MATCH PREVIEW – HULL KR VS SALFORD RED DEVILS (CHALLENGE CUP ROUND 6)

It’s time for Salford Red Devils to kickstart their Betfred Challenge Cup campaign.

Round 6 has pitted Paul Rowley and co. against Hull KR, a side full of quality, wanting to go one step further after losing out to Leigh Leopards in last year’s thrilling final at Wembley Stadium.

The Robins were also the team who ended our cup hopes in 2023, running out 28-10 winners at the quarter-final stage.

Craven Park is always a hostile ground to visit, so the Red Devils will have to be at their absolute best to battle through the tough conditions and earn progression into the next round.


SQUAD NEWS

Paul Rowley welcomed back three important players to his 21-man squad, earlier this week.

On the injury front, Ollie Partington and Joe Mellor have both recovered from their respective knocks, with the latter yet to make his competitive debut for the club.

Following his absence from the team last week due to concussion protocols, Cade Cust is back amongst the squad and ready for selection.

Chris Hankinson, Ben Hellewell and Brad Singleton remain long-term absentees.


LAST TIME OUT

Craven Park hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils in recent years.

In fact, KR have won their last five home meetings with Salford (including 2020’s fixture at Warrington) with our last away victory in February, 2019, where we won 24-22.

The last time we visited the Robins, James Batchelor and Ryan Hall all-but ended our Betfred Super League playoff hopes.

Despite a positive start with ball in hand, a quick break from Brad Schneider and Tom Opacic sent Batchelor through a gap to open the scoring.

Ollie Partington and Jack Ormondroyd both went close for the Red Devils, but KR held firm and Ryan was released by Mikey Lewis in the left corner to seal two points.


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There is still time to join us at Craven Park tomorrow.

Our ticket office until 8pm today for purchase or collection, with tickets available to buy at the Salford Community Stadium until 12pm on Friday.

Thereafter, any collections will be taken to KR for collection from their ticket office. Pay-on-the-day is also available, but please be aware ticket prices will rise by £5 on match day.

Click here to buy now.


HOW TO WATCH

There is NO TV coverage of tomorrow’s clash.

So, the best and only way to watch the action is in-person, however, our various social channels will be providing updates throughout the evening – including all the post-match reaction.

Match highlights will also be uploaded the following day, with a full game replay available on RDTV from Monday morning.


Rugby league fans urged to follow the Wembley template

Today’s fourth step in the UK Government’s Covid roadmap allows for venues returning to full capacity, with no social distancing. 

That means another significant step back to normality for rugby league clubs and fans in this week’s fixtures, starting with the Betfred Women’s Super League match between York City Knights and Wigan Warriors at Odsal tonight – and continuing through the Betfred Super League, Championship, League 1 and the Community Game. 

Throughout the pandemic, the RFL has been working closely with Government and with clubs and other stakeholders – and that has continued in the preparations for Stage 4. 

Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said: This week is another big step back to normality for our clubs and fans, and it comes at a positive time for the sport as we reflect on the success of the weekend at Wembley. 

“We have been grateful since the limited return of fans to grounds in recent weeks for the way our clubs and fans have worked together in a responsible manner, and the weekend was a great example of that. 

“To be included in the Government’s Events Research Programme allowed us to welcome a much higher crowd to Wembley than would otherwise have been the case, and the supporters of the four clubs involved – Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers, St Helens and York City Knights – as well as the thousands of neutrals who attend our Challenge Cup Final weekend were a credit to the game. 

“This year that involved providing evidence of either a negative Covid-19 test or of having had a double vaccination to gain entry to the stadium – and while that won’t be required to attend regular league matches this week now we have reached Stage 4, we would still encourage supporters to bear in mind Government guidance where possible. 

“The Government refers to Stage 4 as ‘a new phase of continued caution whilst managing the risks of COVID-19’. We all owe it to each other to be as safe and responsible as possible to restrict the spread of the virus. 

“The same applies to all involved in the Community Game, whether as players or spectators. Again, Stage 4 of the Roadmap involves the removal of a number of restrictions – and again, we are urging clubs and players to implement these changes cautiously and responsibly.” 

Rugby League is joining other sports in requesting supporters to bear the following in mind before attending games: 

·       Do not attend if you have symptoms or are in any doubt about your health. 

·       Please vaccinate where possible to maximise protection to fellow supporters and members of staff.  Vaccination remains a key priority in the response to the pandemic. 

·       Use the Government’s offer of free lateral flow tests; consider taking one before you travel. 

·       If travelling via public transport, please adhere to the relevant guidance. 

·       Respect the rules of the venue you are attending and check in advance to see what is required. 

·       Wear face coverings in busy indoor areas  

·       Ensure you are familiar with social distancing restrictions where these apply  

·       Treat stewards with respect and respond to their requests. 

The RFL is continuing to work with clubs to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all. 

Salford Red Devils’ next home game comes on Thursday 29 July, when we welcome Hull Kingston Rovers to the The Salford Stadium.

Support Paul Highton on his ride to Wembley

Former Red Devil Paul Highton is cycling from Leeds to Wembley Stadium for Rugby League Cares. The cycle started at Headingley Stadium, 8am on Monday 21st, and the team of 15 riders are set to arrive at the Wembley Legends statue on the eve of the 2017 Challenge Cup final – Friday 25th August.
Highton, speaking to Rugby League cares, said: “Cycling to Rio was one of the best experiences of my life and though the ride to Wembley is shorter, it’s going to be a fantastic five days.
“We may not have to cross the Pyrenees to reach our destination but this ride isn’t about mountain ranges or distance, it’s about overcoming the challenge of negotiating a testing off-road route.
“I’m expecting it to be tough: the bike is heavier for a start; I’m a year older and the nettles and brambles along the way are really going to hurt!
“Firstly, I’d say that nothing is going to be as tough as that first day when you don’t know what to expect your body is going to react to spending eight hours and more in the saddle.
“That feeling is like nothing else,” he added.
“Secondly, it’s important to keep your head up and take in what’s around you: how many people get to experience the beautiful countryside we have in the UK at such close quarters for five days? Soak it up!
“Finally, make sure you have a laugh: yes, there will be dark moments, and days when it feels tough, but the sun always comes out again and riding as a team is a real breeze, especially when you know you’re doing it for such a worthy cause.”
‘Highto’ has made big contributions to the men’s health and wellbeing project ‘Offload’ and has worked in conjunction with club foundations at Salford Red Devils, Widnes Vikings and Warrington Wolves.
Highton said: “Some of the impact Offload has made to the people involved has been nothing short of amazing.
“No-one was quite sure at the start whether men would buy into it but it’s been a transformational experience for a lot of people.
“The bonds that have been forged between the participants are really uplifting to witness. At Warrington, one member of the team said he was worried how he’d fill the void in his life after his 12 fixtures were up and they’ve all agreed to carry on meeting to support each other.
“It’s made a profound difference to the lives of a lot of men who previously felt they had no-where else to turn.”
To sponsor Paul, please visit his Just Giving page –  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Paul-Highton.
 

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