Salford Red Devils travel to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan Warriors in Round 10 of the Betfred Super League this afternoon.
The Red Devils are looking to get back to winning ways after a 10-32 defeat to Catalans Dragons in Round 9 and will look to cause a massive upset to the team currently sitting in 2nd place.
Salford have already faced the Warriors this season in the Betfred Challenge Cup, where – despite some excellent defending to handle the exciting Jai Field – they were beaten 20-0 and knocked out in Round 6.
After a hectic Easter period, the games continue to come thick and fast for Paul Rowley and his side, with a trip to St Helens next week also presenting a huge hurdle in terms of player fitness
Speaking to the press before the game, the Red Devils boss has reflected on how his side fared previously against Wigan in the cup and what sort of challenges the returning Bevan French will pose.
Rowley said: “I think if we can concentrate on what we’ve been doing well in some defensive areas and improve in others where we’ve not. So, Wigan never went away from our middle last time, and I suspect they’ll do the same again.
“You’ll see Bevan French and Jai Field; their true worth will come on the back of anything fractured – so offloads and broken tackles to go forward.
“So, I’d expect our middles to have a busy day and Wigan to be patient on pushing the trigger, before going wide on quick rucks.”
Moving on to discuss Kallum Watkins and what a player of his calibre can bring to the team upon his return from injury, Rowley believes he can still benefit from some of the quality personnel Salford possess, which are still on the treatment table.
“100%. He’s a classy player, so I think we’ll see his true value when our whole backline returns to fitness as well – I’d like to have them all on the pitch,” the head coach said.
“We’ll see Kallum’s true worth when he’s surrounded by the quality players who aren’t quite ready to play yet through injury – but we know what he can do.”
Amidst a tough period, Salford will be looking to use this game to show the attacking flair they possess, while building on some brilliant defending against the same opposition in their last meeting.
Written by: Harry Siddall