RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL KR

After as many as seven games against Saturday’s visitors, Hull KR, and only one victory to celebrate – last season’s Magic Weekend – Salford fans might well have felt a little trepidation ahead of this one, with a sense of déjà vu hanging over them.  There was no need to worry, though, for the team turned on arguably its best performance of the season, taking control of events from the outset, and seeing it right through to the final whistle.

Conditions, one might have thought, remembering the fast slick handling that became their hallmark, in late 2022, would probably have been against them, with an extremely wet, slippery ball to handle, and equally treacherous conditions underfoot, but to many people’s surprise, it was they, who mastered all this far and away the better of the sides.

So what was it that they did so well, which laid the platform for their second home win of the season?  Like every game, the foundations were based around a dominant, robust, hard-working pack, led by those stalwart of the side, Brad Singleton and Kallum Watkins.

 This was in evidence from the very first set, when they received the ball, from the kick-off, on their ten-metre line, but instead of being pinned down to a ten to twenty metre gain, they finished the set in their opponents’ half having made over forty metres upfield.  And that set the prelude to all the hard drives and heavy yardage they were to make during the remainder of the match.

The team as a whole was prepared to work as hard as was needed and this showed through in their defence, which was immaculate.  They kept their shape, almost unerringly, throughout the whole of the game, and there was one five-minute spell from the 26th to 31st mins, in which they had to face five consecutive sets of six, at the end of which their line was still intact.

Their willingness to forage for the ball was far the superior, and it invariably seemed to be they, who were first to any loose ball.  Their preparedness to give away back-to-back sets by getting a hand to deflect a possibly telling pass, during that five-minute period, was much of the reason that it lasted so long.

When in possession, they concentrated on getting to the end of their sets, without taking too risky offloads.  Around the play-the-ball, hooker, Amir Bourouh showed the extent to which he has slotted into the side at hooker, and he dictated play around the ruck, throughout.  It was he, who spotted the Robins’ lack of numbers on the blindside, on 34 mins, sent the ball out to the right, where Chris Hankinson went in for his first, Super League try for Salford.

Although not recognised as a winger, both he, and fellow winger, Deon Cross, have done extremely well in a position, which, in the modern game carries much responsibility, as two thirds of the vital back three.  Both have become fine centres over recent years, but their moves out onto the wings has not fazed them at all, and both were try scorers, on the night.

The third member of the said back three was the cause of a last-minute change prior to kick-off, with Ryan Brierley pulling out, and Chris Atkin being thrown in at the deep-end, into the fullback role.  If anyone had any qualms as to how he would cope, they should not have done, having seen how he has managed to slot into, seemingly, any position on the field.

Indeed, his first involvement, in only the third minute, was to see him halt Ryan Hall in full-flight, only ten metres from the try line.  Even more eye-catching was his magnificent defence, 24 mins in, when he bravely dived onto the ball to make it safe from a kick onto his line, with sundry Hull players bearing down on him giving him little room for error.

Then finally, of course, there was Man of the Match, Marc Sneyd.  His kicking game has been a lynch pin in all our matches to date, but he really came into his own on Saturday, with his various types of kick, which time and again turned the Robins’ defensive line inside-out and round-about. It was his low kick into the in-goal area that was grounded by Cross for the opening try of the game, in the 14th minute.

Add on a one hundred percent goal-kicking record, not just in this game, but throughout the season, and he has become one of the stand-out players in Super League, to date. His first two successes, on Saturday, were both from the touchline, and on opposite sides of the field, but both delivered with laser-like accuracy.

So, an excellent all-round team performance, delivering a clever, well-thought out game-plan devised by Head Coach, Paul Rowley, and his coaching staff, in which the strengths of the Salford players were fundamental. 

MAGIC WEEKEND 2024 TICKETS ON SALE NOW

The summer festival of rugby league is heading to Elland Road and you can secure your place now at some exceptional prices.

Experience the buzz of Magic Weekend in Leeds, as Salford Red Devils lock horns with Betfred Challenge Cup holders, Leigh Leopards in Round 22.

All 12 Super League team are in action across two blockbuster days, with Paul Rowley’s side hoping to kick-off day two with a bang.

In line with previous years, season ticket holders and shareholders can access 50% OFF the price of a regular ticket, with day passes priced at £30 for adults. Shareholders can do so currently from the ticket office only, from Tuesday 16 January onwards.

For supporters who wish to attend the event, but do not currently have a season ticket, can also access an exclusive 25% saving if purchased before 1pm on Tuesday 30th January.

Click HERE to secure your seat and take advantage of the reduced rates.

With plans for a huge Fan Zone in the Centenary Pavilion – one of the largest event spaces in the North – it is certainly an event not to be missed.

Kick-off time for this particular has now been confirmed at 1:30pm on Sunday 18th August.

SALFORD RED DEVILS TO FACE LEIGH LEOPARDS AT MAGIC WEEKEND 2024

Magic Weekend heads to Leeds, as Salford Red Devils kick-off day two with a crunch clash against Leigh Leopards.

All 12 Betfred Super League clubs will gather on August 17-18th for a full round of fixtures, which includes some blockbuster matchup’s.

Returning to the height of summer in 2024, Magic will be staged at the sixth venue since the concept was launched in 2007 – Elland Road, the home of Leeds United FC.

All six matches will be shown live and exclusive by Sky Sports, as part of the new three-year broadcast partnership announced this autumn.

Last season, to kick-off proceedings at St James’ Park, Paul Rowley’s side produced a stellar performance to beat Hull KR 26-16.

Two late tries from Ken Sio and Chris Atkin proved the difference in such a back and forth contest, as the Red Devils made it seven wins from their last eight outings.

This time we’ll be trying to cage the Leopards; a side we beat on two occasions last season.

On opening night, in front of an electric LSV, Ryan Brierley starred in a 10-20 victory, before returning to the same venue in Rivals Round to win again, this time by just two points.

Kick-off times will be confirmed when tickets go on sale for the 2024 Super League Magic Weekend, next month.

Full schedule:

Saturday 17th August

Hull FC v London Broncos

Wigan Warriors v St Helens

Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos

Sunday 18th August

Leigh Leopards v Salford Red Devils

Catalans Dragons v Hull KR

Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: MAGIC WEEKEND SALFORD V HULL KR

Salford victories at Magic Weekend, have, over the years, been few and far between, with the last one coming with their 36-22 triumph over Leigh, back in 2017, so for the Red Devils to come away with the league points against a higher placed opposition was a most satisfactory outcome.  That it also came over a team, which had succeeded in notching up five successive wins against the Reds, made it all the more enjoyable.

The scoreline of 26-16 may appear to point to a closely fought battle, but, as occasionally happens, actually disguises the story behind it, for the Reds were by far the better of the two sides, and thoroughly deserved their win.  They dominated possession throughout the game, and whilst not at their best in so doing, respected possession better than the Robins.  Their discipline was far better, and they most sensibly sought to take advantage of many of their opponents’ indiscretions with the trusty boot of Marc Sneyd, who thereby added eight points to their tally, at a most crucial middle period of the game.

The combination of lengthy periods of possession, particularly in the opening spell, coupled with additiional penalties in their favour, meant that they held superior field position for great swathes of the game, to the extent that the Salford contingent behind the goals must have been most thankful when half-time came, and they then had the chance of seeing the game at much closer range.

For once, in recent encounters with the Robins, it was Salford, with Brodie Croft returning to his best form of the season, who had the match winner on their side, his break on 18 minutes setting up Joe Burgess for the try which cancelled out Hull KR’s opener which had come very much against the run of play.

The reduction in the number of players on the field between the 61st and 75th minutes was of somewhat unnoticed benefit to Salford, for even though it involved the loss of Deon Cross,, the extra space available to the pacey, slick Salford backs was exploited to the full, leading to two converted tries from Sio and Atkin to compensate for their earlier disappointments, as compared with one four-pointer from Hall.

It was, however, the missed chances which, had they gone Salford’s way would have opened up a far more commanding lead, that were, apart from the result, the most prominent feature of the game, with a succession of opportunities, for a variety of reasons, going begging.

It was early as the fourth minute that Chris Atkin was denied a try under the posts from a dummy-half scoot, by Hull’s defence, which turned out to be their greatest asset.  Without that they would have been in quite serious difficulties as they time and again turned up, and in numbers, to thwart Salford’s scoring opportunities, as further exemplified in the ninth minute, by their preventing Ken Sio from grounding in the corner, in a situation where we all would normally expect him to have scored.

Even Kallum Watkins’s much discussed effort, on seventeen mins, was prevented from being awarded as a consequence of the number of defending bodies being around him thus seemingly making his actual genuine grounding of the ball more questionable to the referee, while the same could also be said of Tim Lafai’s overturned score, because of issues around Burgess’s keenly challenged take of the ball in the air, with this time the video-referee making the call.

Perhaps the most surprising disappointment of all was when, in the 55th minute, Cross completely in the clear and with the unmarked Sio in support, was called back as a result of a collision in back field, which was determined to have affected his break.

Indeed, Salford looked the more dangerous from further out mid-field, than close up to the line, where they seemed to struggle to find the telling pass to unlock the well-drilled goal-line defence of the Yorkshiremen.  They looked more likely to find the key to doing this when moving the ball to the right flank, which was where most of those early, close calls came.

So yet again, the Red Devils were successful with the outcome, maintaining their march up the table to fourth, at the end of the weekend, and extending their number of wins, in all games, to six out of the last seven.  This latest one, however, could have further beneficial effect for their forthcoming visit to the home of the Robins, for the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup.  Success breeds success, and having now broken the winning run of their hosts-to-be, they can travel over there in some confidence to test their metal in the Challenge Cup.

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 26-16 HULL KR (MAGIC WEEKEND)

Salford Red Devils produced a stunning second-half performance to beat Hull KR on Magic Weekend.

Marc Sneyd – so often the difference for the Red Devils this season – surpassed 1000 goals on his 300th career appearance, with Adam Sidlow also reaching the significant career landmark of 350.

It was a lightening-quick start by Salford. Chris Atkin tried to scurry over from dummy-half early on, but amongst a host of KR bodies, our number 14 lost the ball.

We were almost on the board again minutes later when Deon Cross slipped through Ken Sio, but a scramble on the Robins right edge stopped the flying winger from handing us the lead.

After being completely on the front foot, KR gained valuable metres and took the lead – perhaps against the run of play.

Parcell found the gap down the Salford centre and offloaded to Coote, who found Minchella with an flick pass to slide under the sticks.

That led to period of play where Salford were under some real pressure, but a magical break from Brodie Croft soon got us back on level terms.

Out of nothing, the Aussie darted past a puzzled KR line to create a golden opportunity. Joe Burgess was racing in support and turned on the afterburners to bring us level.

That field position proved vital and a nice chase by Ben Hellewell and Burgess on the last had the Robins pinned inside their own 20.

Rushing to get out of trouble, a conceded penalty allowed Sneyd to add two more.

Some more quick, incisive play almost had Ken Sio in on the right, but Kallum Watkins’ flick pass was just too hard for the winger to gather.

Going straight down the other end, George King dummied his man to break through the gap and hand KR the lead.

That lead was cut in half on the hooter, however. Mikey Lewis caught Croft with a high shot and Sneyd sent over the penalty-goal.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 10-12 Hull KR

After trading sets in the opening exchanges of the second forty, Croft made sure he was first to a bobbling ball and sent Hellewell away with a neat pass.

His ball to Burgess was just behind the winger and multiple KR defenders made the scramble to nudge him out of play.

It was a cagey next twenty minutes and perhaps needed a penalty to spark the game into life.

Tyler Dupree was hit high and Sneyd took the opportunity to sink the penalty-goal – bringing up 1000 career goals in the process.

His kicking got Salford back into the game and even nudged us two points ahead when he, himself was hit late by Dean Hadley, who was sent to the sin-bin.

Cross was also shown yellow minutes later and back to 12v12, KR struck.

Kane Linnett found half a yard and flicked an offload to Ryan Hall, who acrobatically dived over in the left corner.

Losing the lead never dampened the players’ spirits and the next 25 minutes was a sublime attacking performance by the Red Devils.

Croft dug into the line, played in Brierley and his mazy run causes chaos. Sio – as always – was in support to take the pass and slide over.

After Sneyd added the extras, Brierley broke again on the last tackle of the next set.

He found Croft and despite KR knocking him to the ground, they failed to complete the tackle and the half-back flicked the ball up for Chris Atkin to crash over in front of the jubilant, travelling faithful.

FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 26-16 Hull KR

Photo by Matthew Merrick

MATCH PREVIEW – SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL KR (MAGIC WEEKEND)

Magic Weekend is here!

The annual festival of rugby league is a fantastic occasion for everyone, but only one thing will be on Paul Rowley’s mind – two Betfred Super League points.

We face an in-form Hull KR side at St James’ Park; who are wounded from a golden point defeat against Wigan Warriors, but still present a tricky contest for the Red Devils.

The two sides last met in Round 2, where Sam Wood’s double helped the Robins to a 10-24 victory at the Salford Stadium.

Last Sunday, Salford recorded an 8th Super League win of the season against Hull FC, so we will be looking to carry that momentum into this contest and maintain our spot in the top six.

Here’s everything you need to know:


SQUAD NEWS

The return of Ken Sio, Tim Lafai and Adam Sidlow was a huge boost for Paul Rowley last week.

Alex Gerrard is still struggling with a knee problem, so he is still missing for this one. As is Andy Ackers, who failed another HIA in last Sunday’s game against Hull FC.

After a short loan spell at Swinton Lions, Amir Bourouh is back in the fold.


ROWLEY’S PREVIEW

The return of Sio and Lafai, in particular, was highlighted in Paul Rowley’s pre-match press conference this week.

When asked how he rated their return to action, the Head Coach said: “Really solid.

“They did what they always do; Kenny finishes tries, Timmy is solid on the edge – causes problems.

“You have to be strong defensively against him, he’s got a strong body, but didn’t try to overplay which can be a temptation when you’re sat on the sidelines for a long while.

“I was really please for them both and I trust them both – and I thought they were both great!”

To watch the pre-match press conference in full, please click HERE!


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There is still time to join us at St James’ Park today; however, pay on the day is the only option for travelling supporters at the Newcastle United ticket office.

TRAINING GALLERY – I’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN ME!

It’s a date in the calendar everyone looks for.

Magic Weekend is upon us and Paul Rowley’s side will be making the trip to St James’ Park on Saturday to face an in-form Hull KR.

Fresh from cup progression and a crucial Betfred Super League victory against Hull FC, the Red Devils will be looking to maintain their spot in the top six with a victory.

Here’s some of our favourite snaps from training this week:

Photos by Steve McCormick

SALFORD DED DEVILS AND VX3 RELEASE 2023 MAGIC WEEKEND KIT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SELCO

We are delighted to release our 2023 Magic Weekend kit, in partnership with Selco Builders Warehouse.

Powered by VX3, this is the fourth playing jersey we have released in 2023, following the launch of our home and away strip, and our 150th anniversary heritage kit.

Included in this collection is a Magic Weekend-themed elite training tee and basketball vest – so get yourself kitted-out before we take on Hull KR at St James’ Park.

Tickets for Magic Weekend can be purchased HERE.

Click HERE to get your hands on our new strip and to shop everything Salford Red Devils!


SALFORD TO FACE HULL KR AT MAGIC WEEKEND 2023

Salford Red Devils will face Hull KR at St James’ Park in the 2023 Magic Weekend.

Paul Rowley’s men will kick-off the weekend on June 3rd with a repeat of the 2019 Magic fixture between the two sides. The game at Anfield was a close one, with the Robins winning by a two-point margin and it promises to be another evenly fought contest in 2023.

Salford are scheduled to get underway at 13:30pm UK and will look to make even more Magic Weekend memories at St James’ Park – who are hosting the event for a record seventh time.

Earlier this year, the Red Devils were narrowly beaten by Huddersfield Giants, but the day surely belonged to now ex-Salford prop and Geordie, Sam Luckley, who crashed under the sticks in front of the Gallowgate End and ran off to celebrate by imitating the Alan Shearer celebration.

Tickets for the event will go on sale from October 23rd and more information on how to secure your place will be coming soon.

2023 Magic Weekend Fixtures in full (all live on Sky Sports):

Saturday 3rd June

Salford Red Devils v Hull KR (13:30)

Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons (15:45)

Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers (18:00)

Sunday 4th June

Wakefield Trinity v Leigh Centurions (12:30)

St Helens v Huddersfield Giants (14:45)

Hull FC v Warrington Wolves (17:00)

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