Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils are looking to make it three wins from three in the Betfred Super League when they travel to face Hull FC this afternoon.
The Red Devils are in flying form, backing up an impressive win against Castleford in Round 1 with a dominant display at the The Salford Stadium against Toulouse Olympique in Round 2.
Our opponents, Hull FC – coached by Brett Hodgson – have had a mixed bag of results to start the season. Tipped for a positive start to the campaign, the East Yorkshire outfit have gained one win from their first two games.
The big addition to the Hull squad was Luke Gale – who made the switch from the Leeds Rhinos in November. However, he will not be available for this fixture, as he begins serving a five-match suspension.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Paul Rowley has been discussing Gale’s absence and what danger Hull still possess without their key man.
Rowley said: “My opinion on it is that it was a red card and he’s got suspended – I don’t really have an opinion on the length of the suspension, that’s not our problem.
“But in terms of prepping, Luke Gale would dominate the kicking game so they’ve got (Jake) Connor who will probably step into that one with some support there from (Josh) Reynolds, and we’ve got a little bit of a guessing game going on as to who the left side half-back will be.
“So, yeah it affects preparation, and it keeps us guessing, but I think they’ll be equally as strong with or without Gale because it’s Hull, they’re a massive club and they’ve got a very, very good squad.”
The manager has put together a starting team who are really starting to connect well on the pitch. The wing pairing of Ken Sio and Joe Burgess are leading the charge, with the likes of Brodie Croft and former Hull FC star, Marc Sneyd controlling games well in the centre.
The Red Devils boss is satisfied that, despite not having a deep squad, he has a very well-balanced group of players.
Rowley continued: “I think it’s more about the balance of the squad. We’ve not got massive numbers in terms of squad numbers, but the balance is pretty good.
“So, we’re well covered across the park and our third winger is a very good one and that’s the case in all the positions so it’s definitely driving standards – but we’ve got to keep going in the right direction.”
Currently 3rd in the Betfred Super League, another victory for Salford would represent a sensational continuation of an already promising start to the season.
Written by: Harry Siddall
Image credit: Steve McCormick