TRIBUTE TO DEAN RAISTRICK

Salford Red Devils were most saddened to learn of the passing, recently, of former hooker, Dean Raistrick. Dean joined Salford in 1975, and on arrival became an integral part of the famous team of the late sixties and the seventies.

Indeed, his signing was extremely crucial to the club at that time, because they had found themselves without a hooker, with a number of players from their squad having endeavoured to undertake the role.

Dean’s arrival, however, not only enabled him to fill the gap, he also turned around the fortunes of the Reds that season to the extent that they went on to win the First Division Championship, for the 1975/6 season, two years after having won it for the first time, post-war.

Dean had forged his reputation, whilst playing for Keighley, for whom he had made ninety-nine appearances, and where he had twice gained representative honours for Yorkshire, as a result of his ability to win the ball from the scrum.

His transfer to Salford was initially on a month’s loan deal between the clubs, but such was his talent that he immediately brought a stability to the team, beginning with his debut away at Bradford on 7th December 1975, so much so that the move became permanent.

During his time at The Willows, he not only won a Championship medal, he was also in the team which played against St Helens in the 1976 Premiership semi-final, at Station Rd Swinton, although on this occasion it was the Saints who progressed to the final, having run out victors by 15 point to 2.

Sadly, difficulties with the travelling from his home in Bradford, two or three times a week, gradually proved too much for him and on 11th March 1977, he played his final game for the Reds, in a home fixture against Featherstone Rovers, after having made thirty-six appearances, and then joining Bradford Northern in the August of that year.

The culmination of his time at Odsal came with a winning appearance in the Premiership Final over Widnes in May, 1978, before transferring to Halifax, that August, where he developed a talent for kicking drop-goals, twice scoring hat-tricks, and registering a total of fourteen in his twenty-eight appearances.

On 3rd February 1980, he returned to where it had all begun, back in 1972, with a second spell at Keighley, with whom he completed his playing career, in a home match against Carlisle, on 9th September 1984, having played in eighty-one matches, alongside two others as substitute.  During this time his unabated talent for kicking drop-goals saw a total of twenty-four successful attempts, whilst he also registered two tries.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family at this sad time.  His funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday 28th July, at Scholemoor Cemetery, Bradford.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Graham Morris, Club Historian; Paul Whiteside, Photograph.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: COLIN DIXON TROPHY v HALIFAX

After their comprehensive victory over Swinton, earlier in the week, Salford Red Devils continued their build up to the 2021 season with a second encouraging win, this time over Halifax Panthers, in defence of the Colin Dixon Memorial Trophy.

As one of the sides expected to challenge for a top four place in the Championship, it would have been of no surprise if the visitors had sprung a surprise start on their hosts, but the Red Devils had clearly learned from their experience at the hands of the Lions, and ensured that it was they, and not their opponents, who took early command.

That command was such that within ten minutes, fullback, Ryan Brierley, impressive in his new role, had crossed for two tries, which, with Marc Sneyd’s conversion of the first of these, gave the home side a ten point advantage, in as many minutes.

Thoughts of a runaway victory, however, were short lived, and the Yorkshire side galvanised, and forced themselves back into an arm wrestle, which they maintained for almost fifteen minutes, thereby preventing Salford from any further scores.

In fact it was the visitors who eventually broke the deadlock, when, after a period of sustained pressure, they crossed for an unconverted try to reduce the difference to a mere six points.

There were many pleasing aspects of the Red Devils’ performance, on the evening, and the way that they responded to this setback was certainly one of them.  From the kick off they took control, and, within five minutes, had scored again, with the converted try coming to King Vuniyayawa, thanks to the great line, and power, of his running.

The closing stages of the first half had proved,  last season, to be a quite problematic period, and indeed Halifax really put the Reds under a ten minute patch of intense pressure.  On this occasion, however, the Salford players stood up manfully to everything that their opponents could throw at them, in order to maintain that comfortable, though not as yet, commanding lead, into half time.

That ability to master adversity was displayed to the full, when, six minutes into the second half, they were reduced to twelve men.  An overly ambitious offload, on attack, went into the hands of a Halifax player, who set up a most threatening counter-attack.  Whilst the Reds scrambled magnificently to snuff out the danger, it did lead to the sinbinning of Joe Burgess for holding down.

The best way to deal with a one man deficit is to keep possession away from the opposition, and not only did Salford do this, they capped it with another score.  Moments after Danny Addy had been held up over the line, Amir Bourouh scooted over to put the Red Devils  into a three score lead.

Having thus got themselves into the driving seat, they were then able to wear down the opposition, and pile on the pressure with further tries by Rhys Williams and Matt Costello.

True, Halifax had the last word with a converted try in the corner, but, less than two minutes from the end, it was but mere consolation, with the Reds lifting the coveted trophy in memory of one of the outstanding pillars of the game, who had represented both teams of the night, not to mention Great Britain and Wales, with such distinction.

The players now have a two week period of grace before their final warm-up game at Warrington, during which time they can continue to work to eliminate the few remaining areas of concern.  If the level of improvement, during that time, matches that of the previous five days, they will be well placed for the start of the season.

Squad | Levy Nzoungou joins Swinton on loan

Salford Red Devils forward Levy Nzoungou has joined Betfred Championship side Swinton Lions on a one-month loan deal. 
Nzoungou has spent time on loan with the Lions earlier in the season appearing twice for Swinton against Halifax and Toulouse. The French forward made his Betfred Super League debut last month against Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.
Levy has also featured for Whitehaven and dual-registration partners Oldham in Betfred League One so far this season.
Nzoungou will be in line to appear in each of Swinton’s upcoming Betfred Championship fixtures against  Halifax, London Broncos and Dewsbury Rams.
Levy Nzoungou is proudly sponsored by Payroll Central UK.  
Tickets for our next home game against Widnes Vikings are available at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. Purchase yours now and support the lads as they go in search of a crucial two points in the Betfred Super League.

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