DEPLETED RED DEVILS IN TOUGH TEST

Salford Red Devils 4  Leigh Leopards 44                  Match Report

Just three weeks after ratchetting up a colossal 90-0 victory over Castleford at the Mend-a Hose Jungle, in last Sunday’s home fixture with Leigh Leopards, the Red Devils, though a considerably better team, found themselves in a not dissimilar position to that of the unfortunate Tigers, as the visiting Leopards cut loose in the first half.

To be fair, this Leigh team has been by far and away the stand-out side in the women’s Championship League, this season, putting considerable scorelines, well in excess of this one, against a number of other teams

Meanwhile, the Salford side, which had had a most impressive win, away at Hull KR, in their last outing, was, this time out, lacking several key players, who had been replaced by others, newly recruited, and making their debuts here.  This was compounded, as the game proceeded, by a number of injuries to the team, all of which made the task all the harder.

Nevertheless, despite a difficult first half, the group used the half time interval to galvanise themselves to put on a much more competitive second forty, which limited the opposition to less than half of the points they had scored before half time.

The Reds got their reward, fifteen minutes from time, when they succeeded in scoring their try.  Having acquired good field position, the players realised that this might prove to be a possibility, and put in some good hit ups towards the line.  The last of these, by Emily Bagguley, succeeded in sucking in defenders to stop her, as she powered towards the line.

Realising this, dummy half, Taz Corcoran, sent the ball towards the flank, to prop, Emerald Hickey, who carried it forward into a melee of defenders, and then succeeded in sending out the sweetest of passes to the supporting Jadine McVernon, who had timed her run to perfection to finish off the try.

The fact that they had scored against such a dominant opposition was most rewarding for the whole team, so that they had not been nilled, especially for those who had contributed over and above in terms of effort and impact, such as loose forward, Sophie Morris, who was absolutely outstanding, throughout the whole game despite everything.

This was a one-off encounter, which is unlikely to be repeated again, with the remaining six fixtures appearing quite winnable, and enabling the team to feature in the end of season playoffs.

As one absent member of the squad put it to me, afterwards

“Once we are all back fit and well, we will be able to match Leigh quite competently, when we eventually have to play them in the play offs”.

SALFORD

Alex Simpson, Marnie-Lee Kelly, Caitlin Washington, Kim Seddon, Megan Hoblin, Ellie Costello, Sam Evans, Olivia Hill, Tamzin Corcoran, Emily Bagguley, Summer Harris, Jadine McVernon, Sophie Morris

Interchanges:

Abi Collins, Emerald Hickey, Lily Gray, Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor

18th Player – Hannah Wicks

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL

Following upon those recent, telling victories over London, Warrington, and St Helens, the Salford Red Devils further cemented their position in the top six with this, their fourth consecutive win, over revitalised Hull FC.

It has been an unfortunate quirk of the fixture list that the two sides have been kept apart so far into the season, which has meant that, whilst the Yorkshire side was really struggling for form, every other side has had the benefit of rich pickings, which, with the recent upturn of events on Humberside, has been denied the Red Devils.

Consequently, it was a far more evenly contested encounter which unfolded through the eighty minutes, than might earlier have been the case, with the visitors competing tooth and nail through to the bitter end.

Notice of this was served at the very outset, with the opening arm-wrestle lasting over nine full minutes, with end-to-end forays being soaked up by dominant defences on both sides. 

Even though it was the Red Devils who probably had the better field-position outcomes of these exchanges, they failed to set up any real threat to the Hull line, and it was not until 26 minutes that they opened the scoring courtesy Deon Cross, in the left corner.

An increase in tempo from the home side, coinciding with the mid-half interchanges, built up the first real pressure on the visitors, and the successfully developing half back combination of Marc Sneyd and Chris Atkin, with fullback, Ryan Brierley, linking in as the ball was swiftly moved from right to left, to find the winger in sufficient space to increase his rapidly growing number of tries.

What happened next, however, was to portend a series of similar events later in the game, for having just got themselves ahead the Red Devils were unable to take the ball from the kick-off, and Hull promptly took advantage of the situation to go over between the posts, directly from a scrum, to take the lead with their conversion.

Having failed to convert the first try from a difficult position, Sneyd ensured that that was to be a solitary one-off, and went on to slot the remaining goal attempts over, three of which were from penalties, the timing of which was absolutely crucial, giving the Reds a points’ boost just when they were most in need of them.  The first came right on half time to level the scores, the second on 45 mins expanded their, by then, lead to an important three scores, and what was most crucial of all, the third one extending, what was, then, a mere four-point lead to that of a converted try.

So often, since his return, we have all been grateful for his reliability in this facet of his game, but to a certain extent can start to take it for granted.  It is only when we witness opposing kickers missing such vital attempts at goal, as happened twice at the end of this game, that we realise just how much we owe to him on so many occasions.

It was his open-play kicking, at the start of the second half, however, which put the Reds in the dominant position for so much of the remainder of the game.  Just two minutes after the resumption, it was his chip above the defence which Brierley caught before falling over the line to take the lead for the first time, before his forty-twenty set up the position for their third score.

A subsequent penalty after the tap restart, saw the ball moved towards the right where the versatile Chris Hankinson, recently so reliable in the fullback role and this week deployed in the centre position he once occupied so regularly with our U20s back in 2012, celebrated by exploiting the space, out wide, for his third try of the season.

The remainder of the game, however, proved to be something of a frustration from a number of missed opportunities – Brierley’s mis-footing and Sneyd’s being thwarted from grounding the ball being the most significant –  which gave a fillip to the opposition, and led to a few handling and decision making errors, alongside a tiring, somewhat below par defence, that failed to prevent two Hull four-pointers, which, in themselves, failed to overturn what turned out to be the final winning scoreline in favour of the Red Devils.

It was, nevertheless, an important success, which has kept Salford not only in the top six, but also put them joint second with high-flyers such as Warrington, St Helens, and Hull KR – something we should be vaunting throughout the whole of the city. 

Next up comes another club, from which we have been kept well away, thus far, Catalans Dragons.   Tough as trips to the South of France invariably turn out to be, having recently completed the double over two of their co-habitants in second place, there is no gainsaying that the Reds will not be able to notch the first of yet another remarkable pair of victories.

TRIBUTE TO PETER WALKER

It was with great sadness that Salford Red Devils learned of the passing, on 7th May, of their former hooker Peter Walker.

Born in Hull on the 9th August1946, Peter joined Salford in September 1972, having turned professional with Hull KR, in 1963, before going on to play first for York, and then Bradford Northern.   His debut at The Willows came on 29th September 1972 for a home game against Huyton.

His time here coincided with some of the greatest post-war honours the club was to achieve, and it was whilst playing at Salford that he achieved all the honours he gained as a professional.

These started in his very first season, within months of arriving, with the lifting of the Lancashire Cup, after beating Swinton 25-11, and they returned to the final, the following season when Wigan were the 19-9 victors.

Undoubtedly, the greatest achievement for both Peter and the club was their winning of the First Division Championship, in 1973/4, his second season here.  As hooker, he played a big part in this, ensuring a good supply of the ball from the scrum, whilst, in the loose, being a fine handler of the ball and also possessing a surprising turn of pace for someone in his position.

That same year, having missed the initial 0-0 drawn Final, at The Willows, he played in the replay against Warrington, at Wilderspool, which saw Salford win the BBC2 Floodlit Cup, after winning 10-5.

Unfortunately, he suffered a series of setbacks through injury, which limited his appearances to 74, two of which were from the bench, as replacements.  Tragically, in the very first league game of the 1975/6 season, 15th August, he suffered an extremely bad leg break, which prevented him from playing any further games, that season.

Although, at one point, he had had aspirations to resume his career the following year, he, instead, made the decision to retire, in order to avoid any further injuries.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family at this very sad time.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Graham Morris – Club Historian

TEAM NEWS | ETHAN RYAN STARTS AGAINST FORMER CLUB

Paul Rowley has named his starting line-up for tonight’s Betfred Challenge Cup action.

Salford Red Devils have travelled to East Hull, where Willie Peters’ KR stand in the way of progression to the quarter-final.

The two sides have already met on one occasion so far this season, with some Marc Sneyd brilliance powering Salford to a 17-10 home victory.

Ethan Ryan will make his first start for the Red Devils tonight, on familiar territory, with Deon Cross keeping his spot on the opposite wing.

After sitting out last week due to concussion protocols, Cade Cust is back in the halves to partner Sneyd.

Gil Dudson also makes his first start for the club since his loan move from Warrington Wolves, while Jack Ormondroyd has recovered from illness to come in at prop.

Joe Shorrocks continues at loose-forward, but competition for places will be ramped up by the return of Ollie Partington, who is on tonight’s interchange bench.

The 18th man is Joe Mellor, who has recovered from a muscle injury.

INU: “YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE IN THEM BIG GAMES”

Former finalist, Krisnan Inu has highlighted the importance of rugby league’s most prestigious cup competition.

Back in 2020, our current Assistant Coach was part of the Salford Red Devils side who booked a date with Leeds Rhinos at Wembley Stadium.

However, due to the COVID pandemic, the final was played behind closed doors, with every kick and every thud echoing around the empty bowl.

Luke Gale’s 76th minute drop-goal was the difference on that day, but it did little to dampen Inu’s feeling towards a competition he first played in during his time with Catalans Dragons.

“For the foreign boys, you sort of learn what it means to the local people to be part of the competition and making a final, but the longer you’re here, the more special it is, ” he told the press.

“You see other teams making finals and you always want to be in them big games; and hearing the history of the Challenge Cup, and what it means each clubs fans, it’s massive, and obviously you want to lift that trophy.”

Round 6 in 2024 pits us against Hull KR, a team the Red Devils have already beaten once at the start of this month – a 17-10 victory at home.

Going away to Craven Park is a different task altogether, and one Inu describes as a ‘different beast’.

“Any time you play Hull (KR) it’s a big game, but going over there (Craven Park) it’s a different beast.

“The crowd is alway louder over there than probably any other team you play, so that’s something we’ll manage as the game goes on and do our speaking on the field.”

Click here to watch Krisnan’s pre-match press conference in full.

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.


CHALLENGE CUP TICKETS NOW ON SALE!

Salford Red Devils’ sixth round Challenge Cup tie against Hull KR at Sewell Group Craven Park will take place on Friday 22nd March at 8pm.

We face the Robins for the second time this season, with the first tie at the Salford Community Stadium ending in a 17-10 victory for Rowley’s Red Devils.

Tickets are on sale now from the ticket office, as well as online.

£18 – Adult
£12 – Concession (17-21, Over 65s)
£6 Junior (5-16)

Junior season ticket holders under 16 are free of charge, but still require a ticket and should contact the ticket office.

Prices will increase by £5 on the day.

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 17-10 HULL KR (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 3)

Marc Sneyd was at his thrilling best as Salford Red Devils secured a huge victory over Hull KR.

Round 3 threw Paul Rowley’s side perhaps their toughest test so far; a Robins’ side who came into the contest with a 100% record.

A last minute change – as the team’s came back in from their warm-up – saw Chris Atkin replace the injured Ryan Brierley at fullback.

Kai Morgan was promoted to the interchange bench, making his Salford Red Devils and Betfred Super League debut.

Salford were straight on the front foot from the beginning. Marc Sneyd set the tone, forcing a string of repeat sets from his magical left boot.

A brilliant few carries opened up Rovers and Sneyd’s neat nudge allowed Deon Cross to dart through, touch the ball down and open the scoring.

KR tried to wrestle back momentum via a Mikey Lewis chipped kick, but Chris Hankinson was brave, and claimed the ball before being tackled in the air.

The visitors continued to probe and tried their luck again with a grubber in behind the Salford defence. Stand-in fullback, Atkin cleaned up very well and killed the Rovers attack dead.

A highlight throughout the contest, but particularly in the first forty, was Salford’s dogged goal line D.

Repeat set after repeat set had the Red Devils camped on their own line, but after showing excellent character, the ball was fumbled by Tyrone May.

It was quickly shifted downfield, and some powerful running allowed skipper, Kallum Watkins to open up KR on their own 10 metre line.

A quick play the ball and some instinctive play-making from Cade Cust allowed Chris Hankinson to dive over the right corner for his first try in Salford colours.

Sneyd, from an almost impossible angle, converted in style, extending Salford’s lead to 12 points.

Back for the second forty, ex-Red Devils’ winger, Joe Burgess fumbled the ball on his own goal line, with a further penalty allowing Sneyd to knock over a penalty-goal.

Another two was added by Sneyd shortly after when Lewis hit the halfback late.

Their was still time for a twist in this one, with Cross sent to the bin for Salford when he tried to interfere with Burgess’ quick tap on the 20.

With 12 men on the field, it wasn’t long before Peta Hiku was over in the corner, after selling Lafai a dummy on the right edge.

Rovers came back again for a second time, with Lewis dribbling the ball along the floor before being brought down by Joe Shorrocks.

The on-field call of penalty-try was overturned by the video referee, with multiple KR bodies offside from the original kick.

Hiku was also sent to the bin shortly after, this time giving Salford the man advantage with Cross back on the field.

Things got a bit more tense when Jez Litten scored for KR, but Sneyd – capping off a Man of the Match performance – sunk a drop-goal in front of the sticks to secure the victory for Salford.

Next up for Rowley’s men is a trip to face St Helens.

MATCH FACTS:

Salford line-up: Chris Atkin, Chris Hankinson, Nene Macdonald, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Cade Cust, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Amir Bourouh, Brad Singleton, Kallum Watkins, Sam Stone, Joe Shorrocks.

Interchanges: King Vuniyayawa, Shane Wright, Ben Hellewell, Kai Morgan.

Tries:  Deon Cross, Chris Hankinson.

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (4/4)

Drop-goal: Marc Sneyd (1/1)

Hull KR line-up: Peta Hiku, Joe Burgess, Tom Opacic, Oliver Gildart, Ryan Hall, Tyrone May, Mikey Lewis, Dean Hadley, Jez Litten, Jai Whitbread, Kelepi Tanginoa, James Batchelor, Elliot Minchella.

Interchanges: Sauaso Sue, George King, Matt Parcell, Sam Luckley.

Tries: Peta Hiku, Jez Litten.

Conversions: James Batchelor (1/2)

HT: 12-0

Photo credit: Steve McCormick & James Giblin

MATCH PREVIEW: SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL KR (ROUND 3)

It’s another big test for Rowley’s Red Devils, as Hull KR come bobbin’ into town.

Arriving with a 100% record after two games, KR will be looking to continue their early-season form and keep pace with league leaders, St Helens.

On the back of victory against Castleford Tigers in Round 2, Salford Red Devils will be hoping for a repeat performance in-front of their home faithful.

KR got the better of us on three occasions last season, but a win against the Robins’ at Magic Weekend was certainly a standout moment from the campaign.


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

It was incredible to have you all back last Sunday.

After victory in Round 2, Paul Rowley’s side are looking to build some early-season momentum and need your support to make a difference.

Click here to buy tickets; including options in the West, South and iHeat Community East stand.

Alternatively, the Salford Community Stadium ticket office will be open in the morning to pay-on-the-day or collect pre-purchased season tickets.


SQUAD NEWS

Our Head Coach had the pleasure of naming an unchanged 21-man squad, earlier this week.

Included on that list is new signing, David Nofoaluma, who has had a full week of training and is in contention to make his debut.


LAST TIME OUT

You have to go back as far as February 2023 for the last time the Robins were in town.

The Red Devils made a bright start to proceedings when Kallum Watkins combined with Ken Sio to send the latter sliding over in the corner.

Some dogged defending kept the lead intact until half-time, but a flurry of tries early in the second-half fired KR into a healthy lead.

One, unfortunately, despite Deon Cross’ try, Salford couldn’t recover with the time remaining, falling to a 10-24 defeat.


WHERE TO WATCH?

Nothing beats experiencing the action in the flesh, but if you’re unable to attend this one, TV and streaming coverage is available.

SuperLeague+ is the new home of LIVE Betfred Super League action. 

Fans can watch over 100 live Super League games, full match replays, highlights and other on-demand content each season – including this Sunday’s fixture.

Click HERE to secure your pass and get ready to watch the Entertainers take on Hull KR.

This fixture will also be available on Sky Sports Arena, as well as streamed on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and via the BBC Sport website and app.


PAUL ROWLEY NAMES UNCHANGED SQUAD IN ROUND 3!

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has named an unchanged 21-man squad for this weekend’s Round 3 clash.

Salford Red Devils welcome Hull KR to the Salford Community Stadium, with both teams looking to build-on Round 2 success.

The Robins earned an impressive 22-12 victory over Leeds Rhinos last week to maintain a 100% start to 2024 and are looking to keep pace with league leaders, St Helens.

Tickets are still on sale for this fixture. Join us by clicking here.

SQUAD NEWS

There are no changes to the 21-man squad who beat Castleford Tigers last Sunday.

That means there is still a potential debut on the cards for new signing, David Nofoaluma, with Round 2 coming just too soon following his arrival into England.

Check out the full list below:

Sign up to the official newsletter