whites to join Salford but he is keen to impress following the move.
Turgut said: “I’m just trying to put my best foot forward. I’m contracted until the end of the year and I’m going to try to bring as good a performance as I can.
“I want to do the small things, the small details that maybe the fans can’t see but the lads will see and benefit from.
“Doing the hard work and doing the one percenters as well, hopefully I can do enough to get the wins and get Salford where they need to be.
“The ultimate aim is to try and earn myself a contract for next year.”


Looking ahead to the The Qualifiers, Turgut is optimistic about Salford’s chances of retaining their Betfred Super League status.
Turgut said: “There’s bags of talent in the team, I can see that already straight away.
“Everybody’s hard working and training has been intense straight away and I think the biggest thing is the confidence going around at the minute, coming off a big win against Leeds.
“I think we’re definitely going to be finishing in the top half and be away from the Million Pound Game.
The Red Devils fixtures see them host Widnes Vikings, Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique at the AJ Bell Stadium and this means the side avoid any long distance travelling which Turgut believes does benefit the side.
“Even though your performance might not be affected directly, obviously things like fatigue might impact you when you need to travel.
“Obviously that unsettlement of not knowing the places and having to travel away could impact the players mentally so it’s a bonus for us that they’re home games.”
Check out Jansin Turgut’s full interview with Salford Red Devils TV below: 

Preview | Hull Kingston Rovers vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 10th August

After an impressive victory over Leeds Rhinos in their last outing, Salford now look ahead to a Friday night’s clash against Hull Kingston Rovers with the aim of starting the Qualifiers and forging some momentum for the course of the seven-game campaign.
Last time out
The Red Devils will head into this weekend’s game high on confidence following a dominant display against Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago in which they managed to overturn to 2017 Betfred Super League champions despite being reduced to twelve men for an hour.
Jackson Hastings made a scintillating twenty-minute debut in which he crossed for a try as well as sending Niall Evalds on his way after Ryan Lannon had levelled the scores early on. Evalds would cross for a second in his return to the AJ Bell Stadium while Ed Chamberlain, Rob Lui and Josh Jones would all also score in a memorable performance.

Likewise, Hull KR had a game to remember last time out. KR coach Tim Sheens side had the duo of Danny Tickle and Craig Hall to thank on a wet Friday Night under the lights at the KCOM Stadium in a 20-16 win against fierce rivals Hull FC.
KR put an end to a seven-game losing streak against their cross-city rivals when Tickle’s penalty on the hour got Rovers’ nose in front, where they managed to stay for the big derby win.
Hall managed to mark his second debut back at Hull KR following his re-signing on loan from Leigh Centurions by helping himself to two tries and kicking a goal on his way to the Man of the Match award.
Form
Salford managed to turn their fortunes around last time out against the Leeds Rhinos and the additions of Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick and Jansin Turgut have only added to that momentum in recent weeks. The Red Devils will be looking to make it back-to-back victories and get their Qualifiers campaign off to a flying start.
Hull Kingston Rovers are enjoying a solid run, a loss against Warrington Wolves a few weeks ago is the only mark by in a purple patch with results over Hull FC, Widnes Vikings, Huddersfield Giants and a victory over the Red Devils the last time the sides met.
Head-to-Head
This week’s head-to-head pits Betfred Super League Record try-scorer Danny McGuire up against his opposite number, Salford’s number six Robert Lui.
Stand Off McGuire, who signed a two-year deal for Hull Kingston Rovers ahead of the 2018 season has had a prolific Super League career, becoming the first player to ever score 200 tries.
While only making 14 appearances for the Rovers, McGuire has been instrumental for the Tim Sheens side when he has been involved and he crossed for a hat-trick in the last meeting between the sides in early July.
Lui will come into this weekend’s fixture brimming with confidence following a magnificent Man of the Match display against Leeds Rhinos in which he crossed for a try and provided five try-assists. Lui is central to everything the Red Devils do going forward and if he is on form at KCOM Craven Park expect Salford to cause KR issues.


This key battle could very well decide who wins this Qualifiers opener. Both men will be looking to control the game for their respective sides and can bring that little bit of creativity which can tip a game.
Team News
New signing Jackson Hastings is named in the 19-man squad despite leaving the field early on his debut. Fellow Australian and new acquisition Joey Lussick could be in line to make his debut following his arrival at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Kris Welham and Craig Kopczak both return to the squad after spells on the sideline and could return to start Salford’s campaign to retain their place in the Betfred Super League. Jack Littlejohn, Logan Tomkins, George Griffin, Luke Burgess and Kriss Brining remain sidelined with injuries.
Hull KR have a few names back at their disposal, Junior Vaivai, Danny McGuire, Shaun Lunt, James Greenwood and Joel Tomkins all return for round one of The Qualifiers.
Todd Carney, Craig Hall and Ben Crooks all unsurprisingly make the squad after debuting in the dramatic derby win against Hull FC.
KR will be without the injured Lee Jewitt and the suspended pair of Mose Masoe and Maurice Blair. However, Will Oakes will be available again after serving his one-game suspension.
Squads
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Junior Vaivai, Danny McGuire, Nick Scruton, Shaun Lunt, James Greenwood, Ben Kavanagh, James Donaldson, Chris Clarkson, Tommy Lee, Robbie Mulhern, Liam Salter, Chris Atkin, Will Oakes, Danny Tickle, Joel Tomkins, Todd Carney, Craig Hall, Ben Crooks
Salford Red Devils: Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
Table Permutations
With this being the opening weekend of The Qualifiers all points tallies are reset for the competition and starting at zero points gives every side a chance to almost start the season again.
Both Salford and Hull KR will be hoping to get off to a good start and begin building some momentum with the hopes of retaining their place in the Betfred Super League.
With The Qualifiers at the toughest they’ve possibly ever been with Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos and Widnes Vikings having Betfred Super League experience alongside some intriguing and talented sides from the Betfred Championship including winners Toronto Wolfpack, surprise package Halifax RLFC and French outfit Toulouse Olympique. Both Salford and KR will know a strong start is paramount.
Match Officials
Referee: Robert Hicks.
Touch Judge: Jonathan Roberts.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
 

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Written by Matt Tandy.

The Qualifiers in Focus | Toulouse Olympique

In our final edition of ‘The Qualifiers in Focus’ we look at French outfit Toulouse Olympique and preview our concluding fixture in the seven-game competition. 
Toulouse Olympique are slightly different to most ‘franchises’, the simple fact being that they aren’t historically one. The club were formed in 1935 and are steeped in history within the French game. Toulouse were originally invited to play in the Championship (then National League One) by the RFL in 2009. Because this was during the infamous licensing period, there would be no direct route to Super League for Toulouse until 2012.
Olympique lasted just three seasons in the Championship and at the end of the 2011 season, they announced their intention to return to the Elite One Championship in France.
After securing their sixth French title in 2015, the Blagnac-based side announced it would be returning to the RFL system – in League 1 – a year later. Though the club lost the League 1 promotion final to Rochdale Hornets, they wouldn’t be denied promotion to the Championship when they triumphed over Barrow Raiders 32-22, before picking up the Championship Shield – with a 44-14 victory over Sheffield Eagles – a year later.
Season so far
This season, Toulouse have lost six games, they continue to improve year after year having finished 5th last season and only points difference has prevented them from finishing second in the table this time around.
No-one can deny that Toulouse play an exciting brand of Rugby, the Blues starred at this year’s Summer Bash to throttle London Broncos 40-28 and have been one of the trailblazers in revitalising the second-tier this term. However, could their expansive style prove to be their biggest downfall?
Both Toulouse and Toronto Wolfpack were invited to participate in this year’s Magic Weekend, in a bid to promote the game on a global scale and advertise the fine talents currently on display in the Championship.
Although the French outfit did commendably score 30 points, they left themselves a little short in defence as a result of their ‘all-out attack’ mindset and consequently conceded 43 points.
In recent weeks, Toulouse also suffered a disappointing 19-14 defeat at Halifax – no team above 6th placed Leigh Centurions have conceded more points than Toulouse in the Championship this season.
Having said that, they have scored an astounding 900 points of their own – a figure beaten only by London Broncos who have 907.
Sylvain Houles has led the Olympique to yet another stunning campaign and with talent such as Mark Kheirallah, Tony Maurel, Stanislas Robin and Mourad Kriouache amongst their ranks, who’s to say we won’t be seeing Super League Rugby at the Stade Ernest-Argeles come the start of next season?
Coach
36-year-old Houles is now in his sixth year at the helm and has led the club to two French Championships, a Lord Derby cup, promotion to the Betfred Championship and one Championship Shield win. With such a record, Houles has developed into one of the most successful coaches within the game. At 36, the former France international has his best years ahead of him and may well develop into one of the all-time greats, should he continue his fine run and knack of winning trophies.

A sheep-farmer by day, Houles is undoubtedly one of the most committed coaches around. As per the Guardian, Eddy Pettybourne revealed former France international Houles – who enjoyed five years in England with Huddersfield, London, Dewsbury and Wakefield – wakes up at 3am every morning to work on his farm, before commuting for over an hour to travel to Toulouse’s training base.
Pettybourne also cited Houles as one of the best coaches he’s ever worked under and like so many others, has tipped him to be coaching in Super League – or possibly even the NRL – in the very near future.
Captain

34-year-old Sébastien Planas is Toulouse’s long-serving skipper. The second-rower/centre is a club stalwart, having played the entirety of his 11-year professional career with the Olympique.

Planas has struggled with his injuries throughout this spell, but is still nearing 200 appearances for the club. He was also included in France’s 2008 world cup squad.

Despite being sidelined for large parts of the first-half of this season, the veteran hasn’t showed any signs of hanging up his boots just yet, after scoring during Toulouse’s 44-18 demolition of Dewsbury Rams last month.

One to watch
In the last edition of ‘The Qualifiers in Focus’ we looked Kieran Dixon’s influence within the London Broncos’ attacking plays, here we take a look at another highly-rated back-rower – Toulouse full-back Mark Kheirallah.
Despite being born in Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia, 28-year-old Kheirallah has played the vast majority of his seven-year career in Toulouse.
After playing a solitary game for NRL’s Sydney Roosters in 2011, the full-back moved to Toulouse ahead of the 2012 campaign and hasn’t looked back since.


He is capable of filling the void at both full-back or in the halves and is equally as devastating in either role. Kheirallah is a broad figure who is strong in defence, but also possesses breathtaking pace and power which has seen his develop into a deadly finisher.
The France international – after qualifying on residency – has a knack of stepping up in big games and was the star of the show at this year’s Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool.
If Salford are to triumph over the French, it is crucial that the Red Devils backline nullify the numerous threats Kheirallah alone poses.
When’s the game?
Salford host Toulouse in their final game of the Qualifiers at the AJ Bell Stadium, which is currently scheduled for Sunday 30th September with a kick-off time of 3pm but is subject to change.
Ticket details will be revealed in due course. 

Ian Watson | “We need to show our steel”

The memory of the last time that the Salford Red Devils travelled to Hull KR, in a Qualifiers match, two years ago, must be surely etched in the memory of every one of our fans as it was, of course, in the Million Pound Game.
When the players make their first return visit, in this competition on Friday there will be a number of those players who were involved on that day for whom the memory will be even more stark than our own personal ones as Head Coach Ian Watson readily acknowledges.
Watson said: “Games like that will always be there in the back of your memory, especially with that match having so much meaning to it, and, especially after the game itself having seen the fall out from it with people losing their jobs alongside other consequences. The emotions around all that ensure that those experiences stay with you for the rest of your life.
“So will they for players like Sean Lunt who not only was involved in the actual game but also witnessed and experienced first hand the after effects from the defeat.
“At least on this occasion it is not another Million Pound Game it’s more like a ‘mini-league’ game, which will probably enable everyone to put their thoughts to the back of their minds and as professionals we will approach it as a really serious contest.
“No-one wants to get off to a poor start by losing early games because that could lead directly to involvement in this year’s Million Pound Game but at the moment both sides will all be treating it as nothing more than a really tough match.”
“I always think it’s a good place to go to, though some players find it really intimidating. It is the sort of place that you should want to play in with the extremely loud crowd getting on your back. These things should actually spur you on by you turning them into positive elements.
“You know before you arrive exactly what you are going to get from the spectators on the terraces but out there on the pitch it is just your team against theirs and you should be keen and eager to get out there and challenge yourself.”
It is only a few weeks since the Red Devils last made the trip to KCOM Craven Park and Salford will be looking to avenge a disappointing defeat.
“It was the fact that we failed to show the necessary resilience after their second try from one of our kicks, that ultimately led to our problems, because up to that point we had been playing really well. We need to correct that and show that we have a bit of steel about us and can grind out a win away from home.
“What we learned from that game is that we have to have that attitude and mentality which determines that we will stick to our guns as a team – no matter what. What we don’t want is people doing their own thing to try and fix things up rather than doing so as a team because that just does not work.”
There are a number of former Salford Red Devils colleagues, including former Director of Rugby Tim Sheens, now installed in similar roles at KCOM Craven Park.
“It’s not a bad thing from our point of view because having worked alongside him for twelve months I have got to know the sort of things he will be thinking both ahead of the game and during it but it will be the players who will determine the outcome on the day.
“As coaches we here will be doing our jobs during the week and hopefully we will have prepared the team to go to Hull KR and get the victory.”
Within our ranks for the encounter, will undoubtedly be new recruit, Jackson Hastings, who made such an incredible impact in his Betfred Super League debut against Leeds.
Watson said: “The really pleasing thing is that he has come in and lifted everybody’s spirits with his enthusiasm and confidence. We have also seen that he is a genuine footballer who can read the play and so bring us that control which we have struggled to get all year.
“It would have been great to have been able to get him earlier but now that he is here we are looking forward to seeing what sort of on-field relationships he can strike up with the players around him. He provides leadership, and the forwards are going to listen to someone who is organising things around them, and they will fit into what is needed to be done.
“Rob Lui, on the back of that, stepped up to a different level and I thought he was the best player on the field that night. Hopefully a little bit of the pressure will be taken off him now.
Joey Lussick has also arrived in recent weeks and could be set to debut against Hull Kingston Rovers on Friday evening.
“Jackson and Joey have played together before and we have spent some time working with them and fullback Niall Evalds to help them build a thorough understanding throughout them all.”
 
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The Qualifiers in Focus | London Broncos

As the Qualifiers continue to close in more by the day, in this edition of ‘The Qualifiers in Focus’ we take an in-depth look at London Broncos and summarise an encouraging 2018 for the capital-based side. 
Season so far
Following the club’s relegation from the Betfred Super League in 2014, some argued that the experimentation of a London-based Rugby League franchise had well and truly ran its course. However, fast forward four years and the London Broncos have re-established themselves as a club with both a bright future and unbounded potential.
Their prosperous stadium move from Barnet FC’s ‘The Hive’ to Ealing Trailfinders’ Trailfinders Sports Ground in 2016 has ran parallel to success on the pitch.
2017 saw the club finish as Runners up in the Betfred Championship to Hull Kingston Rovers, only to miss out on promotion to the top flight after a miserable showing in the Qualifiers. This season however, there is much more of a positive vibe surrounding the club.
Head Coach Danny Ward has led the club to a successive second-placed finish in the second-tier. The Broncos have endured a memorable campaign, only to be pipped by runaway league leaders Toronto Wolfpack. In a season ruled by twists and turns, London have stood themselves well against top opposition. Despite finishing level on points with both Toulouse Olympique and Halifax, Ward’s men can be proud of what they’ve achieved this term and will head into the Qualifiers full of confidence.
They also boast try-scoring talents such as Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Jarrod Sammut and Kieran Dixon amongst their ranks. If these sort of players reach their potential throughout this year’s Qualifiers, then London will take some stopping.
Coach
Whilst he never appeared for the club in its current form, Head Coach Danny Ward has a deep affiliation with the London Broncos. The now retired prop-forward played for the club in its former glory as Harlequins. Ward – who also represented Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers, Hull KR and Great Britain during his career – made over 100 appearances during his three year spell at the Twickenham Stoop.

Upon retiring, Ward initially coached the Broncos’ U19s squad for both the 2014 and 2015 seasons, before being promoted to Assistant First-Team Coach in 2017. After previous Head Coach Andrew Henderson left London to commence a new career as Steve Price’s Assistant at Warrington Wolves last summer, Ward was appointed as his successor.
The 38-year-old has done a stellar job in his first season as a senior coach and has led the club to a second-placed finish in the Championship table. Alongside Halifax’s Richard Marshall, he is considered one of the most promising coaches outside of the top flight.
Captain
28-year-old Jay Pitts currently captains the side, former Bradford Bulls forward Pitts has racked up over 200 career appearances and is an integral part of the Broncos side. The loose-forward/second-rower has also featured for Wakefield Trinity, Leeds, Hull FC and Bradford and brings a wealth of experience to the fold.

Pitts – who joined the club on a two-year-deal following the Bulls’ liquidation in 2017 – has a handy offload in his locker and is heavily involved in his side’s attacking plays, though he is also more than capable in defence too. Salford’s defence will have to be on top form if Pitts is to endure a quiet afternoon when the two sides lock horns next month.
One to watch
In the last edition of ‘The Qualifiers in Focus’ we looked at a player with a deep connection to Salford Red Devils – Chester Butler. This time however, we analyse hometown hero Kieran Dixon’s influence on his side’s successes.
After bursting onto the scene in 2012, Dixon has forged a firm reputation as one of the game’s most highly-rated back-rowers outside of Super League. The 25-year-old has enjoyed two glorious spells with his hometown Broncos – the first of which earned him a move to Hull Kingston Rovers in 2015.


With sheer pace, a handy kicking game and a knack of scoring outstanding tries, Dixon is undoubtedly the most explosive player within the London camp. The winger notched a try and four conversions during the Broncos’ resounding 72-6 win at Barrow last time out and if he maintains this sort of form throughout the Qualifiers, Salford’s defence could potentially be in store for a long afternoon.
When’s the game?
Salford are currently scheduled the capital on Sunday, 23rd September. The game will currently take place at the Trailfinders Sports Ground – the home of Rugby Union outfit Ealing Trailfinders – with a kick-off time at 3pm. However, this is subject to change.
Ticket and travel details will be released in due course.

The Qualifiers in Focus | Leeds Rhinos

Following the recent Qualifiers fixture release, Salford discovered that they will face Hull Kingston Rovers, Widnes Vikings, Halifax RLFC, Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique. Here we take an in-depth look at the last year’s Betfred Super League winners who now find themselves in the Qualifiers – Leeds Rhinos.
Season so far
On the back of a hugely successful 2017 season which saw Leeds Rhinos pick up their eighth Betfred Super League crown, defeating Castleford Tigers 24-6 in the Grand Final at Old Trafford, Leeds have struggled in 2018 and now see themselves back in The Qualifiers for the second time in three season.
Wins against Warrington Wolves and Hull KR ensured that they started the 2018 season well but a loss to Widnes Vikings ended February on a sour note. March started with hard fought victories over Hull FC and St Helens before falling 25-24 to Castleford Tigers despite a spirited resurgence coming back from a 24-point deficit, this unfortunately proved to not be enough on a day when a late Kallum Watkins conversion attempt drifted agonisingly close to sealing an impressive comeback for Leeds.
April followed a very similar trend to past months, early victories over Wakefield Trinity and Salford however were followed by defeats to Wigan Warriors and Hull FC, before a second victory of the season against KR.
This victory was followed by one of the worst runs in Leeds’ recent memory, seven consecutive Betfred Super League losses against the likes of Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, St Helens and two losses to Catalan Dragons.
This run of form lead to the dismissal of Head Coach Brian McDermott after six years and eight honours. The replacement for McDermott was the coaching team of James Lowes and Kevin Sinfield who would take the roles of Head Coach and Leeds’ first ever Director of Rugby, respectively.
Since Sinfield’s appointment Leeds have won just one outing – a 34-0 thrashing of bottom placed Widnes Vikings. This coupled with a 42-10 defeat at the hands of Castleford Tigers, a 38-22 loss to Salford, avenging the reverse fixture, and a 20-20 draw versus Wakefield Trinity meant Leeds would enter the Qualifiers, placed a disappointing ninth in the Betfred Super League.
Director of Rugby
Leeds Rhinos First Team Coach is former Bradford Bulls hooker James Lowes. Lowes won two Betfred Super League titles during his time at the Bulls. Lowes has spent time coaching since his retirement from the game in 2003, including spells in the backroom staff at Salford, Warrington Wolves and England. He was also first team coach at Warrington and Bradford Bulls prior to his current spell in charge of Leeds.

Overseeing Lowes is the new Director of Rugby, Leeds Rhinos’ legendary captain Kevin Sinfield. Sinfield made over 500 appearances throughout a glittering career with Leeds where he was a seven-time Betfred Super League winner as well as earning two Ladbrokes Challenge Cup crowns.
Sinfield proved a highly popular appointment last month when he re-joined the Club and will be looking to keep the Rhinos in the Betfred Super League.
Captain
27-year-old England regular Kallum Watkins is the Rhinos current captain. However, Watkins suffered a nasty anterior cruciate ligament injury in Leeds’ defeat to Castleford Tigers in May, ruling him out for around eight months.
In his absence Leeds have several experienced players they could call on to try to replace the leadership void left in Watkins’ stead. The man they are likely to look to though is 25-year-old prop forward Brad Singleton. Singleton has captained Leeds a few times since Watkins was ruled out, including this past weekend in their 48-12 loss to Warrington Wolves in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Singleton has been at Leeds for his entire career, making his debut in 2011 against Salford in a 48-12 win. Since then he spent spells out on loan at Dewsbury Rams, Wakefield Trinity and Hunslet Hawks. Since his time away Singleton returned to Leeds and became a regular for the Betfred Super League side, playing a major part in their treble winning side of 2015.
If Leeds are to put an end to their slump they will sorely need payers like Brad Singleton to stand up to the pressure.
One to watch
28-year-old scrum half Richie Myler started his career with hometown side Widnes Vikings, making just two fleeting appearances before making the short move across to Salford. Myler had a successful spell with the club. In his first season he scored an impressive 25 tries in 32 matches helping the Red Devils to the 2008 National League One title, earning himself the opportunity to play in the Betfred Super League for the first time the following season as well as gaining the Co-Operative Player of the Year award.
Ahead of the 2010 Super League season Richie Myler found himself on the move again, this time to Warrington Wolves for £200,000, a record for a teenager in the Rugby League.

His spell at the Halliwell Jones stadium can be regarded as a lucrative one. Myler quickly found himself one of the league’s best halfbacks. In his seven years he scored an impressive 77 tries in 139 games. He did miss out on the 2010 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final due to injury but made up for it by helping his Warrington side beat Leeds Rhinos in the 2012 final.
Myler left Warrington following the 2015 season, joining Catalan Dragons where he spent two years, his new side would go on to win the 2017 Million Pound Game to retain their place in the Super League. A few months later he would be on the move again, this time to Leeds Rhinos where he’s enjoyed an entertaining first season despite sides struggles. Myler has scored four tries and leads the Betfred Super League in try assists with 23 in 19 games.
It is this creativity which will make Myler Leeds’ dangerman throughout The Qualifiers.
When’s the game
Salford will make the trip to the Emerald Headingley Stadium on Friday 14th September with kick off time at 7:45pm.
Ticket details and coach travel will be released in due course.
 
Written by Matt Tandy.

The Qualifiers in Focus | Toronto Wolfpack 

Following the recent Qualifiers fixture release, Salford discovered that they will face Hull Kingston Rovers, Widnes Vikings, Halifax RLFC, Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique. Here we take an in-depth look at the first-ever professional transatlantic sports team – Toronto Wolfpack. 
Season so far 
2018, much like 2017, proved to be a highly successful campaign for Toronto Wolfpack. Toronto enjoyed a prodigious first Betfred Championship season, winning 20 of their 23 games including highly impressive showings in a 32-12 win over London Broncos and a 42-10 dismantling of fellow top four contenders Halifax. This run of form went on to lead the Canadian side to a second consecutive title.
Following an off-season of many comings and goings the Wolfpack started the season with an impressive result over Leigh Centurions. Going down to a 12-0 deficit, Toronto, thanks to a hat-trick from Liam Kay, scored 34 unanswered points to send hotly tipped Leigh packing.
Toronto remained unbeaten until a fourth round 47-16 humbling at the hands of fellow championship rivals London Broncos left them reeling. The next few months saw great success for the Canadians, note worthy victories against the likes of Toulouse Olympique and a 52-12 dismantling of Swinton Lions, their highest scoring game so far kept the momentum going.
Betfred Super League side Warrington Wolves prematurely ended Toronto’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup run in May with a 66-10 result. Bouncing back from this disappointment, the Wolfpack remained unbeaten for months. Edging Leigh Centurions in a 28-26 game at the Summer Bash was followed up by a resounding 32-12 victory of London Broncos.
A comprehensive 68-4 victory over Sheffield Eagles continued the Wolfpacks 16-game unbeaten run to hand them their first Betfred Championship title with braces from Chase Stanley and Adam Higson helping the Canadians to yet another heavy win across the pond. However, Toronto did lose their perfect home record since their formation with a 12-30 defeat against Featherstone Rovers at Lamport Stadium in the final round of Betfred Championship fixtures.
Coach
Toronto are led by Paul Rowley with the 43-year-old joining the Canadian club as their inaugural Head Coach in 2016 after leaving fellow Betfred Super League side Leigh Centurions.
The former England hooker started his career at Leigh Centurions before going on to appear in the Super League with Halifax and Huddersfield Giants between 1994-2001. Rowley returned to Leigh for the final four years of his career where he helped his hometown team win the National League One title in 2004. Rowley won four caps for England whilst at Halifax.
After retirement Rowley joined Leigh’s coaching staff before being appointed permanent First Team Coach in January 2012 after a successful first season at the helm, guiding the Leythers to second in the Betfred Championship.
On the back of his first season, Rowley led Leigh to back-to-back Betfred Championship titles in 2014 and 2015 before resigning as Leigh Head Coach prior to the 2016 season. Later that year Rowley was announced as the Head Coach of Toronto Wolfpack where he’s overseen great success so far, winning the Betfred League One title in 2017 and the Betfred Championship title this season.
Captain
Toronto’s current Captain is Australian halfback Josh McCrone. McCrone was handed the captaincy following the exit of Craig Hall. 31 year-old McCrone ended his nine-year spell in the NRL in his native Australia when he signed for Toronto from St George Illawarra Dragons in September 2017.

If Toronto wish to stake their claim for a place in the Betfred Super League for the first time next season the Canadian side will need some of McCrone’s leadership, creativity and experience to help get them over the line.
One to watch 
Dynamic halfback Ryan Bierley broke through at Leigh Centurions in 2012. He finished as Leigh’s top try scorer for four consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2015, coinciding with the clubs back-to-back Betfred Championship titles in 2014 and 2015.
After scoring a double against Bradford Bulls in February 2016, Brierley overtook Neil Turley to become Leigh’s fifth top try-scorer of all time with 133 in 125 games.

Following this achievement and years of quality performances in the Betfred Championship, Brierley was given an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream when he joined super league team Huddersfield. However, despite scoring 15 tries in his 25 games, including a memorable hat-trick from fullback in a losing effort at Wigan, his time at the Giants came to an end.
A surprise move to Toronto Wolfpack and a chance to reunite with Paul Rowley, his coach at Leigh, quickly came to fruition. Arriving for an undisclosed fee, Brierley scored an impressive 13 tries in his first 12 games during the club’s League One promotion winning season. He followed that up with 12 tries in his 23 games this year.
Brierley is a player blessed with devastating speed but it’s his ability to read the game and find himself in the right place at the right time that sets him apart from his teammates.
When’s the game 
Salford will welcome their trans-continental visitors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday 8th September with kick off set to be at 3:15pm. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Ticket details will be released in due course. 
 
Written by Matt Tandy.

Tickets | Opening Qualifiers game against Hull KR now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for our opening game of The Qualifiers against Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Park on Friday 10th August.
You can purchase your tickets from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Tickets will be available to purchase up until 9:00pm on Thursday 9th August at the Club Ticket Office. Remember, Salford Red Devils retain 25% of any ticket purchases from the Club Ticket Office in advance of the game.
Ticket prices for Friday’s game are: 
Adults: £22
Concession (65+, full-time students, 19-21): £16
Junior: £12
Junior Swaps: Available from the Club Ticket Office up until Thursday at 9pm.
Carer: Free
Any wheelchair disabled supporters must contact Hull Kingston Rovers direct on 08712 889988 or alternatively E-Mail info@hullkr.co.uk if a disabled car parking space is required.
Coach travel is also available to KCOM Craven Park however there will be no pick-up from the AJ Bell Stadium due to the concert taking place on Friday evening.
The final pick-up point will be the Dog & Partridge pub in Eccles for Friday’s coach service. If any fans who usually get picked up from the AJ Bell Stadium would like details on how to get to another pick-up point for Friday’s game, please contact the club and we’ll advise.
Please remember that Salford Red Devils retain 100% of all the coach booking fees with the AJ Bell Stadium overseeing the ticketing. The coach is priced at £16 for all classes.
The coach pick-up points, times and addresses can be seen below:
Chandos Social Club, Chandos Grove, Salford M5 5LJ: 3:50pm.
Royal Sovereign, 226 Eccles Old Road, Salford, Manchester M6 8AG: 4:05pm
Eccles Town Hall, Church Street, Eccles, Manchester M30 0LH: 4:15pm
Dog and Partridge, 221 Church St, Eccles, Salford M30 0LY: 4:25pm
If there are any queries regarding the coach travel contact enquiries@salfordreddevils.net or 0161 786 1590.
Also, please remember that all our Qualifiers fixtures are subject to change due to Sky Sports’ selection of games to broadcast.

The Qualifiers in Focus | Halifax RLFC

Following the recent Qualifiers fixture release, Salford discovered that they will face Hull Kingston Rovers, Widnes Vikings, Halifax RLFC, Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique. Here we take an in-depth look at the first Betfred Championship side Salford will face off with in the seven-game competition – Halifax RLFC. 
Season so far
The 2018 season has been somewhat of a fairy-tale for Halifax RLFC. ‘Fax fought off household names such as Leigh Centurions and Featherstone Rovers to claim fourth spot – and a place in the Qualifiers – in the Betfred Championship table.
Head Coach Richard Marshall has instilled a winning mentality within his troops, this is something that was on clear display during Halifax’s eye-catching 19-14 triumph over high-flying Toulouse Olympique just two weeks ago.
‘Fax – who were formerly known as Halifax Blue Sox – have enjoyed four glorious years under Marshall’s stewardship and will head into the Qualifiers with a firm sight on staking a Betfred Super League place.
It truly would be a fine achievement for the Yorkshire-side, the club operates on a far inferior budget to their rivals yet manages to consistently exceed expectations year upon year.
Despite falling to a 22-8 defeat, Halifax’s display at Warrington in last year’s Qualifiers was one of the most battling, courageous and spirited team performances in several years and this sort of effort has been echoed by ‘Fax throughout the current campaign.
Whilst ‘Fax did ultimately finish fourth, they technically finished joint-second after accumulating the same amount of points – 16 – as second-placed London Broncos and third-placed Toulouse respectively.
Although their budget is fairly limited, with the infrastructure in place – they are one of the rare clubs who fund a reserve grade – and their rapid progression, there is no reason Halifax could not forge a future for themselves as a household Super League side.
Coach
As mentioned above, the job Richard Marshall has done at the club has been nothing short of remarkable. The club’s budget is overshadowed by its counterparts and whilst they were given little chance of surviving in the division – let alone climbing out of it – but nevertheless, former Ireland forward Marshall has built something real at the MBi Shay and has restored a sense of identity and culture to one of the Northern Rugby Football Union’s founding clubs.

The 42-year-old has been widely touted as the brightest coach outside of the top flight and if he continues to enhance his already outstanding reputation, a big move will inevitably arrive sooner or later.
Captain
32-year-old Scott Murrell is the club’s captain. Stand-off Murrell arrived at the Shay in 2013 from Hull Kingston Rovers – where he had helped the Robins earn promotion to Super League in 2006. Also formerly with Leeds Rhinos and London Broncos, he has forged a respectable career for himself in the game and has earned plaudits throughout his time at Halifax. Murrell was nominated for the Kingstone Press Championship player of the year in 2015 and whilst he hasn’t quite reached the same heights since, he has enjoyed a successful season this time around and has racked up six tries and two drop goals in the process.

Murrell is currently enjoying a testimonial career with the club and recently signed a new contract to tie him down until the end of the 2019 season. He’s also began to make the transition to a future coaching career and now acts as an player/assistant coach to Marshall.
One to watch
In the last edition of ‘The Qualifiers in Focus’ we looked at Krisnan Inu and his integral role within Widnes Vikings’ attacking plays, this time we focus on a player with a deep connection to Salford Red Devils – Chester Butler.
23-year-old Butler is not only one of the brightest young talents in the game, he’s also the grandson of one Salford’s greatest ever players – legendary Welsh forward Colin Dixon.
Dixon joined the Red Devils in 1968 from Halifax for a then record £15,000 fee – which would approximately be around £430,000 in today’s market – and made 418 appearances during 12 memorable years at the Willows.
Following his transfer from amateur club Siddal, Chester Butler made his first-grade debut for Halifax in 2016 but didn’t really burst onto the scene until a year later, after scoring twice during the televised 22-8 defeat Qualifiers at Warrington in August 2017.
Capable of filling the void at either centre, on the wing or at second-row, Butler followed in his grandfather’s footsteps last year when he was called up to Wales’ World Cup squad.


This season, the youngster has 10 tries to his name from 19 Championship appearances and has been widely tipped to leave Halifax at the end of the season. With a game-intelligence far beyond his age and a fierce running game, Butler is certainly one to watch out for.
When’s the game?
Salford make the trip across the Pennines on Sunday, September 2nd, with the game kicking-off at 3pm. The respective sides usually contest for the Colin Dixon Memorial Trophy – Salford won the last clash 13-6 in 2017 – but this tie promises to be a lot more interesting with what lies at stake in the long-run.
Ticket details and coach travel will be released in due course.