Salford Red Devils are travelling to the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday to face St Helens in the play-off semi-final – just 80 minutes away from a place at Old Trafford.
Paul Rowley’s side carried their late-season momentum into the play-offs with a 0-28 demolition of Huddersfield Giants last weekend. The result had plenty of attacking flair, but some dogged defending in the second forty, in particular, limited Ian Watson’s sides chances.
It’s set up a mouthwatering clash against the reigning champions, who won the Betfred Super League Leaders Shield a fortnight ago and have been waiting in the wings to see who their semi-final opponents would be.
Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach Paul Rowley has been discussing whether Brodie Croft’s absence will be driving factor for the rest of the group.
Our number six unfortunately failed his HIA in last weekend’s eliminator and protocol means he has to miss a week’s worth of action.
Rowley responded: “As a club, I think it would be nice for anybody to reach a final. We’re a team, so we’re here for each other and everyone is important. We recognise Brodie’s influence and importance to the group, so that is a motivating factor.
“However, if anybody needs motivating in the semi-final then there’s something wrong. We’re all good, we’ll just do it for the good of the group.”
Moving on to discuss what reaching a Grand Final would mean to himself and club, Rowley was quick – as he usual is – to praise the collective.
He said: “Extremely proud. It’s not the getting here to this point that makes me proud, I just feel proud because I’ve got a group that’s all pulling in the same direction – win or lose. Whatever the result, on whatever week is it, our group knows the importance of acceptance and honesty within our group and that’s the main thing.
“The fulfilment comes from within the group and team. I’m very, very proud of everyone within the club to be featuring in a semi-final, but again, it’s just another part of the journey.”
Just like at Huddersfield last week, a crowd of 3,000 plus is expected in St Helens to roar on the boys. To join them at the Totally Wicked Stadium, tickets are available on the turnstile, but there are no guarantees you’ll be sat with the Salford faithful.