BILLY WALKLEY AND CHARLIE GLOVER SELECTED FOR WELSH INTERNATIONAL DUTY

Billy Walkley and Charlie Glover have both been selected in Wales’ 20-player squad for the Chairman’s XIII fixture against Cumbria.

This fixture is part of Kyle Amor’s testimonial and will also provide WRL with the chance to recognise the contribution of former Chair, Brian Juliff, who has stood down after 11 years in the role.

Earlier this year, Walkley was added to Paul Rowley’s first-team squad alongside teammate, Joe Coope-Franklin and has developed his game even further across 2023.

The fullback came through our partnership with Coleg y Cymoedd and the Welsh Rugby League Academy.

Glover originally progressed through the Reds Elite Development Pathway – via Chris Irwin – and has came through the ranks to impress in the Reserves set-up under Head Coach, Stuart Wilkinson.

He will no doubt now garner some valuable experience in the international set-up.

We’d like to say a huge congratulations to the lads and wish them the best of luck in their upcoming game.

RESRVES QUELL THUNDER IN FINAL HOME GAME

Salford 32  Newcastle 10                               Match Report

A frantic opening onslaught by the Salford Red Devils, in which they outpaced the clock for points per minute by registering fourteen in the opening ten, laid the foundation for last Saturday’s convincing home victory over Newcastle Thunder.

It was at the end of the very first set of good approach work with strong carries and accurate passes, which had taken them to within ten metres of the visitors’ try line, that the ball was moved from right to left along the line, until scrum half, Jack Stevens, sent a fabulous long pass straight into the arms of winger, Billy Walkley who, with that little bit of extra space, went in at the corner.

After only a few tackles of the return set, again, telling passes put centre, Owen Blackwood through on a most impressive run, before further slick handling, this time to the right edge saw winger, Scott Egan, score the first of what was to end up as a hat-trick of tries.

Stevens, who had found the conversions from the two touchlines a little too far out to add on the extras, then took matters into his own hands, cutting through to score under the posts, on ten minutes.  There was no mistake this time with his straight-forward conversion sailing between the posts.  It was, however, to be pretty much his last contribution to the match, as a few minutes later he sustained an injury to his hamstring and had to retire to the dugout for the remainder of the time.

So torrid had the Newcastle side found the opening stanza that one feared that the afternoon might prove to be a no contest, but remarkably, there was to be no further score, for the remainder of the half.  Two contributory factors were responsible for this, with firstly the visitors’ introduction of rather more experienced players from the bench.

The Red Devils, in the meantime, did lose a little concentration and errors started to creep in and mar what had, hitherto, been a near perfect performance.   Two further clear-cut chances on the right edge were lost by inaccurate final passes, whilst penalties for a variety of reasons invited the Thunder into their half to test their defence.

The one aspect of their play on which they did not relax, however, was their end-of-set kick-chases, with hooker Kellan Wood producing some excellent punts down-field, eagerly raced after, and the clearing runs from the receivers halted in their tracks within moments.  This ability to turn defence into attack was probably one of the highlights of their play, and saved so much time, energy, and stress in goal-line defence.

When, eventually, the scoreline did change, seven minutes into the second half, somewhat surprisingly, it was Newcastle who took advantage of two repeat sets in the Reds’ half, to go over, close enough to the posts for a successful conversion, narrowing the score to 14-6.

Having been suddenly nudged out of the comfort of a three-score lead, the Red Devils roused themselves to regain field dominance, and Wood capped his most praiseworthy all-round performance, when he skipped over from a play-the-ball close to the line for a try converted by Matty Rudd, on 51 mins

 A tremendous crash tackle on a relieving Thunder defender, three minutes later, forced the ball free to give Scott Egan his second try, this time under the posts to take the score to 26-6, but there was still another try left in the visitors, who, on 62 mins, in circumstances not dissimilar to their first score, took themselves into double figures.

There was still time left, though, for Scott Egan to round off his, and the team’s tally, nine minutes from the end, after excellent handling by Nathan Connell and Billy Walkley, both of whom had impressed despite being significantly involved in the reshuffle surrounding Stevens’s departure.  Despite his having to take the goal kick from the touchline, Matty Rudd added the extras, whilst Scott Egan was unfortunately denied a fourth try, in the final minute, owing to a forward pass.

Coach, Stuart Wilkinson, was most pleased by what he considered his team’s most impressive and aggressive performance so far, with prop, Bardyel Wells, involved in an eyebrow-raising fifty two tackles during the game, and still having the energy to put in a significant number of bone crunching hit ups, whilst it was a welcome back from injury for fellow prop, Charlie Glover.

So, after this latest success, a trip to Huddersfield in a fortnight’s time will bring their regular season to its conclusion.

SALFORD

Nathan Connell, Scott Egan Owen Blackwood, Mikey Gilligan, Billy Walkley, Matty Rudd, Jack Stevens, Bardyel Wells, Kellen Wood, Charlie Glover, Jacob Lee, John Hutchings, Matty Unsworth

Substitutes

Lucas Iles, Finley Yates, Mason Phillips, Jorge Cabral

U19S’ SEMI-FINAL BATTLE-TO-THE-END PROVES IN VAIN

Warrington 34  Salford 32                             Match Report

The Salford Red Devils U19s College Academy were, sadly, eliminated yesterday from the knockout cup, in the cruellest possible round – the semi-final –  when they went down to Warrington Wolves, who had the significant advantage of having secured the home advantage of Victoria Park.

On a fine, sunny afternoon, even with a strong breeze blowing along, and up the pitch, it was the noticeable slope, end to end, which had the greatest effect on proceedings on field, with the Wolves having its advantage in the first forty minutes.

In what proved to be a most enthralling and evenly balanced encounter, the lead changed hand on no less than four occasions.  The entertainment factor was evident throughout, as the teams went almost turn-and-turn-about to score and thereby provided a total of thirteen tries, with the extra one going Warrington’s way.

It was they who opened the scoring, in the ninth minute, immediately after Salford second rower, Jimmy Shields, had been ruled to have grounded the ball short of the line, at the other end.  There was no such doubt, though when prop, Euan Haynes, charged through to score to the left of the posts, and Charlie Glover converted to put the visitors ahead, 4-6.

It was however the sin-binning of loose forward, Glover, in the first half, followed by the complete dismissal of substitute Luke Isles, some twelve minutes from full time, both for dissent, which impacted significantly on the team’s aspirations to progress, with their hosts crossing twice in that first ten minute spell, to run up a 14-6 lead, on 30 minutes.

Fortunately, Glover’s return came in time for him to be able to convert George Charnock’s try, which pulled the Red Devils back into contention, and indeed, he added another two points, onto Shields’s this time more successful grounding, on 36 minutes, after Warrington had restored their eight-point advantage, a few minutes earlier.

So with the half-time score of 20 -18 to the Wolves, there was considerable optimism, within the Salford ranks that they could triumph, and indeed Haynes was most unfortunate to have the ball stripped from him over the line, in one of the first moves of the half.  It was their opponents, however, who briefly increased their advantage to 24, following a Salford dropped ball on 46 minutes.

The Red Devils’ best spell by far came in a fifteen-minute spell, when three tries, from Josh Bentley, Ellis Kelly, and Charnock’s second, put them into a respectable, if not comfortable, 24-32 lead, with less than twenty minutes left. 

Even though Warrington pulled back four points, it was not until the visitors’ numbers were depleted for the second time, that they were able to regain the lead with one final try in the corner, which, with the help of the wind, was converted from the touchline.

Regretfully, the much dreamed upon final against Castleford, therefore, must remain just that – a dream.  A little more luck, at times, would not have come amiss, whilst having to cope a player short for a quarter of the game turns a hill into a small mountain.  Remarkable and creditable, therefore, was the fact that they came so close to achieving that dream.

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