Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils travel to face Leigh Leopards for the second time this season, in Rivals Round of the Betfred Super League.
It’s almost hard to believe that only a quarter into the regular season, we are already going back to a ground we visited in Round 1; but this meeting feels completely different.
On opening night, Salford spoiled the Leopards party with a 10-20 victory at Leigh Sports Village. The hosts took the lead, but excellent tries from Kallum Watkins, Andy Ackers and Ryan Brierley flipped the game completely on its head.
Since that day, Leigh have picked up three impressive wins – including the World Champions, St Helens – and sit just below Salford in ninth.
The two points for either side in this fixture could spring them into a top six spot, so tensions will be high and a highly-competitive game of rugby league is expected.
Here’s everything you need to know before this one:
A lack of bodies continues to hamper the Red Devils, but this week provided two huge boosts ahead of a tricky trip to Leigh Sports Village.
Joe Burgess – who was forced off on 38 minutes last Sunday with a rib injury – is part of the travelling squad after training during the week.
Star hooker, Andy Ackers, who has missed the last two games with a knee issue, also returns to the squad and Paul Rowley will be hoping to call-on his reliable number nine on Saturday afternoon.
Our number one was quizzed by the press this week before a crucial Rivals Round clash.
After back-to-back defeats, the team are determined to turn it around this afternoon, but Brierley understands why – despite some good performances – results have been slightly poor as of late.
“Yeah, pretty good – considering the adversity we’ve had to go through pretty early on,” the full-back responded when asked for his opinion on the season so far.
“It was quite evident actually after the Huddersfield game; actually when you’re going through training you don’t really notice who’s playing and who’s not, but after the game I looked to my right and there’s how many players in suits, not playing.
“So, I don’t think we stress about that sort of stuff, we understand it’s a tough period for us players health-wise, but hopefully going into this tough period, it will stand us in good stead.
“I think irrespective of results, I think performances have been quite positive. I think most teams will tell you that they don’t want to be playing their best rugby right now, it’s about building towards the back-end of the season when it really matters.”
Watch Brierley and Head Coach, Paul Rowley’s pre-match press conferences by clicking HERE.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS
Our ticket office is currently closed for Easter weekend, so the only option to join us at Leigh Sports Village is to pay on the day.