BRAD SINGLETON AND CHRIS HANKINSON RETURN TO THE 21-MAN SQUAD

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has named a 21-man travelling squad to face Huddersfield Giants on Friday.

Last Saturday, a late penalty-try, converted by Marc Sneyd, confirmed a sixth Betfred Super League victory of 2024 and moved Salford Red Devils within two points of top spot.

Two tricky away trips await to start May’s schedule; the first of which sees us travel to take on Ian Watson’s in-form Giants.


SQUAD NEWS

There’s two big returnees to our 21-man travelling squad.

Brad Singleton has made a big impression since arriving at the club in late-2023. His performances have made him a popular figure amongst the supporters and his return from a knee injury will be a massive boost.

Similarly with Chris Hankinson, an off-season signing from Featherstone Rovers, who started his Salford Red Devils career with a spell on the wing.

He scored a brilliant try against Hull KR and was starting to build some real momentum, but a freak training injury stopped him in his tracks.

After a period of rehabilitation, he has been back on the field with the team and is available for selection on Friday.

The two notable absentees are Amir Bourouh and King Vuniyayawa, with the former adhering to concussion protocols after failing a HIA last Saturday.

Check out the full squad below:

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL KR

After as many as seven games against Saturday’s visitors, Hull KR, and only one victory to celebrate – last season’s Magic Weekend – Salford fans might well have felt a little trepidation ahead of this one, with a sense of déjà vu hanging over them.  There was no need to worry, though, for the team turned on arguably its best performance of the season, taking control of events from the outset, and seeing it right through to the final whistle.

Conditions, one might have thought, remembering the fast slick handling that became their hallmark, in late 2022, would probably have been against them, with an extremely wet, slippery ball to handle, and equally treacherous conditions underfoot, but to many people’s surprise, it was they, who mastered all this far and away the better of the sides.

So what was it that they did so well, which laid the platform for their second home win of the season?  Like every game, the foundations were based around a dominant, robust, hard-working pack, led by those stalwart of the side, Brad Singleton and Kallum Watkins.

 This was in evidence from the very first set, when they received the ball, from the kick-off, on their ten-metre line, but instead of being pinned down to a ten to twenty metre gain, they finished the set in their opponents’ half having made over forty metres upfield.  And that set the prelude to all the hard drives and heavy yardage they were to make during the remainder of the match.

The team as a whole was prepared to work as hard as was needed and this showed through in their defence, which was immaculate.  They kept their shape, almost unerringly, throughout the whole of the game, and there was one five-minute spell from the 26th to 31st mins, in which they had to face five consecutive sets of six, at the end of which their line was still intact.

Their willingness to forage for the ball was far the superior, and it invariably seemed to be they, who were first to any loose ball.  Their preparedness to give away back-to-back sets by getting a hand to deflect a possibly telling pass, during that five-minute period, was much of the reason that it lasted so long.

When in possession, they concentrated on getting to the end of their sets, without taking too risky offloads.  Around the play-the-ball, hooker, Amir Bourouh showed the extent to which he has slotted into the side at hooker, and he dictated play around the ruck, throughout.  It was he, who spotted the Robins’ lack of numbers on the blindside, on 34 mins, sent the ball out to the right, where Chris Hankinson went in for his first, Super League try for Salford.

Although not recognised as a winger, both he, and fellow winger, Deon Cross, have done extremely well in a position, which, in the modern game carries much responsibility, as two thirds of the vital back three.  Both have become fine centres over recent years, but their moves out onto the wings has not fazed them at all, and both were try scorers, on the night.

The third member of the said back three was the cause of a last-minute change prior to kick-off, with Ryan Brierley pulling out, and Chris Atkin being thrown in at the deep-end, into the fullback role.  If anyone had any qualms as to how he would cope, they should not have done, having seen how he has managed to slot into, seemingly, any position on the field.

Indeed, his first involvement, in only the third minute, was to see him halt Ryan Hall in full-flight, only ten metres from the try line.  Even more eye-catching was his magnificent defence, 24 mins in, when he bravely dived onto the ball to make it safe from a kick onto his line, with sundry Hull players bearing down on him giving him little room for error.

Then finally, of course, there was Man of the Match, Marc Sneyd.  His kicking game has been a lynch pin in all our matches to date, but he really came into his own on Saturday, with his various types of kick, which time and again turned the Robins’ defensive line inside-out and round-about. It was his low kick into the in-goal area that was grounded by Cross for the opening try of the game, in the 14th minute.

Add on a one hundred percent goal-kicking record, not just in this game, but throughout the season, and he has become one of the stand-out players in Super League, to date. His first two successes, on Saturday, were both from the touchline, and on opposite sides of the field, but both delivered with laser-like accuracy.

So, an excellent all-round team performance, delivering a clever, well-thought out game-plan devised by Head Coach, Paul Rowley, and his coaching staff, in which the strengths of the Salford players were fundamental. 

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CASTLEFORD

‘It’s not how you start but how you finish’ is what we are so often told, but in last Sunday afternoon’s opening home fixture with Castleford, the Red Devils wrote their own variation to that mantra. And why shouldn’t they, for after all, players and coaches will often say that they need to get off to a good start.

This, though, was not a good start – it was an incredible start, with Salford camping out in the visitors’ thirty metre area for a full ten minutes of the game, during which time they enjoyed no less than nine consecutive sets of six. Penalties, opposition touches, goal-line drop outs forced from shrewd in-goal kicks and excellent kick chases, set restarts, and tries, all combined to give the Reds the impression that they could dominate the game from start to finish.

Perhaps the most praise-worthy aspect of all this, though, was their patience. The eagerness to turn possession and position into points can so often be the cause of over-ambitious or rushed passes, which let the opposition off the hook. Not on this occasion, however, as the Red Devils started their seventh set-of-six, and this time completed it by Sam Stone going over towards the left hand corner.

Nor did the onslaught end there. Another try – this time his first in a Salford shirt to Amir Bourouh from Brad Singleton’s great offload – brought their score to twelve points in as many minutes, courtesy Marc Sneyd’s conversions, which, in fairness, were only another facet of his exceptional overall kicking game, thus far.

Although there were still another two sets started, the interception of Sone’s well intended pass inside, brought that opening tirade to a conclusion. For the team on the receiving end of such ball deprivation, all they can do is just hope that, over the forty minutes, possession evens itself, or at least they get sufficient to get back into the game. Much to Salford’s surprise the Tigers did and shortly before half time the Red Devils’ twelve point lead had been cut to two.

If you are going to score an eye-catching try, two minutes before halftime is the time to do so. It not only demoralises your opponents going into the interval, it also changes significantly the mood of discussion in each dressing-room. Nene Macdonald’s highly discussed and viewed feat of athleticism was not only incredibly well executed, it was also timed superbly.

And the impact does not end there. The start of the second half consequently found both teams in much the same mindset as had been the case in that initial first half stanza, and it really came as no surprise when, after a period of intensive pressure, a beautifully weighted kick over the line by Sneyd was latched onto by Stone for his second try of the afternoon.

At 24-10 it seemed all over bar the shouting but this game did not pan out that way and much to many a spectator’s astonishment, it was the Tigers who took much of the spoils later on pulling back to 24-16.

The sin-binning of Jack Ormandroyd for much of the last ten minutes, did not help the Salford cause, but, as always when in difficulty Marc Sneyd can be relied upon to kick you out of trouble as he did on Sunday, slotting over a penalty kick at goal to pull his team further away – a wise move as Horne’s concluding Cas try was then too late to impact on the result.

SALFORD RED DEVILS TO APPEAL BRAD SINGLETON BAN

Following review, we can confirm that the club is appealing the suspension issued to Brad Singleton by the Match Review Panel.

The prop was charged with Grade B ‘High Tackle’ on Monday and is currently set to miss this weekend’s crucial clash with playoff rivals, Hull KR.

AUGUST PLAYER OF THE MONTH NOMINEES REVEALED

It’s time for you to vote for your August Player of the Month…

With the Betfred Super League season almost over, it’s crunch time for Salford Red Devils in their pursuit of playoff rugby.

We have some big games coming up in September, but last month saw the Red Devils return to form after a six-game losing streak.

Despite a narrow loss to St Helens, we picked-up two massive wins over Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity to close out August.

Across that time, four players stood out above the rest.

Starting with new signing, Brad Singleton – who has taken to life at Salford by storm.

Since joining the club in mid-July, he has been a mainstay in Paul Rowley’s starting line-up and produced some stellar performances in the forward pack.

Next up is Oliver Partington.

It’ll come as no great shock to anyone to see the prop forward amongst the four candidates, after some high-quality minutes across the month.

After hitting 100 Super League tries and reaching 100 Salford Red Devils appearances last month, Ken Sio is your next nominee.

And last, but certainly not least, is Ryan Brierley.

He’s one of our own and continues to set the standard with some outstanding performances at fullback.

So, who gets your vote this month? Cast yours below!



2023 AUGUST PLAYER OF THE MONTH!

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SINGLETON – “I LOOK FORWARD TO EARNING THEIR RESPECT!”

New signing, Brad Singleton says he is looking forward to earning the respect of the Salford faithful.

The Cumbrian-born prop has joined the club early, after previously agreeing a two-year deal from 2024 onwards.

He will soon link-up with his new teammates and begin preparations for our tough Betfred Super League run-in.

In reaction to making the switch, Singleton told us: “Firstly, I’m delighted to get this deal over the line.

“Everyone could see I ended up in a role for the Wigan team that was different to the previous years and left me frustrated.

“This opportunity came at the perfect time and with the perfect team, one I’ve committed my future to. With still 9/10 weeks left to play excites me, everyone I’ve spoke to at the club have been great with me.”

The 30-year-old is a proven winner and his six major trophies will add vast amounts of experience to the dressing room as we enter a pivital period of the campaign.

“I see Salford as a ambitious side that has all the capabilities of being in the big games for the big trophies,” Singleton continued.

“The fan base is lively, vocal and loyal… I look forward to earning their respect.

“I wish all the best to Wigan, and I’m looking forward to my time at Salford Red Devils!”

The Qualifiers in Focus | Leeds Rhinos

Following the recent Qualifiers fixture release, Salford discovered that they will face Hull Kingston Rovers, Widnes Vikings, Halifax RLFC, Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique. Here we take an in-depth look at the last year’s Betfred Super League winners who now find themselves in the Qualifiers – Leeds Rhinos.
Season so far
On the back of a hugely successful 2017 season which saw Leeds Rhinos pick up their eighth Betfred Super League crown, defeating Castleford Tigers 24-6 in the Grand Final at Old Trafford, Leeds have struggled in 2018 and now see themselves back in The Qualifiers for the second time in three season.
Wins against Warrington Wolves and Hull KR ensured that they started the 2018 season well but a loss to Widnes Vikings ended February on a sour note. March started with hard fought victories over Hull FC and St Helens before falling 25-24 to Castleford Tigers despite a spirited resurgence coming back from a 24-point deficit, this unfortunately proved to not be enough on a day when a late Kallum Watkins conversion attempt drifted agonisingly close to sealing an impressive comeback for Leeds.
April followed a very similar trend to past months, early victories over Wakefield Trinity and Salford however were followed by defeats to Wigan Warriors and Hull FC, before a second victory of the season against KR.
This victory was followed by one of the worst runs in Leeds’ recent memory, seven consecutive Betfred Super League losses against the likes of Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, St Helens and two losses to Catalan Dragons.
This run of form lead to the dismissal of Head Coach Brian McDermott after six years and eight honours. The replacement for McDermott was the coaching team of James Lowes and Kevin Sinfield who would take the roles of Head Coach and Leeds’ first ever Director of Rugby, respectively.
Since Sinfield’s appointment Leeds have won just one outing – a 34-0 thrashing of bottom placed Widnes Vikings. This coupled with a 42-10 defeat at the hands of Castleford Tigers, a 38-22 loss to Salford, avenging the reverse fixture, and a 20-20 draw versus Wakefield Trinity meant Leeds would enter the Qualifiers, placed a disappointing ninth in the Betfred Super League.
Director of Rugby
Leeds Rhinos First Team Coach is former Bradford Bulls hooker James Lowes. Lowes won two Betfred Super League titles during his time at the Bulls. Lowes has spent time coaching since his retirement from the game in 2003, including spells in the backroom staff at Salford, Warrington Wolves and England. He was also first team coach at Warrington and Bradford Bulls prior to his current spell in charge of Leeds.

Overseeing Lowes is the new Director of Rugby, Leeds Rhinos’ legendary captain Kevin Sinfield. Sinfield made over 500 appearances throughout a glittering career with Leeds where he was a seven-time Betfred Super League winner as well as earning two Ladbrokes Challenge Cup crowns.
Sinfield proved a highly popular appointment last month when he re-joined the Club and will be looking to keep the Rhinos in the Betfred Super League.
Captain
27-year-old England regular Kallum Watkins is the Rhinos current captain. However, Watkins suffered a nasty anterior cruciate ligament injury in Leeds’ defeat to Castleford Tigers in May, ruling him out for around eight months.
In his absence Leeds have several experienced players they could call on to try to replace the leadership void left in Watkins’ stead. The man they are likely to look to though is 25-year-old prop forward Brad Singleton. Singleton has captained Leeds a few times since Watkins was ruled out, including this past weekend in their 48-12 loss to Warrington Wolves in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Singleton has been at Leeds for his entire career, making his debut in 2011 against Salford in a 48-12 win. Since then he spent spells out on loan at Dewsbury Rams, Wakefield Trinity and Hunslet Hawks. Since his time away Singleton returned to Leeds and became a regular for the Betfred Super League side, playing a major part in their treble winning side of 2015.
If Leeds are to put an end to their slump they will sorely need payers like Brad Singleton to stand up to the pressure.
One to watch
28-year-old scrum half Richie Myler started his career with hometown side Widnes Vikings, making just two fleeting appearances before making the short move across to Salford. Myler had a successful spell with the club. In his first season he scored an impressive 25 tries in 32 matches helping the Red Devils to the 2008 National League One title, earning himself the opportunity to play in the Betfred Super League for the first time the following season as well as gaining the Co-Operative Player of the Year award.
Ahead of the 2010 Super League season Richie Myler found himself on the move again, this time to Warrington Wolves for £200,000, a record for a teenager in the Rugby League.

His spell at the Halliwell Jones stadium can be regarded as a lucrative one. Myler quickly found himself one of the league’s best halfbacks. In his seven years he scored an impressive 77 tries in 139 games. He did miss out on the 2010 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final due to injury but made up for it by helping his Warrington side beat Leeds Rhinos in the 2012 final.
Myler left Warrington following the 2015 season, joining Catalan Dragons where he spent two years, his new side would go on to win the 2017 Million Pound Game to retain their place in the Super League. A few months later he would be on the move again, this time to Leeds Rhinos where he’s enjoyed an entertaining first season despite sides struggles. Myler has scored four tries and leads the Betfred Super League in try assists with 23 in 19 games.
It is this creativity which will make Myler Leeds’ dangerman throughout The Qualifiers.
When’s the game
Salford will make the trip to the Emerald Headingley Stadium on Friday 14th September with kick off time at 7:45pm.
Ticket details and coach travel will be released in due course.
 
Written by Matt Tandy.

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