Tag: Three Talking Points

Three Talking Points | Widnes Vikings

Following yesterday’s stunning triumph over Widnes Vikings, we take a look at the three talk points in the aftermath of the game. 
Three in a row
Salford headed into the tie on the back of two convincing wins over Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers but despite being labelled as the favourites by most of the experts, Ian Watson’s men didn’t underestimate the visitors’ capabilities and produced a creditable display to emerge as comfortable 32-6 victors.
Last week, we touched on the impact Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick have had on the side and whilst neither of the duo managed to get on the scoresheet this time around, they were instrumental in Salford’s success, though the latter was sin-binned in the 37th minute.
Hastings in particular, was heavily involved throughout. The 22-year-old featured in the build-up for the first of Junior Sa’u’s double, before putting the second on a plate for him just four minutes later. Hastings also helped carve the opening for Mark Flanagan’s try – via some assistance from Lussick – in what proved to be the finest try of the afternoon.


The Vikings did initially take the lead through Charly Runciman but the host hit back in style to earn their third successive victory – two of which have arrived in the dreaded Qualifiers. The win moves Salford into pole position in the Qualifiers table, though there are other games still to be played over the course of the weekend. Having said that, Salford are undoubtedly the in-form team and will take some stopping as the side edges nearer to securing its Super League status.
Lui stars once again
Hastings’ arrival has well and truly freed half-back Robert Lui in recent weeks and 28-year-old Lui produced yet another impressive performance during yesterday’s win.


Lui – who notched his third try in as many matches – was the second strongest contender for the Man of the Match award behind Hastings. He picked up a neat assist to send Sa’u crashing over when the Reds were trailing in the opening period, before kick-starting the move for the centre’s second.
If that wasn’t enough, the playmaker turned from provider to scorer. Just five minutes had passed in the second period when Lui darted over from dummy half. The half-back faked to play the ball out to the left before forcing himself over from close-range.
This score seemed to spur Lui on further as he claimed another well-worked assist twenty minutes from time. After picking up Hastings’ short ball, Salford’s ‘star man’ Lui then jinked his way through several Widnes defenders before feeding the onrushing Evalds.
Evalds prolific in attack
Alongside the arrivals of both Hastings and Lussick, Niall Evalds’ return to the side has been on a similar scale to a new signing. The 24-year-old suffered an unfortunate leg break during Salford’s defeat at the hands of Huddersfield back in May.
Initially, it was suggested Evalds wouldn’t feature again this season, but the full-back has made a triumphant return to the squad and is arguably better than ever.
After making his long-awaited comeback during the recent trip to Catalans, Evalds has racked up four tries in as many appearances.
With his sheer pace and game intelligence, the Salford academy graduate is a renowned creative threat and has added another dimension to the Red Devils’ lineup.
His defensive capability is undoubted, but it was in attack where he truly excelled yesterday and linked up well with the starring Lui to finish off a slick move.


 

Three Talking Points | Hull Kingston Rovers 10-28 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s enthralling victory over Hull Kingston Rovers, we take a look at the three talking points in the aftermath of the game. 
Off to a flyer
Despite pummelling Leeds Rhinos 38-22 last time out, nobody underestimated the task ahead as the Red Devils made the long journey to Humberside.
Whilst many wrote Salford off prior to kick-off, Ian Watson’s men silenced their critics with a memorable performance at KCOM Craven Park.
It was crucial that Salford started their Qualifiers campaign with a bang and they certainly did so. The Red Devils dominated the tie throughout and scores from Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, debutant Joey Lussick and Josh Wood helped clinch a deserved 10-28 victory and spark euphoric scenes in both the stand and away dressing room.


Salford undoubtedly commenced their Qualifiers campaign in the best manner possible and now head into next week’s showdown with Widnes in full confidence after securing successive victories. The Vikings meanwhile will be looking to end their 17-game winless run after dramatically losing 20-21 at home to the London Broncos on Thursday evening.
Lussick stars on debut
Australian hooker Joey Lussick – who joined the club as a free agent two weeks ago following his release from Manly Sea Eagles – made his long awaited debut in Salford colours and the 22-year-old failed to disappoint.
Not only did the former Australian RU Schoolboy cross for a well-worked maiden try, but he performed impeccably throughout. The hooker linked up well with former Manly teammate Jackson Hastings and full-back Niall Evalds in attack, whilst also adding another dimension to plays with his devastating kicking game – a rare sight for a hooker.


If last night’s showing is anything to go by, Lussick could prove to be one of the club’s most impressive acquisitions in recent times.
New spine in fine form once again 
We’ve previously touched on the influence of recent arrival Jackson Hastings linking up with Robert Lui and Niall Evalds during his dazzling debut versus Leeds, but Lussick’s introduction at KCOM Craven Park yesterday really signalled that the final piece of the jigsaw had well and truly been unearthed.
Salford demonstrated an expansive style of Rugby throughout and executed a series of quick combinations between the foursome. This newly found attacking flair has ran parallel to the arrivals of Hastings and Lussick and has seriously enhanced the Red Devils’ spine.
Hastings in particular has extracted heaps of pressure from the shoulders of Lui and has allowed the fifth-eighth to play his natural game. 28-year-old Lui was voted Man of the Match following the triumph over Leeds and excelled once again versus the Robins. Salford’s ‘star man’ provided a moment of brilliance in the 55th minute after latching onto a wayward pass from Chris Atking, before racing ninety-metres to cross for a stunning individual try.


Alongside Lui, Hastings and Lussick have also aided full-back Evalds’ game. 24-year-old Evalds suffered a broken leg in May, but after returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Salford’s marquee signings have linked up remarkably well with the former Salford academy graduate. Hastings produced an exquisite dummy to send Evalds over for the first of two tries versus the Rhinos a fortnight ago and Evalds continued his good run of form at Hull KR.
After Mark Flanagan picked up a short ball from Josh Wood, the experienced forward pierced his way through the Rovers backline before releasing the onrushing Evalds who slid over the whitewash to grab his third try in two games.

Three talking points | Salford Red Devils 38-22 Leeds Rhinos

Following last night’s memorable victory over Leeds Rhinos, we take a look at three talking points in the aftermath of the game. 
Jackson Hastings 
Where else do you start?
Jackson Hastings made his much-anticipated debut for Salford Red Devils last night and – despite only playing the opening twenty minutes – made a massive impact at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Hastings began lively and almost put Niall Evalds through a gap inside the opening minute. On the ten-minute mark the two would eventually link up as Hastings took advantage of a quick play-the-ball, bamboozled the Leeds defence with a dummy before finding Evalds who would finish.


And, Hastings wasn’t done there. He was quickest to react to a low Rob Lui kick moments later notching a try on his Red Devils debut. The 22-year-old had to leave the field early however both the Australian and Head Coach Ian Watson confirmed that this was precautionary after a long week for the new arrival.
Resilience
In his post-match press conference Ian Watson pointed to his sides resilience as a key factor behind their victory over Leeds; the biggest in the Betfred Super League era for Salford against the Rhinos.

Prop-forward Lee Mossop saw himself sent from the field after just twenty minutes for an altercation with Carl Ablett however it didn’t seem to hinder the Red Devils. Leeds did score on the back of the red card however Salford battled it out and managed to play for a whole hour with a one-man deficit and still come away with the victory.
In fact, during the period in which Salford were down to twelve men they actually matched Leeds scoring sixteen points apiece. There was a lot of big defensive efforts across the park for Salford in the second half before Niall Evalds’ crucial second try.
Danger
While we’ve touched on Jackson Hastings, there were a handful of contributing factors to the Red Devils looking more dangerous than in previous weeks.
Rob Lui – who was named Man of the Match – played an almost perfect game against Leeds yesterday evening. Lui was exceptional alongside Hastings and then controlled the game once the youngster left the field. The halfback crossed for a pivotal try on the stroke of half-time before hurting Leeds continuously with his pinpoint kicking game.
Niall Evalds returned to the AJ Bell Stadium for the first time in almost three months after a spell on the sidelines and what a return it was. Evalds crossed for two tries with his first showcasing his brilliant support play while his second displayed his ability to come into the attacking line.
Finally, sticking with the back line, Ed Chamberlain was another standout performer hitting lines out wide and racing away for a try in the first half. Chamberlain recently signed a two-year contract with Salford and has already began to show what he is capable of.

Three Talking Points | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s hard-fought affair against Warrington Wolves we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Key moments
In his post-match press conference Ian Watson pointed towards a key moment in the second half which may have turned the game.
Rob Lui looked to flick on a short ball to an onrushing Kris Welham which clipped the centres shoulder and went to ground. Had Welham gone through the line the Red Devils would have likely scored and taken the lead for the first time in the game.
Warrington went on to score three tries after this moment and win the game. Throughout the game, Salford caused Wire a lot of issues down the right-hand flank and were on top in the early stages of the second half.
Resilience
There was a tonne of resilience and heart in defeat from Salford against Wire.
The Red Devils had to muscle up in defence for a large period in the second half and managed to keep Warrington at bay – for the most part – until the final ten minutes of the game.
Both Derrell Olpherts and Junior Sa’u made try-saving tackles out wide last night while Ryan Lannon and Jack Littlejohn making last ditch efforts, also. Littlejohn, in fact, prevented Warrington forward Ben Westwood from close-range with a brilliant one-on-one tackle which forced a knock-on.


Even in the closing stages Kris Welham pulled off a great tackle on Bryson Goodwin before Rob Lui prevented two scores with well-timed interceptions which will have pleased Head Coach Ian Watson.
Flowing rugby
Earlier in the season we have seen the Red Devils display some fantastic attacking Rugby League in victories over Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons and Hull FC – to name a few – and those slick hands were on display at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Jack Littlejohn – who continues to impress in his new role at fullback – was the beneficiary of these fast hands crossing twice in the first half. Both times we saw the Australian hit a great line out the back with his second try on the back of a sensational offload from George Griffin.


Jake Bibby’s second half score also came from a string of off-the-cuff offloads which saw the Red Devils break down field beginning with a well-timed pass from Ben Nakubuwai. If the Red Devils continue to display this kind of attacking presence they’ll cause a lot of sides issues in the coming weeks.
 

The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder!
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.

Three Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 38-4 Wakefield Trinity

Salford Red Devils moved up to 7th in the Betfred Super League with a dominant victory over Wakefield on Friday night and here are three key talking points from the game.
Goal line defence
While Salford managed to rack up a mammoth 38 points in the victory over Wakefield it was the defence that was the most impressive aspect of the evening and in particular the goal line defence.
Wakefield weren’t without there opportunities and did spend sustained periods of time on the Salford line following repeat sets. However, the Red Devils muscled up in defence and managed to prevent Trinity crossing for the most part when they were in close-range of the line.
Trinity only managed to break the Salford defence once throughout the eighty minutes and this is now one of many solid defensive displays we’ve seen at the AJ Bell Stadium in 2018 as Salford look to make it a fortress.
Back-to-back wins 
The victory marked the first back-to-back victories for the Red Devils in 2018 and could well see Salford kick on for the remainder of the season.
In both victories against Huddersfield and Wakefield, Salford have looked a real threat with ball in hand with a number of forwards getting on the scoresheet as well as Jake Bibby grabbing four in two games.
Last season we saw the Red Devils go on a remarkable run in the middle of the season and Ian Watson will be hoping his side can emulate a similar sort of purple patch this year.
Overcoming adversity
Heading into last night’s game Head Coach Ian Watson had been forced to make a number of changes to his squad due to injuries.
Josh Jones and Lee Mossop both missed out due to picking up knocks against Huddersfield. Weller Hauraki and Lama Tasi also had to pull out of the squad later on while Kriss Brining and Manu Vatuvei remain sidelined however this only seemed to spur the Red Devils on.
However, Friday’s win just emphasised the strength in depth in the Red Devils pack with Tyrone McCarthy returning from injury, George Griffin being a standout performer and Luke Burgess returning with Head Coach Ian Watson pointing to his opening carry of the game as the first building block to win.

Three talking points | Huddersfield Giants 12-30 Salford Red Devils

Salford earned an impressive 12-30 victory over Huddersfield – their fifth consecutive away win at the John Smith’s Stadium – and we take a look at three talking points from the game. 
Away victory
Salford’s 12-30 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium marked their first win on the road for almost ten months and what a victory it was!
A double from Jake Bibby alongside tries from Mark Flanagan, Ben Nakubuwai and Weller Hauraki saw the Red Devils earn a much-needed victory. Rob Lui was on form with the boot kicking five goals.
The Red Devils have come close to winning away from home this season with narrow losses at the likes of Wakefield Trinity and Widnes Vikings but with an away win under their belts in 2018, Ian Watson’s men will be looking to kick on in the coming weeks both on their travels and at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Jake Bibby
The winger crossed for two late tries to round off a hard-fought victory at the John Smith’s Stadium and was one of the standout performers for the Red Devils.
Both of Bibby’s scores came when the game already looked to be won but the winger finished in fantastic fashion to help Salford end the game in style.
However, it wasn’t just in attack where the youngster impressed. Innes Senior crossed for the Giants, but Bibby has his number after that twice stopping the Huddersfield winger from scoring in the corner.
Dominance
Salford dominated the game for large periods earning plenty of penalties on the back of solid running and quick play-the-balls.
Once again, the forwards matched the likes of Ukuma Ta’ai and Sebastine Ikahihifo while the outside backs were consistent bringing the ball from deep inside the Salford half.
The Red Devils also managed the game very well in the closing stages when Huddersfield looked like they may edge their way back into it which eventually paid dividend as it was Ian Watson’s men who ran away with it.

Three Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 24-8 Hull FC

Following an impressive 24-8 victory over Hull FC on Friday evening we take a look at three talking points from the game. 
Defensive effort
The Red Devils conceded just one try on Friday evening and that came from Dean Hadley on the back of a low kick in behind the defence. Salford have now only conceded on the back of kicks in their last two home outings which is a sign of how sturdy the Red Devils defence has been.
Salford’s middles stood up well against the Hull FC pack – as they have all season while the back line where a match for everything the likes of Marc Sneyd, Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa threw at them.
The hosts also conceded less penalties in comparison to the trips to St Helens and Castleford which made the defensive effort needed much more sporadic.
And, it wasn’t just in contact where the defence was on point with Niall Evalds’ consistent kick return and the England Knights full-back pulled out a brilliant bit of skill to prevent a 40-20 at a crucial stage of the match.
Half-backs
Head Coach Ian Watson was quick to praise his half-back pairing of Robert Lui and Jack Littlejohn after Friday’s victory.
Salford scored four unanswered tries to seal a fantastic victory over one of last season’s top four with both Lui and Littlejohn crossing for individual scores. Littlejohn’s was his first as a Salford player.
Littlejohn finished off a breakaway try following a powerful break from Greg Johnson and Junior Sa’u and was a constant thorn in the side of FC down that left-hand side.
Salford had as much joy down the right-hand side with Robert Lui who’s kicking game caused issues for Hull throughout the game. Lui also took over goal kicking duties and slotted four from six including a pivotal penalty which put the Red Devils ahead at half-time.
Ben Nakubuwai
Ben Nakubuwai was voted as the Man of the Match by Executive Match Sponsors Freeths Lawyers and deservedly so.
Nakubuwai has settled into life in the Betfred Super League after debuting away at Wakefield and even powered over for his first Salford try in the first half against Hull FC.
He is certainly becoming a fan favourite already with his hard-hitting defensive efforts and powerful go forward. The young Fijian is proving to be a great addition to Ian Watson’s squad.