Tag: Toulouse Olympique

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: TOULOUSE V SALFORD

For the second week in a row, Salford Red Devils succeeded in defeating French opposition, in temperatures in the thirties – conditions which should have more than favoured both sets of opponents.  Surprising as last week’s victory over the Catalans Dragons was to many people, this latest win was, if anything, even more commendable, coming, as it did, on French soil, in front of a most partisan crowd, against a side, which, at home, in recent weeks, had put all manner of opposition to the sword, thereby gaining a momentum which had seen them lift themselves off the bottom of the table to go above Wakefield.

Despite their Super League Championship aspirations, the Dragons, in comparison, had been visitors to the A J Bell, having, by choice, flown in and out on the day, having succumbed to struggling Warrington, the previous week, at the Magic Weekend.  After this latest victory, it is now the Red Devils who have the momentum of recent victories, and, dare we say it, aspirations of making the top six at the end of the season.  Let’s be fair, even St Helens failed to win in Toulouse, while Leeds, in Round 19, had gone down by twenty points to six.

Not so the Red Devils, though you would hardly have expected so, when they fell behind by six points, with only ninety seconds on the clock.  It certainly was not the most auspicious of openings for them, with their conceding a penalty at the end of the very first set, thus giving Toulouse a second look at the Reds’ line, before opening up the defence on the final tackle.

Concerning as many of us might have found this, it has to be said that, for the remaining seventy-eight and a half minutes, the visitors successfully kept their line intact, no mean achievement, especially when one takes into account the venue and the conditions, while Toulouse’s other five points all came from kicks at goal.

It took the Red Devils until the 24th minute, to cross the home line, when Jack Ormoroyd charged over, but with at least one body beneath him, preventing his grounding of the ball.  That attempt, however, was encouragement that they were getting close to scoring, and some four minutes later, a loose pass by Toulouse, in their own half, was acquired by Kallum Watkins.  Anexcellent end-of-set kick from Mark Sneyd was taken by Joe Burgess on the try line, and all he had to was place the ball down cleanly, which he did.

For the most part, however, the first half had settled into a war of attrition, with first one side and then the other using possession to test out their opposition when in possession, particularly close to their opponents’ line.  Somewhat surprisingly, it was a drop goal, by Toulouse, five minutes from half time, which broke the deadlock, and led to a further couple of points shortly afterwards.

A clean break by Gigot, one of very few in the half, was, most thankfully, brought to an end by Burgess’s ankle tap.  Watkins’s drop onto the Frenchman, to ensure the tackle, was penalised by the referee, for unintentional contact with the head, and former Salford U19s, Chris Hankinson, doubled his score with the boot, bringing up a 9-6 half-time, home lead.

Tight as the first forty had been, the second half was quite the opposite, with the third quarter belonging solely to Salford.  Indeed, the very first set ended with Sneyd’s magnificent, 40-20, and then his kick at the end of the subsequent set, being fumbled and presenting the Red Devils with a third.

When, on 49 mins, the French side lost the ball, on the second tackle of a set, as a result of the constant pressure they were under, Salford were quickly awarded a penalty.  The lovely flowing action of their passing had been in evidence, on and off throughout the game, and was produced to fine effect for Ken Sio, to receive the ball in sufficient space to go over in the corner to put the visitors in front for the first time.

True, Toulouse reclaimed the lead, temporarily, on 53mins, courtesy Hankinson’s penalty goal. but that second Salford try had merely heralded in one of their purple patches for the next fifteen minutes.  They restored their dominance on the scoreboard two minutes later, when an overlap was worked on the left, directly from a scrum, giving Burgess a clear run to the line for a converted try.

A truly tremendous break by Brodie Croft, on 59 mins, thoroughly deserved a try, but, unfortunately, his support overran him and he was tackled in possession, with the Red Devils then having to be content with Sneyd’s taking a leaf out of the opposition’s book, and slotting over a penalty goal to make up for the one –  the only one – he had missed, all afternoon.

Sio wound up the evening’s scoring, with another converted try in the corner, after a strong hit-up by Helliwell on the previous tackle, after which the ball was moved further to the right, where the winger used clever footwork to beat his opponents to get over the line.

The final fifteen minutes of the game saw the home side regroup and throw everything into their attack, but their only success was in forcing three goal-line drop-outs from kicks into the in-goal area.

Almost unbelievably, just as Burgess had saved the day with an ankle tap on Gigot in the dying seconds of the first half, so he repeated the exercise, this time without the need for additional help, on Ashall-Bott from a break following his twenty-metre restart, some seven minutes from the final whistle.  That proved to be their last fling of the dice, and the Red Devils were able to pocket the points and return home to prepare for next week’s visit from St Helens.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CATALANS (2)

 

It was back in early April – Easter Monday to be precise – when the Catalans Dragons paid their first visit of the season, to the A J Bell Stadium.  It would be fair to say that their performance, and the result, were far from flattering to the Red Devils with the visitors from the south of France returning home with a comfortable 10-36 victory.

How quickly fortunes can change, with Sunday’s latest encounter providing an almost complete reversal of that first occasion, with the Frenchmen, this time, managing to cross only once, for the first score of the afternoon.  From that point onwards, the Salford players set about avenging that earlier defeat, by turning in one of their most valiant defensive performances of recent seasons, rendering the Dragons completely pointless for the remaining seventy-two minutes.

It was not as though they did not have ample opportunity to rack up points, by the dozen, with the opening stages of each half being completely overshadowed by their dominance of both possession and field position.

It is invariably any team’s attack which provide spectators with their main source of entertainment and enjoyment.  Tries, tries, and more tries is what fans of every club want on behalf of their club, but on Sunday the roars of encouragement, appreciation, and approval, for the Red Devils, when they finally secured the ball, eight minutes into the second half, together with delighted and relieved applause, was equal to that afforded to their favourites on any of the scores, they eventually produced.

And deservedly so, for had they not Just tackled themselves to a standstill, standing resolute in the face of all the odds, by withstanding no less than seven back-to-back sets, a number of these coming on the final tackle of the set.  That a couple of minutes later they had to repeat this brave endeavour for a further couple of sets, only served to underline the extremely high quality of their defensive line as they stood shoulder to shoulder against the seemingly relentless onslaught of Catalans’ attacks.

Yet the longer the visitors held possession, the more confident both Salford players and supporters became that they would not manage to score.  There were some remarkably close shaves, however.  Who, for example, can forget that incredible try saving tackle of Joe Burgess, on 28 mins, which was worth at least four points to his side, in its denial of that amount to the Dragons?

The supporters themselves also made their contribution to the win, with their vocal support, particularly through the most tortuous phases.  Their persistent, and constant, encouragement to the team, with their singing and shouting, giving the players the determination to see out the adversity with which, at that time, they were beset.

There was no mistaking the Dragons’ presumption that they could wear down the Reds by the sheer size, and aggression, of their much revered pack, but the Salford forwards stood up to them with a courage and a passion that cemented them together as a unit, so that, when they ultimately did gain possession, their far greater mobility enabled them to serve their halves and threequarters with a quality of possession that they had denied their opponents.

Of course, there were tries.  You do not accrue thirty-two points without scoring some, and the Reds went over, on five occasions.  Ken Sio led the way, with a hat-trick, after a few weeks’ drought, owing to a paucity of opportunities.  Andy Ackers’s scoot, followed by the most scintillating of passes to Brodie Croft, put the Dragons’ tormentor-in-chief, in the clear, before the defenders had even realised what was happening.

Then there was Jack Ormondroyd.  His back-to-back tries, at Warrington, were extended by yet another on 78 mins, when Marc Sneyd’s kick was recovered by Ryan Brierley for the big prop to rampage through, for his third of the season.

On top of that there were further near misses.  Brodie Croft’s overhead kick, on 37 mins, unfortunately bounced away from him, thereby denying him a clear opportunity.  A final pass to Sio, from Deon Cross, on 49 mins, after a mercurial break upfield, was ruled forward, which otherwise would have saved his side from their second salver of second half defending duties, that so inspired their fans.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils still had enough in their armoury to see off one of the most feared teams in Super League, with Championship ambitions for the end of the season, and in conditions, which should have suited the visitors far more than they did the home side.  The Salford players now need to take this weekend’s experience with them, as they travel, for their very first Super League visit to Toulouse, next weekend.

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: