Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man for Qualifiers opener

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his squad for our Qualifiers opener against Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park this Friday, 8pm kick-off.
New signing Joey Lussick is in line to make his Salford Red Devils debut following his arrival at the The Salford Stadium just under a fortnight ago.
Fellow Australian acquisition Jackson Hastings retains his place in the squad despite leaving the field early in his impressive debut against Leeds Rhinos in our final Betfred Super League game of the regular season.
Following a short stint on the sidelines, Kris Welham returns to the Red Devils 19-man squad to face his former club while Craig Kopczak may also feature.
Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou are the two changes from the squad named to take on Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago.
Jack Littlejohn, Logan Tomkins, George Griffin, Luke Burgess and Kriss Brining remain sidelined.
The full squad is as follows:
Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Robert Lui, Craig Kopczak, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, Lama Tasi, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Josh Wood, Derrell Olpherts, Lee Mossop, Jake Bibby, Daniel Murray, Ed Chamberlain, Jackson Hastings, Joey Lussick.
 
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Three Talking Points | Warrington Wolves 30-14 Salford Red Devils

Following last night’s hard-fought affair against Warrington Wolves we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Key moments
In his post-match press conference Ian Watson pointed towards a key moment in the second half which may have turned the game.
Rob Lui looked to flick on a short ball to an onrushing Kris Welham which clipped the centres shoulder and went to ground. Had Welham gone through the line the Red Devils would have likely scored and taken the lead for the first time in the game.
Warrington went on to score three tries after this moment and win the game. Throughout the game, Salford caused Wire a lot of issues down the right-hand flank and were on top in the early stages of the second half.
Resilience
There was a tonne of resilience and heart in defeat from Salford against Wire.
The Red Devils had to muscle up in defence for a large period in the second half and managed to keep Warrington at bay – for the most part – until the final ten minutes of the game.
Both Derrell Olpherts and Junior Sa’u made try-saving tackles out wide last night while Ryan Lannon and Jack Littlejohn making last ditch efforts, also. Littlejohn, in fact, prevented Warrington forward Ben Westwood from close-range with a brilliant one-on-one tackle which forced a knock-on.


Even in the closing stages Kris Welham pulled off a great tackle on Bryson Goodwin before Rob Lui prevented two scores with well-timed interceptions which will have pleased Head Coach Ian Watson.
Flowing rugby
Earlier in the season we have seen the Red Devils display some fantastic attacking Rugby League in victories over Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons and Hull FC – to name a few – and those slick hands were on display at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Jack Littlejohn – who continues to impress in his new role at fullback – was the beneficiary of these fast hands crossing twice in the first half. Both times we saw the Australian hit a great line out the back with his second try on the back of a sensational offload from George Griffin.
https://twitter.com/SalfordDevils/status/1012990472376201216
Jake Bibby’s second half score also came from a string of off-the-cuff offloads which saw the Red Devils break down field beginning with a well-timed pass from Ben Nakubuwai. If the Red Devils continue to display this kind of attacking presence they’ll cause a lot of sides issues in the coming weeks.
 

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Stat Pack | Hull FC 45-14 Salford Red Devils

We take a look at all the stats from last night’s game against Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium.
Player in focus 
This week’s ‘Player in Focus’ is George Griffin who crossed for a try late on for the Red Devils; his third of the season.
Griffin was one of five Salford players to rack up over 100 metres with ball in hand alongside Greg Johnson, Junior Sa’u, Derrell Olpherts and Lee Mossop. The prop-forward also made 31 tackles sitting one behind regular top tackler Logan Tomkins. Griffin made ten carries throughout the game as well as making one initial break.
Backs earning hard yards
The focus is often on the forwards when it comes to making the metres but Salford’s outside backs put their hands up against Hull FC last night.
Derrell Olpherts – who has impressed in recent weeks – was the team’s biggest metre-eater totalling 150 metres with ball in hand. He was followed by reliable centre Junior Sa’u who made 135 metres while Greg Johnson was just eight metres behind Sa’u.
Olpherts finished the game with an average of 8.8 metres per carry while Kris Welham, Sa’u and Johnson were all above 7 metres per carry, on average.
Overall stats
The biggest difference between the sides was completed sets with Hull FC managing to complete on 30 occasions; nine more than the Red Devils. The teams were relatively evenly matched in terms of incomplete sets 9-11.
Salford actually spent more time with ball in hand than the Black and Whites and also had more play-the-balls and more quick play-the-balls. However, the penalty count was comfortably in the hosts’ favour, 4-10.
In areas such as breaks, offloads and errors the sides were extremely evenly matched. Hull FC made ten more tackles than Salford and missed six more than the Red Devils.

Match Report | Hull FC 45-14 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils succumbed to a 45-14 defeat as Hull FC ran out comfortable winners on a frustrating evening at the KCOM Stadium.
Although the Red Devils managed to conjure up three second-half scores through Greg Johnson, Derrell Olpherts and George Griffin, Salford still fell short as the hosts claimed a deserved victory.
Bureta Faraimo’s hat-trick alongside further tries from Jack Downs, Jack Logan, Hakim Miloudi and Jamie Shaul ensured Lee Radford’s side secured two pivotal points.
The hosts made a flying start to the contest and opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock. After the ball was worked out wide, Faraimo stepped inside before holding off Greg Johnson and diving over.
Jake Connor kicked the first of nine goals and the Black & Whites crossed over again just six minutes later. Faraimo grabbed his second after intercepting Robert Lui’s lofted pass before sprinting the length of the field and touching down.
Hull began to take full control and managed to add two more tries in quick succession. First, Downs slid over the whitewash after a clever offload from Logan before the latter turned from provider to scorer after an excellent break from Jamie Shaul.
Things worsened for the Red Devils as Miloudi flew out of the line to intercept a wayward pass from Jack Littlejohn before racing 50m to score in what was a carbon copy of Faraimo’s individual effort.
Connor then added the resulting goal and a late drop-goal to rub salt further into the wounds.
Faraimo then turned provider after kicking inside to Shaul who made no mistake to touch down and cap off a fine first-half display.
The hosts picked up where they left off after the break as Faraimo completed his hat-trick after wriggling out of Greg Johnson’s tackle.
Johnson was to have the last laugh though as the winger touched down after collecting a cut-out pass from Jake Shorrocks.
Robert Lui added the extras as Salford began to grow in confidence and Ian Watson’s side soon found themselves over again as Derrell Olpherts finished off a well worked move to restore some pride to the camp.
Salford battled throughout the second period and their efforts were rewarded further as Lui played a flat ball to Griffin and the forward surged over the line from close-range.
Hull had the final say however as Connor slotted home a penalty on the hooter to wrap up proceedings.
Hull Lineup: Shaul, Faraimo, Logan, Tuimavave, Miloudi, Connor, Harris, Taylor, Washbrook, Green, Downs, Minichiello, Westerman.
Interchanges: Fash, Litten, Paea, Matongo.
Salford Lineup: Littlejohn, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts, Lui, Shorrocks, Tasi, Tomkins, Mossop, Griffin, Jones, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Kopczak, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood.
 
Hull Scorers: Tries- Faraimo (5’, 12’, 51’), Downs (15’), Logan (21’), Miloudi (34’), Shaul 40’) | Goals- Connor (6’,13’, 16’, 22’, 35’, 40’, 52’, 79’) | Drop Goals- Connor (39’)
Salford Scorers: Tries- Johnson 58’, Olpherts (67’), Griffin (72’) | Goals- Lui (59’)
Man of the Match: George Griffin.
Referee: Robert Hicks. Touch Judges: D Bowmer & M. Craven. Video Referee: Robert Hicks.
Attendance: 10,606.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 12-26 Catalans Dragons

Salford Red Devils succumbed to defeat at the Dacia Magic Weekend as former Red Devil Jodie Broughton’s hat-trick helped the Catalans Dragons on their way to a deserved 26-12 triumph at St James’ Park.
Alongside Broughton’s treble, scores from Benjamin Garcia, Julien Bousquet plus three goals from Tony Gigot ensured the French side secured a pivotal victory at the weekend extravaganza.
The Red Devils flew out of the blocks and found their way over the line with just three minutes on the clock.
Kris Welham cleverly flicked Robert Lui’s lofted cross-field kick into the path of the onrushing Derrell Olpherts who forced himself over. However, the score was chalked off due to offside in the build-up.
Salford weren’t to be denied for long though as Weller Hauraki broke forward and flicked inside to Mark Flanagan, the latter then returned the ball after producing a terrific offload which forged an opening for second-rower Hauraki to cross over under the sticks.
Lui then comfortably landed the resulting conversion to extend the lead to 6 points but Salford’s efforts were undone less than five minutes later as Benjamin Garcia pierced through the Reds backline before powering over – although Josh Drinkwater did miss the subsequent goal.
Garcia’s score seemingly spurred the Dragons on and the French side soon forged another point scoring opportunity as George Griffin conceded a penalty through an interference. Catalans opted to kick for two, but Tony Gigot was unable to convert the goal despite it appearing harder to miss.
Catalans soon turned the game on its head when Logan Tomkins spilled Gigot’s grubber in-goal before Julien Bousquet pounced onto the loose ball to touch down before Gigot calmly added the extras.
Ian Watson’s men were struggling to build any momentum at this point and were fortunate not to have suffered another score just a minute later as Garcia found his way over again but luckily for Salford, the forward was unable to successfully ground the ball.
Catalans headed in at the break with a 10-6 lead and they picked up where they left off after the break as former Red Devil Jodie Broughton latched onto a loose ball before jinking past Niall Evalds to stretch over the whitewash.
Gigot was unable to add the extras, but that was where Salford’s luck ran out as Broughton claimed his second try of the contest in style.
Lewis Tierney found a gap and produced a sensational pass to allow Broughton to dart 40m and score despite the best efforts of Lui and Jack Littlejohn.
Things worsened for the Red Devils when Broughton completed his hat-trick a minute later. After Josh Drinkwater went close seconds prior, Gigot delivered a looping kick to allow the winger to cross over.
Kris Welham exited the field after picking up an injury and the Dragons extended their lead immediately afterwards as Gigot added his third goal to inflict further misery upon the Salford players.
Salford did claim a consolation try though, Littlejohn’s short ball found its way to George Griffin who crossed over the line unchallenged. Lui added the extras to make the scoreline more respectable.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Mossop, Griffin, Hauraki, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Tasi, Murray, Wood, McCarthy.
Catalans Lineup: Gigot, Broughton, Mead, Williame, Tierney, Bird, Drinkwater, Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Julien, Garcia, Casty.
Interchanges: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Baiteri.
 
Salford Scorers: Tries-  Hauraki (9’), Griffin (75’) | Goals- Lui (10’, 76’
Catalans Scorers: Tries- Garcia (20’), Bousquet (23’), Broughton (49’, 61’, 63’) | Goals- (Gigot 24’, 62’, 72’)
Man of the Match: Niall Evalds.
Referee: Gareth Hewer. Touch Judges: M. Craven & R. Thompson. Video Referee: Robert Hicks.

Match Report | Leigh Centurions 22-10 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils bowed out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at the first attempt as Leigh Centurions ran out 22-10 winners on a frustrating evening at the Leigh Sports Village.
Despite first half efforts from Niall Evalds and George Griffin, Salford ultimately fell short as tries from Ben Reynolds, Harrison Hansen, Daniel Mortimer and Drew Hutchinson ensured the Leythers advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the famous old trophy.
Salford headed into the game following last week’s 30-0 defeat at Wigan, but the Red Devils made the perfect start this time around as some quick hands from Jake Shorrocks and Jack Littlejohn forged an opening for the onrushing Niall Evalds who threw a quick dummy and dived over the line.
Shorrocks failed to land the subsequent conversion but Salford were over again just over ten minutes later. This time, on-loan Wigan half-back Shorrocks cleverly picked out George Griffin with a short ball and the forward pummelled his way through three Leigh defenders to surge over the line before Shorrocks added the extras.
The visitors’ dominance was short-lived however as Peter Mata’utia jinked inside the Salford line before flicking inside to Ben Reynolds who crossed under the sticks before converting his own effort.
Reynold’s score seemed to spur the hosts on and they were in again just two minutes later as former Salford man Harrison Hansen shuck off several opposition defenders before spinning over the line.
Half-back Reynolds then added the resulting goal to turn the game on its head as the Leythers headed into the interval in full control.
Leigh picked up where they left off after the break and were unfortunate not to have scored as Drew Hutchinson headed for the line, but his score was chalked off after a last-ditch tackle from Littlejohn held the half-back up.
The hosts weren’t to be denied for long though as Daniel Mortimer bulldozed over from the following set before Reynolds added his third goal to increase the margin separating the sides to 8 points.
Salford regrouped in the hope of forging a formidable comeback but a combination of a forward pass from Evalds and some excellent defence prevented Derrell Olpherts from finishing in the right-hand corner –  a move that reflected a highly frustrating evening for the Red Devils.
Unfortunately for Salford, things worsened three minutes from time as Hutchinson danced through the visiting line to claim a deserved try and complete the scoring.
Leigh Lineup: Mata’utia, Dawson-Jones, Crooks, Hall, Owens, Reynolds, Hutchinson, Bailey, Higham, Acton, Hansen, B.Thompson, J.Thompson.
Interchanges: Mortimer, Larroyer, Richards, Dezaria.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Johnson, Shorrocks, Littlejohn, Nakubuwai, Tomkins, Mossop, Hauraki, Griffin, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Wood, Tasi, McCarthy, Kopczak.
 
Leigh Scorers: Tries-  Reynolds (17’), Hansen (19’), Mortimer (49’), Hutchinson (77’) | Goals- Reynolds (17’, 19’, 50’)
Salford Scorers: Tries-  Evalds (2’), Griffin (13’) | Goals- Shorrocks (13’)
Man of the Match: Mark Flanagan
Referee: Liam Moore. Touch Judges: A.Martin & C.Kendall. Video Referee: Ben Thaler.  
Attendance: 4,024
 

Squad | Ian Watson confirms 19-man squad for Challenge Cup tie at Leigh

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s trip to Leigh Centurions in the Sixth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Niall Evalds returns to the squad following a week on the sidelines after failing a concussion test in the defeat against St Helens.
Forward trio George Griffin, Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan all return to the Salford Red Devils squad.
Gavin Bennion and Levy Nzoungou are the absentees after making their competitive debuts last weekend at Wigan Warriors. Ryan Lannon also misses out.
Halfback Rob Lui is still recovering from a knock picked up against Wakefield but is nearing a return.
Here is the 19-man squad in full:

Willie Poching | “Everyone on form and competing for a place in the seventeen”

This Thursday’s home game against St Helens sees the start of a run of a number of quite high profile fixtures for Salford fans to savour, with it being followed by a visit to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan, then our first appearance in this season’s Challenge Cup at Leigh, before making the trip up to Newcastle to take on Les Catalans Dragons, in the Magic Weekend.
Indeed, the first of these also has a notoriety of its own with the television cameras being in attendance at the A J Bell, for what will be their third consecutive year of screening our home encounter with the Saints.
They have, in the past two years, been rewarded with two great, giant killing performances by the Red Devils, and clearly are anticipating yet another keenly fought match.
Against a Saints side, clearly still smarting from that reversal at the Mobile Rocket Stadium, two weeks ago, there will be few opportunities of scoring and none can be scorned, nor thoughts allowed to drift ahead to those games coming up behind, as Assistant Coach, Willie Poching, insists.
“Every match you play in is extremely important, and no sooner has one match finished than the next one takes over your focus, so, at this point in time, the St Helens game is where our attention lies. We are doing as much preparation as we can, in the short turn around, to get the players ready to go again.”
Certainly, no-one could have asked for a better performance of our players than the one they produced in last Friday’s onslaught of Wakefield Trinity, who, high in confidence after their defeat of the Saints the previous week, must have really fancied their chances of turning that victory into back-to-back wins.
No-one within our coaching and playing staff, however, is getting carried away with that victory, despite the comprehensive nature of it.
“It wasn’t all one-way traffic, and we are still a little way off what we want to produce, because we hadn’t quite executed our plays in the first half as well as we would have liked, and at 8-0 at half time, the game was still in the balance. The boys responded well in the second half though, but there are still things for us to work on and improve upon.”
Nevertheless, the players, on the back of that victory, will be taking the field in a much more buoyant and confident mood than might otherwise have been the case.
“No matter what they are, when your systems and plays positively influence the scoreboard, it brings players the self-belief and confidence that they can achieve their objectives. They have a lot of belief in one another already, which brings with it a trust in each other, so we have just got to keep all that going in order to retain each of those intangibles which enable you to win your games.”
The trust, to which he refers, had, last Friday, also to incorporate a number of unexpected replacements with a half of the first-choice pack withdrawing through injury or illness. In the event, those replacements slotted in seamlessly.
“That’s the result of having a good squad.  We may not have the biggest, but they are all of fantastic quality, and are a tight knit group, so we can go a little deeper into it than we have had to over recent weeks, and when called upon the players brought in can really put their hand up.
“It’s been some while since George Griffin and Daniel Murray have played, but they both really gave it their best shot, and there wasn’t a player for us who didn’t have a good game. It’s important that, when we go out there each week, we get the top performance from everybody, and whenever that happens we will come close to getting the result we are after.”
Those recent performances, and two home results, against the visiting Saints in recent years are surely testament enough to inspire all the players to produce their best, on Thursday.
“Even in the away match, last season, at Saints, we deserved at least a draw, but circumstances were such that this wasn’t to be. We did some things, which, on reflection, showed that to some extent we threw the game away.
“St Helens are a quality club with a team, and players, of that same quality, and we shall have to be on our guard against them, regardless of past results.  Even looking back to our game against them, in March, we had our moments then, and we shall be wanting to take those into this coming match.”
In addition to this, I am sure that most people would appreciate that we are a much better team now than we were back then – something with which Willie undoubtedly concurs.
“That is the key. You can put in the odd really good performance, but it is being able to back it up over the weeks that is important, and we have just won back to back games, which now has the boys really keen and looking forward to this match.”
With the possibility of at least a couple of last week’s absentees in line for returning, the problem for the coaches will be deciding on team selection.
“That’s a great problem to have, and this is what we want – everyone on form and competing for a place in the seventeen. It’s a good time of year to be in this position.”

Squad | Ian Watson names his 19-man squad to face St Helens on Thursday

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad as the Salford Red Devils look to make it three successive victories as they host St Helens. 
Lee Mossop is available for selection for Thursday’s game after missing the win over Wakefield after failing a concussion assessment the week prior against Huddersfield. Lama Tasi also returns to the squad for after overcoming an illness that kept him out of the victory last week against Trinity.
Jake Shorrocks could be set to start for Ian Watson’s side as Rob Lui is sidelined after picking up a calf injury last Friday. Weller Hauraki also remains sidelined.
Forward quartet Luke Burgess, George Griffin, Daniel Murray and Tyrone McCarthy may all retain their places in the side after returning to action in the dominant victory over Wakefield.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

 

Three Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 38-4 Wakefield Trinity

Salford Red Devils moved up to 7th in the Betfred Super League with a dominant victory over Wakefield on Friday night and here are three key talking points from the game.
Goal line defence
While Salford managed to rack up a mammoth 38 points in the victory over Wakefield it was the defence that was the most impressive aspect of the evening and in particular the goal line defence.
Wakefield weren’t without there opportunities and did spend sustained periods of time on the Salford line following repeat sets. However, the Red Devils muscled up in defence and managed to prevent Trinity crossing for the most part when they were in close-range of the line.
Trinity only managed to break the Salford defence once throughout the eighty minutes and this is now one of many solid defensive displays we’ve seen at the The Salford Stadium in 2018 as Salford look to make it a fortress.
Back-to-back wins 
The victory marked the first back-to-back victories for the Red Devils in 2018 and could well see Salford kick on for the remainder of the season.
In both victories against Huddersfield and Wakefield, Salford have looked a real threat with ball in hand with a number of forwards getting on the scoresheet as well as Jake Bibby grabbing four in two games.
Last season we saw the Red Devils go on a remarkable run in the middle of the season and Ian Watson will be hoping his side can emulate a similar sort of purple patch this year.
Overcoming adversity
Heading into last night’s game Head Coach Ian Watson had been forced to make a number of changes to his squad due to injuries.
Josh Jones and Lee Mossop both missed out due to picking up knocks against Huddersfield. Weller Hauraki and Lama Tasi also had to pull out of the squad later on while Kriss Brining and Manu Vatuvei remain sidelined however this only seemed to spur the Red Devils on.
However, Friday’s win just emphasised the strength in depth in the Red Devils pack with Tyrone McCarthy returning from injury, George Griffin being a standout performer and Luke Burgess returning with Head Coach Ian Watson pointing to his opening carry of the game as the first building block to win.

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