Salford Red Devils fell to a 4-26 defeat at the hands of St Helens on Thursday evening and there were a number of talking points from the game.
While the result wasn’t the one the Red Devils were looking for the performance was certainly a positive one as Salford put up a resilient display full of ‘effort and endeavour’ as Watson referenced in his post-match press conference.
The first half saw a real back-and-forth affair for the first twenty minutes before Saints opened up a lead heading into the break. However, much like large periods of the first half, Salford matched the current Super League leaders for most of the second half but just couldn’t open up the St Helens defence.
.@JackoHastings putting in work!!! ????@TommyMak21's run was awesome, but @SalfordDevils' Hastings matched the winger to make a last-ditch tackle ???? Class all round #NewBeginnings pic.twitter.com/dI7lyFbJhd
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) March 1, 2019
Salford’s defence remained strong for long spells of the game in comparison with their last home outing against Leeds Rhinos. If there were two moments that encapsulated the ‘never-say-die’ attitude they were certainly Ken Sio and Niall Evalds hunting down Tommy Makinson as he broke free and Jackson Hastings pulling off a sensational defensive effort on Makinson also as he went to score in the corner.
There is no doubting that if the levels of effort and desire remain the same next week in France that Salford will be confident of coming away from the Stade Gilbert Brutus with two points.
It was a tough evening at the office for the Red Devils and that showed in the warm-up as George Griffin had to pull out of the starting line-up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Daniel Murray.
The injury woes continued for Salford in the early stages as Captain Lee Mossop had to leave the field after just five minutes with a similar injury meaning Salford had to play a huge period of the game with 16 men.
Greg Burke also had to leave the field with for a concussion assessment which meant Gil Dudson returned to the pitch almost immediately after coming off to the interchange bench. Jackson Hastings also missed the final ten minutes of the game as he also needed to undergo a concussion assessment. The game may well have gone a different way had Salford had some better luck with injuries on the night.
Lee Mossop and George Griffin are both being monitored ahead of this weekend’s game against Catalans while Greg Burke and Jackson Hastings will also be looking to be in contention to make the 19-man squad.
The acquisition of Jansin Turgut last season and his re-signing in the off-season may be one that had slipped under the radar with the other incomings however the Turkish international has put in some sterling performances thus far in the 2019 Betfred Super League.
Turgut was named as the Man of the Match by match sponsor Middleton Barton Group. The back-rower managed to earn an impressive 100 metres during Thursday evening’s game and also racked up a fantastic 44 defensive efforts. He was also prevented his first Red Devils try by a matter of inches in the first half.
The 22-year-old is definitely making an impression at the AJ Bell Stadium during his first full month of game time and he will be looking to carry his fine form into March and onwards.
Ahead of kick-off, special guests Jackson Yamba and his ten-year-old son David brought the matchball onto the field to an absolutely amazing reception and the Salford Red Devils fans displayed the true meaning of the Salford community!
Half-time of yesterday’s game saw the debut of ‘Wild Thang’s Wild Five Minutes’ with Dr Devil firing t-shirts into the crowd thanks to our brand-new t-shirt cannon with one lucky fan winning a golden ticket for a fabulous prize at our next home game.
Thanks for having us at the #Wild5Minutes last night @SalfordDevils we really enjoyed it, the crowd interaction was great, and what can I say about @DrDevilSRD shots? Top class! ???????? #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/cwIJRddGfp
— WT Sports Merch (@WildThangKits) March 1, 2019
Thursday’s game also saw the Salford University Takeover Day with a number of students, staff and alumni attending in both a professional capacity in the press area and as supporters. There was also a heavy Salford University presence in and around the AJ Bell Stadium as a major step between one our main partners for 2019.
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next two home fixtures against Wigan Warriors on 24th March and Hull FC on 7th April are both available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 7861 570 or online HERE. You can SAVE money by purchasing in advance!