Tag: Toulouse Olympique

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH:SALFORD V TOULOUSE

A double brace of tries from Ken Sio, one at the start and the other at the end of the game, served to sandwich this remarkable game against the visiting newcomers to Super League, Toulouse Olympique.

Remarkable that is, in a number of ways. Remarkable in the severity of the adverse conditions, which blasted over the pitch in the form of Storm Franklin, remarkable in the variety of ploys both sides, but especially Salford, used to combat the elements, and remarkable in the total number of points the Red Devils  were able to post in such conditions.

So strong was the wind swirling around the field that it was almost like another opposition team intent upon foiling the bravest endeavours of both sets of players. There has been many a game, when, in similar circumstances, the team regarded as underdogs would have been chomping at the bit to get out there, use the conditions to their advantage, and consequently spring a surprise victory seemingly from nowhere.

For the Red Devils, therefore, to run up a total of thirty-eight points, for it can hardly be imagined that the Frenchmen would not have eager to use such an opportunity to notch up their first win, was most praiseworthy.

The tactics they used in posting no less than seven tries, was quite eye-opening, because modern day rugby is often regarded as being somewhat stereotyped and predictable, by its critics.  Nothing could be further from the truth, on this occasion.

Not that there was a lot of  off-the-cuff play to be seen, because so much was clearly well-rehearsed, and not only in the build-up to tries.  Take, for example, Marc Sneyd’s twenty-first minute cross-field down-town kick, direct from a scrum a mere fifteen metres from his own line, to the left wing, followed by Joe Burgess’s dive for the ball, a good three metres away from it, but which he then skidded onto, to retain possession, despite the attention of  a number of French defenders.

It was, though, of course, the tries which brought the greatest pleasure to the Salford faithful, with many of them, unsurprisingly, coming from kicks.

This was the case with Sio’s first, which came within the opening couple of minutes when he won the race to touch down Sneyd’s immaculate in-goal kick, centimetres before the ball went into dead.

Others followed, with Tim Lafai benefitting in the second half, from a real tester of a bomb which dipped suddenly in the gale, completely bewildering the Toulouse defenders.

And, as if only to keep them guessing, on twenty three minutes, Sneyd shaped up near to the line, to kick through, only to hold onto the ball and cut through the gap left by the surprised opposition.

It was not only the kicks, or on this last occasion the lack of one, which opened up the way to the visitors’ line.  Brodie Croft made a marvellous break from well inside his own half to make a fifty metre run, and, although his final pass was deflected by a French arm, Sio did an excellent job of mopping up to cross for his second.

Indeed Croft later got in on the kicking game, himself, to put through a neat little stab for Sio’s third, to show the home fans that he, too, is going to be a force to be reckoned with, as he settles more and more into the side.

In such treacherous conditions, however, passing moves are at a premium though Salford did extremely well when they sent the ball from right to left to get Burgess away down his left wing, and his inside pass secured, for the supporting Ryan Brierley, his first Super League try for Salford.

Not that the Olympique were without ideas of their own, and indeed they had already asked a number of questions of the Salford defence before they managed to penetrate it with former Salford U19s Chris Hankinson, touching down in similar fashion to Sio’s opener.

Indeed, it was the visitors who shook the Salford fans with the opening try of the second half, bringing them to within striking distance of their hosts’ lead, for a short period which undoubtedly will have caused some little concern on the terraces.

The day, however, belonged to Salford, and Ken Sio, who, with three tries under his belt already, capped it all with the most exciting of them all as he sped eighty metres down field for his final, culminating score of the afternoon.

 

“We need to be at our best” – Paul Rowley

Paul Rowley has said he and his staff will always remember his ‘special’ opening Betfred Super League game, with his Salford Red Devils side beating Castleford Tigers 26-16 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle stadium last Friday.

With Castleford tipped for a successful campaign under the leadership of Lee Radford, it was always going to be a tough test for the Red Devils to get a result, but their grit in defence and impressive attacking transitions was too much for the Tigers.

Tries from Ken Sio, King Vuniyayawa and Deon Cross – all in the first 40 minutes – gave Salford a commanding lead and were backed up by some cool kicking by the returning Marc Sneyd.

Rowley handed out Salford debuts to a range of players, but in his post-match press conference, he himself was asked how it felt to take charge of a Betfred Super League dugout for the first time.

He said: “I’m enjoying it, it’s good and today was special. I was just saying to Kurt, my assistant, that we’ll always remember this day, this will always stick in our head, the first game and it feels like rugby’s back times two.

“Everybody’s back out, brought a friend and it just feels like we’re back on it now – rugby league is back in a big way.”

Up next for the Red Devils is their first home game of the season, with Betfred Super League newcomers Toulouse Olympique visiting the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Looking ahead to that game, Rowley admitted he knows the opposition will be targeting his side as a potential game to pick up points, but he believes the team still have another gear to find, despite such a classy performance on Friday.

“They’ll be saying the same. If they’re targeting games they’ll be saying Salford – everyone’s been saying Salford, Toulouse and Wakey are the three that will battle it out.

“So, Toulouse will have us firmly fixed as a winnable game and why not, it’s Super League and I believe anybody can beat anybody.

“Again, I’d like to reiterate I don’t think we played anywhere like we can do today but we’ve got some ingredients and character traits that are pretty good, so we’ll need to prep really hard for Toulouse and the boys know we need to be at our best to beat them.”

Show your support for the Red Devils on Sunday and purchase a ticket HERE for our Round 2 clash with Toulouse Olympique, kick-off 3pm at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Written by: Harry Siddall

Image credit: Steve McCormick

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CASTLEFORD V SALFORD

Getting off to a good start in anything, is often the best thing anyone could hope for, so, for Salford Red Devil’s to have travelled into Yorkshire, in the opening round of the season, and to have come away from the Mend-a-Hose Jungle with the points, is as much as anyone could have wished for, and possibly more than many might have expected. That, nevertheless, is exactly what they did, and most deservedly so.

A ten point winning margin, away at Castleford, is a notable achievement in itself, and whilst many people would have been hoping for a win, getting one so comfortably was possibly far from their expectations.  Closer scrutiny of the scoreboard reveals some interesting facts.

With three tries apiece, it was clearly the accuracy of Marc Sneyd’s goal-kicking, which eventually separated the two sides, and he certainly was a popular figure at the end, not just for that aspect of his play, but for his all round performance and impact throughout the game. 

There will be many a team during the coming season, who will lose matches through missing kicks at goal, but in Sneyd we have someone who will invariably put the points on the board, just when we need them most.  His seven successes on Friday will have surely put most teams on guard against the folly of giving him those opportunities, in the way the Tigers did in the second half.

That, however, is the icing on the cake.  Before kicks at goal could ever have been considered, there were key elements which needed to come right, and no-one should forget that purple patch, just before half time, when the Reds went from 10-8 down, to take a 10-20 interval lead.  

Back-to-back tries are hard enough for a team to take, even when the second score comes towards, or, at the end, of the resuming set.  When it comes straight from the kick-off, however, it must feel quite demoralising.  

King Vuniyayawa it was, who set the ball rolling, when one of Castleford’s indiscretions set the Red Devils up in a good attacking position, and his appearance, seemingly from nowhere on the blindside, the angle of his run, allied with his force and strength, all combined to get him over the line.  

An incredible break then, direct from the kick off, by Joe Burgess, saw him slice right through the home side’s defence, and a ninety metre attacking move, resembling the flair which that left edge had shown against Swinton in the first pre-season friendly, ended with Dion Cross grounding the ball near the corner.

Those twelve points, amassed in only a couple of minutes, literally turned the game on its head, and paved the way for Salford to show us all, how they could manage a game throughout second half, by respecting possession, securing good field position thanks in part to Sneyd’s kicks downfield, and taking any chances of scoring, which, apart from James Greenwood’s disallowed effort, turned out not to be tries.

This was all a far cry, however, from how things had looked in the opening stages of the game, when for a full ten minutes, after an early penalty goal,  momentum swung well and truly to the Tigers.  They dominated possession and camped on the Salford line, asking question after question, of the visitors’ defence.  

That was when the Red Devils really had to muscle up and repulse each of those assaults, which they did, magnificently, and it was in the hard graft demanded of them, during that period, that the foundations for their win were well and truly laid.

It turned out to be a full eighteen minutes before George Griffin got his side on the scoreboard, and within four minutes Ken Sio had eradicated it with a typical finish of his own, in the right-hand corner.  

As possession became more evenly shared, the inevitable arm wrestle followed, broken eventually by Derrell Olpherts’s first try in the left corner.  That, though, simply served to inspire the Reds to even greater things, as half time was approaching fast, and with it, was coming the opportunity for them to take control.

A good start can have more far-reaching effects, however. It is the catalyst for generating momentum, forging links and understanding between players, and building confidence.  With their first home game, against Toulouse, coming up next, those benefits could all be strengthened even further.

Squad | Adam Lawton joins Rochdale Hornets on a one-month loan

Salford Red Devils can confirm that Adam Lawton has joined Betfred Championship side Rochdale Hornets on a one-month loan deal. 
Lawton joined the Red Devils ahead of pre-season after spending time away from the professional game in Australia. The back-rower broke onto the scene in 2014 with Widnes Vikings.
Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease, said: “Adam has been great since joining the Club at the start of pre-season.
“We feel this short-term loan will provide Adam with a great opportunity to get some regular first team game time and further his development.”
Adam Lawton could feature in Rochdale’s upcoming fixtures against Toronto Wolfpack, Toulouse Olympique, Batley Bulldogs and Barrow Raiders.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 44-10 Toulouse Olympique

Salford Red Devils secured their position in the 2019 Betfred Super League following a clinical second half performance against Million Pound Game hopefuls Toulouse Olympique.
The Red Devils crossed for three tries inside seven minutes in the second half to pull away from the French side in the second half. Greg Johnson, Niall Evalds and Derrell Olpherts scored the quickfire tries before Kris Welham and Tyrone McCarthy also crossed in the closing stages.
Toulouse managed to close the deficit to just four points at one point with tries from Chris Centrone and Stan Robin either side of half-time. Australian duo Jackson Hastings and Joey Lussick had opened the scoring for Salford beforehand. 
It was a cagey opening at the AJ Bell Stadium, but it was a returning Hastings – just fifteen minutes in – who jinked his way through the Toulouse defence to open the scoring. The halfback was the victim of a spear tackle in the process of scoring with referee Ben Thaler awarding an eight-point try. Hastings converted both attempts at goal. 
The Red Devils gained control in midway through the first half when Lussick burrowed over the line from acting halfback. Hastings hit the upright with the conversion but did notch a penalty goal shortly after. Toulouse did give themselves a chance just before the break as Centrone scored in the corner following a brilliant offload from Bastien Ader.
Salford started the second half slowly conceding a goal line drop-out from the kick-off before Robin got on the end of a low kick to score just two minutes in. Mark Kheirallah’s successful conversion narrowed the Red Devils lead to four points.
Lussick looked to be over for his second of the game but video referee Chris Kendall ruled it out. However, a penalty was awarded to the Red Devils and Hastings furthered Salford’s lead marginally.
But, Ian Watson’s men managed to take control with three tries inside seven minutes. Johnson was the first to go over on the hour-mark. Evalds and Rob Lui linked up with some quick hands which created the opening for the winger who crossed for his third try in two games. Hastings converted.
Evalds would go from provider to try-scorer when Lui hit the onrushing England Knight on an inside ball and the talismanic fullback rounded Kheirallah to score. Olpherts scored the third in quick succession after Josh Jones knocked down a high kick, Hastings threw the ball wide to the winger to score. Hastings converted both.
With five minutes remaining, Welham managed to reach over the line to continue the Salford dominance. Luke Burgess – who was featuring in his last-ever game – stepped up to convert and slotted it over from the touch line in sensational fashion. McCarthy would cross in the final moments, but Burgess’ second attempt came back of the post.
Salford: Evalds, Johnson, Bibby, Welham, Olpherts; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Burgess, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan. Interchanges: Kopczak, Burke, Griffin, Lannon. 
Toulouse: Kheirallah, Marcon, Marguerite, Ader, Centrone; Ford, Robin; Bretherton, Barthau, Puech, Mika, Curran, Marion. Interchanges: Kriouache, Boyer, Hepi, Planas.
Salford Tries: Hastings (14’), Lussick (26’), Johnson (60’), Evalds (64’), Olpherts (66’), Welham (75’), McCarthy (78’). Salford Conversions: Hastings (15’, 16’, 34’, 55’, 61’, 65’, 67’), Burgess (76’).
Toulouse Tries: Centrone (36’), Robin (42’). Toulouse Conversions: Kheirallah (43’).
Referee: Ben Thaler.
Touch Judges: Tom Grant & Greg Dolan.
Video Referee: Chris Kendall.

2019 Season Tickets | On sale this evening

Salford Red Devils can confirm that 2019 Season Tickets will be on sale following tonight’s game against Toulouse Olympique and for a limited period before the game.
You can purchase your 2019 Season Ticket before the evening’s game up until 6pm from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office. Remember, you can purchase in one payment or sign-up for our Direct Debit payment scheme over ten months.
The Ticket Office will be open following the game for supporters to secure their place at the AJ Bell Stadium for the 2019 season.  Or, purchase now online HERE!
The prices for 2019 Season Tickets are as follows:
  
Want to know more about your 2019 Season Tickets? Check out our FAQ’s HERE!

Statement | London and Toulouse rearranged fixtures

Salford Red Devils can confirm that our final two fixtures of the 2018 season against London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique have been rearranged.
Our final home game of the season against Toulouse has been moved forward to Thursday 27th September, 7:45pm kick-off, so the game can be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Unfortunately, this has meant that our upcoming game against London Broncos has also had to move forward to Saturday 22nd September, 3pm kick-off, due to RFL protocol which states that teams should have a minimum 5-day turnaround between matches.
Tickets for the London and Toulouse games have not been on sale as dates were never confirmed and the Club has stated from the outset that these two fixtures were subject to change.
We realise this is scant consolation to fans who have booked travel and accommodation to London or who may now not be able to make the final home game of the season, but, unfortunately, due to the operational rules these games and dates of games were to be played were taken out of our hands.

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: 

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. 

Tickets | Save by buying online for our Qualifiers fixtures

Salford Red Devils can confirm that fans can save money by purchasing their tickets online for our first two Qualifiers fixtures against Widnes Vikings and Toronto Wolfpack.
All supporters who purchase online will save £2 on their purchase for our two opening home games of The Qualifiers.
We are set to face Widnes Vikings on Saturday 18th August, 3:15pm kick-off while we will face Toronto Wolfpack on Saturday 8th September which will also kick-off at 3:15pm. 
Save money on our first two Qualifiers fixtures and purchase online by simply clicking here.
Online prices – including booking fee – are:
VIP Adult: £33.
VIP Concession: £23.
VIP Junior: £13.
West Stand Adult: £23.
West Stand Concession: £18.
West Stand Junior: £8.
South Stand Adult: £18.
South Stand Concession: £13.
South Stand Junior: £8.
Remember there is a £1 transaction fee with all online ticket sales, but you will still save £2 with every ticket you purchase online!
You can also purchase tickets for our first two Qualifiers fixtures at the AJ Bell Stadium from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570 however you won’t save money!
Our game against Toulouse Olympique will go on sale in due course.
We Need YOU for the 8s!
Purchase your tickets for our Qualifiers fixtures now – click here.