RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V LEIGH

A final fifteen-minute fightback by the visiting Leigh Leopards, in last Saturday’s aptly titled Rivals’ Round, at the Salford Stadium, proved insufficient in overturning what had seemed a comfortable twenty-point margin, following a game which, apart from the occasional blip, the Red Devils had dominated from quite early in the proceedings.

With the added impetus, had it been needed, of its being Ryan Brierley’s three hundredth professional appearance, after a somewhat tame opening stanza, the home side took control upon the sinbinning of Leigh’s Lachlan Lam, on six minutes.

Indeed, it was Brierley, who, determined to make his mark on the match continually throughout the first half, was obstructed by the Leopard’s stand-off, whilst chasing Mark Sneyd’s end-of-set kick-in-goal, and the Reds made good use of the benefit of the extra man, over the following ten minutes.

Sneyd gratefully accepted the opportunity to kick his side into the lead with the first of his, once again, hundred percent success goal kicking rate, from the resultant penalty, and then six minutes later Brierley again came to the fore with the first of his brace of tries.

Three back-to-back sets – so indicative of the Red Devils’ domination – set up the position, and continued pressure, on the Leigh line, which he eventually broke, much to the delight of the two hospitality-box full of his friends and family, with the combination of a dummy and clever step inside as the ball was being moved towards the right wing.

Although he might have had some success in gaining the video referee’s judgement in his earlier collision with Lam, Joe Mellor, on his Salford debut, possibly felt rather hard done to, on eighteen minutes, when, not for the first time for Salford this season, his collision with Gareth O’Brien was not passed on for further scrutiny.

As a consequence, Leigh were inspired to more determined effort which paid off, on twenty-six minutes, with Hanley’s try, virtually out of nothing, in the corner, eroding the Salford lead to four points.

Not for long, though, for within minutes of the restart, the Red Devils had stretched it even further, as a result of a great passing move involving both half backs.  Starting with Sneyd’s pass to him, Cade Cust showed how far their partnership has developed by pirouetting round and slipping the ball to the oncoming, man of the moment, Brierley, to zig-zag his way to the line, for his second try of the evening.

Even then there was still time for another score, this time from Ethan Ryan to mark his first try in a Salford jersey, on 35 mins, which Sneyd improved to notch up a 20-4 lead further underlining Salford’s dominance.

Oh, that that had been the end of events for the half, but unfortunately that was not the case, as things turned rather more sour for Brierley as he was sinbinned twenty seconds from time for a late tackle on Hanley which prevented the winger scoring, but with Lam kicking the resultant penalty.

A man down for the first nine minutes of the second half made for a rather fraught opening spell for the Red Devils, especially in the first couple of back-to-back sets, when the visitors threw the ball around with much greater sense of purpose and forced gaps in the Salford defence which they exploited, though, thankfully, without a score.

In fact, credit to them, the Salford players grew in stature throughout the remainder of the sinbinning, controlling possession and territory with fine game management, which continued throughout most of the remaining time, and they gained the rewards for this on 55 mins.

A long Leopards’ pass to the right wing went clearly forward, and from the resultant possession Sneyd crossed close to the posts thanks to Oli Partington’s incredible slipped pass backwards, whilst in the act of being tackled.

The restoration of their twenty-point lead seems possibly to have produced a sense of comfort to the Reds performance, which Leigh were quick to exploit five minutes later, and though Ryan’s second, 71st minute try in the corner extended their score to 32 points, it was sandwiched between two further scores by Hanley to complete his hat-trick on the back of a first from Lam on 60 mins, as the Leopards threw caution to the wind with slick, fast, entertaining handling to cross on 67 and 76 minutes.

Although making no difference to the actual outcome, the visitors’ ascendency, over the final quarter, did make for a scoreline which bore little resemblance to the greatest portion of the game, but hopefully this will sound as a warning to the Salford players of the importance of finishing teams off completely, whilst still in a position to do so.

PAUL ROWLEY WELCOMES BACK KEY MAN FOR ROUND 4

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has named his 21-man squad for Round 4.

After back-to-back home victories against Castleford Tigers and Hull KR, the Red Devils are back on the road this Friday night.

A trip to the Totally Wicked Stadium awaits, with St Helens coming into this fixture flawless, so far in the Betfred Super League.

Make the difference and join us by clicking here to purchase tickets.

SQUAD NEWS

There is one change to the squad who took-on KR last Saturday – and it’s a big one.

After recovering from an injury that’s hampered his pre and early season, Ethan Ryan is back and included in the 21-man for the first time.

Making the switch from Hull KR in the off-season, the flying winger is an exciting addition to the group and supporters may get a glimpse of him in action for the first time this Friday.

In other significant new, Ryan Brierley, who pulled out in the warm-up last week, has been given the all clear to participate in this one.

Check out the full list below:

RYAN: “I PRIDE MYSELF ON THE LITTLE EFFORTS!”

New signing, Ethan Ryan has provided an insight into what Salford Red Devils supporters can expect to see from him on the field.

Signing a three-year deal, the 27-year-old will add some serious quality and versatility to Paul Rowley’s squad for 2024 and beyond.

Becoming a real try scoring threat during his time with Bradford Bulls and Hull KR, the Ireland international will be hoping to continue his promising development at the Salford Stadium.

“I pride myself on the little efforts that probably go unnoticed sometimes,” Ryan said, speaking exclusively to our YouTube channel.

“Obviously I can play wing, fullback, so I can add a lot in attack – try scoring and that sort of ability.

“But I think just the little one percenters and helping out the team in little ways that I can all over the field – that’s what you’ll notice from me.”

His stats make for exciting reading.

After scoring 88 tries in just 98 appearances at the Bulls, Ryan notched a further 22 in his four years at KR.

Injuries certainly hampered his last campaign with the Robins, but when asked what environment he needs to play his best rugby, Ryan believes the trust and backing of the coaching staff is vital.

“I think confidence is a big one – I’m a confidence player, I think a lot of people are,” Ryan continued.

“When I feel good and I know I’m backed by the coach, it portrays onto the field.

“I think that’s a big thing, me feeling good and playing good. So, hopefully when I come in – get training with the boys and stuff – when the season comes around, I can demonstrate that!”

See our new man in action next season by purchasing your 2024 season ticket HERE.

RYAN: “IT’S THE TYPE OF RUGBY I LIKE TO PLAY!”

Ethan Ryan is really excited about his move to Salford Red Devils, citing our style of rugby as a crucial factor in his decision.

The Ireland international has put pen to paper on a three-year deal and joins the club following a successful four-year stint at Hull KR.

After joining the Robins from Bradford Bulls in 2020, Ryan scored 22 tries in 42 appearances and showcased his versatility across the team.

Speaking exclusively to our YouTube channel, Ryan was asked how it feels to finally get his switch confirmed.

“It sounds exciting,” he said with a grin.

“It’s obviously a bit different now. I’ve been at Hull KR the last four years, but an opportunity come up that I could join the Red Devils and I’ve took that – I can’t wait to get started.”

There will be a reunion for Ryan with Kurt Haggerty, who he played alongside during his time at Bradford.

Now in a role off the pitch, Ryan referenced Salford’s Assistant Coach when asked why – at this stage in his career – he believed this is the right move.

“I met with the club and I’ve known Kurt (Haggerty) for quite a while,” the 27-year-old continued.

“I used to play with him at Bradford and they got in contact with my agent, we had a meeting; and from the outside looking in, I just love how the club play, the style of rugby under Rowls – so that was a big factor.

“I just think it will suit my game a lot. There’s real attacking flair – it’s the type of rugby I like to play, so that’s why I decided to do it!”

Want to see Ethan in action next season? Get your 2024 season ticket now by clicking HERE!

ETHAN RYAN SIGNS FOR SALFORD RED DEVILS

We are delighted to reveal the signing of Ireland international, Ethan Ryan on a three-year deal

The 27-year-old has become the club’s second signing of the window, following Papua New Guinea international, Nene Macdonald, through the door.

Ryan began his rugby league career at Bradford Bulls, where his impressive return of 88 tries in 98 appearances caught the eye of a few Betfred Super League clubs.

Hull KR were the ones to land his signature, with Ryan proceeding to score 22 times in 42 appearances for the Robins, over a four-year spell.

In reaction to signing for the club, Ryan stated: “I can’t wait to get started with the Red Devils.

“The deal has been over the line quite a while now and it’s almost time to rip in with a new team.

“I am really looking forward to playing in a team that plays like Salford does. As an outsider looking in you admire the rugby the club plays and I’m glad I can be a part of that now – and hopefully add something myself.

“I will always give 100% on the field and I can’t wait to put that shirt on, and show the fans what I can do!”

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has added: “Ethan is a quality addition to our team.

“He can play a couple of positions to a high standard and his addition will help drive standards and competition within the squad.

“As a former team mate of Kurt’s, we have the confidence that we are adding a lad with all the attributes and character traits to fit into our environment seamlessly!”

Director of Rugby & Operations, Ian Blease, has added: “I am delighted that we have been able to bring Ethan to the club.

“He will fit straight into the culture and provide a fantastic option, in multiple positions. When I spoke to him, I was very impressed with his motivation and eagerness to progress his career at the club.

“I would like to welcome Ethan and his family to Salford!”

Everyone at Salford Red Devils would like to welcome Ethan to the club and look forward to seeing him in action.

See our new addition at the Salford Stadium next season by purchasing a season ticket HERE!

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