Match Report | Huddersfield Giants 34-18 Salford Red Devils Education Academy

With the sharpest of this winter’s frosts making grounds west of the Pennines unplayable, one might have expected that the most remarkable thing about the Red team’s fixture against the Huddersfield Giants would be that the game over there was able to go ahead at all.  Far from that, however, events on the pitch were even more surprising, with the home side overturning an 18-6 deficit, to run out comfortable winners, much to the dismay of coach, Danny Barton.
“It was just so disappointing, after having been so much in command, but, with thirty-five minutes still to go in the second half, the players seemed to assume that the game had been won.”
The Red Devils might have felt that they had good reason to feel that way for having already withstood an absolute onslaught on their line in the opening ten minutes, had they not then succeeded in taking control, and run in three unconverted tries to lead 12-6, at half-time?
Indeed, they had.  And also they had promptly stretched that scoreline to 18-6 after only five minutes of the second half, but that ten minute onslaught, at the start of the game, should have been a warning as to what the Giants were capable of, given the opportunity.
Those opportunities came as a consequence of that quite premature relaxation which then allowed the home side to build momentum through their powerful forwards, who bumped off the rather half-hearted attempts of the visitors to stop them, and consequently dominated throughout the remainder of the game, adding four more converted tries, and a penalty goal, to the one they had notched towards the end of the first half.
That first half performance from the Salford players had been most impressive, for, having held their hosts out for ten minutes, they got themselves back into the game and opened the scoring through winger, Ben Gore, who finished off a break by his centre, Louis Roberts, in the corner.
Roberts was in fine form in that first half period, and backed up his earlier break, with an extremely good individual try in which he broke clear and rounded the fullback, in style, to ground out wide, to bring the score to 8-0.
Although the Giants pulled back six points with a try of their own under the posts, Salford extended their lead with a further score, just before half time, when fullback, Connor Law, latched onto a short kick through, by Connor Aspey.
Law doubled this contribution, five minutes into the second half, but had had a somewhat difficult time with the boot, and so the goal-kicking duties were taken over by Connor Aspey, who was able slot over Salford’s one successful conversion, from in front of the posts.
“We were really comfortable at this stage, and had scored some nice tries which had come from things we had worked upon in training.  It was probably the immaturity of the team which let them down from then on, because they just switched off.  We didn’t have much possession, and, once we fell behind, heads dropped, when really we should have been digging deep to produce a response.
“Our game management should have kicked in once we started to be put on the back foot, and that is something we shall have to address, as we need to take a lesson out of all this.”
There are, however, two sides to every contest, – and every comeback – and the resolve, dedication and determination the Huddersfield lads showed must not be overlooked, for they turned around what other sides might have considered an insurmountable lead, and Danny was more than forthcoming in his praise for their efforts,
“Their commitment and self-belief were exemplary, and despite the setbacks they received throughout the first forty-five minutes, they never let it unsettle them, and when things did start to turn their way, they utilised their strengths to make it tell.”

Salford Red Devils U19’s 22-34 Hopwood Hall College

Two converted tries in the last five minutes of this keenly fought encounter, gave the visiting Hopwood College side victory in what was the final U19s’ fixture of 2018.
The fact that the two sides are jointly linked together in terms of sharing facilities, gave the match an extra bit of bite, as both sides endeavoured to impose their supremacy over their friends and rivals, but it was the visitors who got off to the brighter start, when they crossed for two unanswered tries to pull themselves twelve points ahead.
The Red Devils did eventually find their rhythm, however, and started to pull themselves back into the game with two well taken scores.
The first came from prop forward Will Toone, who used his size and strength to crash over between the posts and give Connor Law a straight forward conversion attempt, by which he successfully halved Hopwood’s lead.
Within a few minutes that lead had been all but eroded away when Law showed some fine footwork in the right-hand corner to fox the defence and score.  His conversion attempt on this one and only occasion failed to find its mark, and Hopwood not only hung on to that slender two-point lead, they improved upon it with yet another converted try.
Just before half time, however, Law, yet again, reproduced some of his clever footwork to cross in the other corner, and this time was successful from out wide with the conversion attempt, which brought the half time score to 16-18.
Coach, Danny Barton, was consequently able to speak with a much happier dressing-room than might otherwise have been the case, to encourage the lads to build on the momentum they had built up.
“We had got off to a slow start,” he acknowledges, “but the lads had stuck to their task and done really well to force their way back into things, so we used the time to discuss how we would be able to take further control.”
Whatever the details of this were, they certainly payed dividends because, after ten minutes of attrition, a break down the wing by Law found hooker Connor Aspey supporting down the centre, and he finished off grounding under the posts. Law added on the conversion for good measure, to give the Red Devils a 22-18 lead.
Sadly, the time, over which they held onto that lead, was measured in seconds rather than minutes, for, owing to an error at the subsequent restart from which Hopwoodre gained possession, they levelled the score with an unconverted try.
“That misfortune took a lot out of our lads, and they didn’t really manage to get themselves back up after it,” Danny concedes.
Hopwood, on the other hand, had got the boost they needed, and used the remaining time to good effect by scoring two further tries to take the spoils.
Nevertheless, there were enough positives in the Salford performance for Danny to draw upon and console his charges.
“It was a good game throughout between two evenly matched teams, in which our lads displayed clear evidence of the improvements they have made since the sides last met early in the season,” he assesses. “It was eventually down to some naivety which was our undoing in the later stages of the game.”
The youth, and lack of size of the Salford players, were once again telling factors, and remain issues which only the march of time will adjust.
“Despite this we matched them physically, but at the end it was a couple of Hopwood players, in key positions who were able to use their size and force their way over against our tiring defence – tiring as a result of the effort they had put in throughout the game as a whole.”
Now with a couple of weeks’ respite over the festive period, the players can recoup some energy, in readiness for their return to take part in the knock-out cup competition, which kicks off, immediately upon the resumption, in January,
SALFORD: Josh Stafford, Connor Law, Lewis Roberts, Joe Lawlor, Will Timmins, Callum Hughes, Keiron Prescott, Austin Downham, Connor Aspey, Will Toone, Will Mills, Lewis Zammit, Sam Eyres.
REPLACEMENTS: Dan Goddard, Jak Fairbrother, Josh Bentley, Ben Whitely.

Academy | Tough openers for both U19s teams

There may not be a Super League presence in Cumbria these days, but at Youth level, the visit up there is still exceedingly tough especially on the back of an arduous journey, whilst a warm welcome awaits every player once they set foot on the pitch. For the Red contingent of our College U19s squad, last Wednesday, it was a most challenging of starts to their season.
“A two and a half hour journey at night time in nothing other than a minibus isn’t the best preparation for any game,” claims Coach, Danny Barton,” but the lads really showed up for one another.
“They are still only a young team, so we were up against it playing on a quite narrow pitch, at Askam, with a slope on it, and a crowd of two hundred and fifty in attendance.”
With this being, for the vast majority of Salford players, their first encounter at this level, it is unsurprising that they were a little taken by surprise at the speed, intensity, and physicality, at which they were having to contend, in the early stages.
“After they had got over that initial shock, they quickly grew into the game, and in the second half were able to pull back a 22-4 half time deficit to get themselves within twelve points. All our forwards stood up to the Barrow pack, which was a really big test of them because they were up against some very large individuals.
Salford’s points came from a total of five, two of which were scored by hooker Connor Aspey who, Danny insists, had an outstanding game.
“The first of them was a long-range effort which came from a break by captain, Will Mills, who found Connor in support on his outside, and once he got the ball no-one was going to catch him. The second came after a quick play-the-ball from which Connor made a break, turned the fullback inside out, and scored under the posts.”
Sadly, in the most unsavoury incident in the whole match, Connor was the victim of a biting offence for which a Barrow player was sent off.
Salford’s other scorers were loose forward Dan Goddard from his own scoot as dummy half, Will Mills, and Sam Ayres.
“I was really proud of every player in the whole team and of their efforts out there on the pitch, and they now know what they are going to be up against throughout the season,” is Danny’s happy conclusion to their first outing.
Despite taking an early lead in their home match, the Black section of the College U19s found an even more overwhelming challenge awaiting them, once the visiting Carmel College got into their stride.
“It was a typical start-of-the-season performance, with players still getting to know one another, and one or two of them even playing in new positions,“ Danny explains.
“Centre, Ellis Snelgrove got us off to a fine start with a really good try down the left wing from inside his own half, but then the quality of the Carmel team, which you would expect from any St Helens side, started to come through, particularly on their left edge, to put them on top.
“Nevertheless, our lads never gave up, and we got another two tries in the second half, the last from hooker, Chad Wrigley, who dived over from dummy half.”
One of the most notable incidents in the game was a tremendous try-saving tackle from left winger, Will Timmins, who flew across from his wing to crash tackle a would-be Carmel scorer two or three metres from the line. That tackle was every bit as good, and important, as a try because it was worth four points, in itself.
“The game has given us plenty to work on; things which we want to be bringing into our next match, on Wednesday, against Warrington,” is Danny’s overall assessment.

Academy | U19s fixtures confirmed until December

The Salford Red Devils U19 Academy teams have had their fixtures up until December 2018 confirmed.
The Black team will open their campaign at home to Carmel while the Red team will make the long trip up to Barrow.
The Red team’s first home fixture will come on 10th October against Huddersfield while the Black team’s first away game will come on the same day as they travel to Winstanley College. 
A full list of the Salford Red Devils Academy fixtures can be seen below:
26th September
Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks vs Carmel College.
Barrow vs Salford Red Devils U19 Reds.
3rd October
Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks vs Warrington.
Hopwood Hall vs Salford Red Devils U19 Reds.
10th October
Salford Red Devils U19 Reds vs Huddersfield.
Winstanley College vs Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks.
17th October
Wakefield vs Salford Red Devils U19 Reds.
Wigan and Leigh College vs Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks.
7th November
Halifax vs Salford Red Devils U19 Reds.
21st November 
Salford Red Devils U19 Reds vs Pontefract.
Riverside vs Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks.
28th November
Warrington vs Salford Red Devils U19 Reds.
Warrington vs Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks.
5th December
Salford Red Devils U19 Reds vs Barrow.
Salford Red Devils U19 Blacks vs Riverside.

Academy | Over thirty students join Salford Red Devils

The Salford Red Devils U19 Category Three Academy have enrolled over thirty new students for the upcoming season.
This is an increase on last season’s numbers and all students were introduced to Salford Red Devils by meeting Head Coach Ian Watson, Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease and First Team Captain Lee Mossop.
Danny Barton, Salford Red Devils Academy Player Performance Manager, said: “It’s fantastic we’ve had such an appetite for the course and for people wanting to come and play Rugby League here at Salford.
“I felt it was important that they met the likes of Ian Watson, Ian Blease and Lee Mossop so they could get a feel of what representing this Club is all about and what is expected of them.
“I’ve been really impressed with the attitude of each student that has enrolled already and everyone seems to be looking forward to the season ahead.”
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “It’s important that we have a strong academy set-up to help us spot potential in the local area and further afield who could eventually run out for the Salford Red Devils first team.”
The team recently went to Prestatyn for a pre-season training camp – lasting a full weekend- which saw their fitness, skills and teamwork tested.
Barton said: “The pre-season training camp is the perfect opportunity for me as a Coach to look at what I’ve got at my disposal for the upcoming season.
“But, it’s also the perfect opportunity for the lads to bond as a team and begin to get to know each other more and start to the processes of becoming an actual team.
“I put the lads through their paces in Wales and the response from the lads was fantastic. They all knuckled down, worked hard with no complaints and really impressed me.
“We look like we’ve got some really talented players in the squad and I’m looking forward to seeing them develop here at Salford Red Devils.”
Since returning the Academy have been continuing to work hard with their first gym session of the year being hosted by Salford Red Devils partners at the The Salford Stadium – MultiFit Salford.
“It was good to get the lads in the gym and get them working on their strength heading into the season,” Barton said.
He added: “We’d like to thank Multifit for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities and the lads are looking forward to regularly heading into the gym throughout the season.”

Academy | Dan Goddard on way to Serbia with Ireland

Salford Red Devils are delighted to confirm that U19s player Dan Goddard has been selected to represent Ireland U19s in the upcoming U19 European Championships in Serbia.
Goddard is the third Salford Red Devils U19 player now headed to Belgrade alongside Welsh duo William Mills and Matthew Jones who were named last week. Read more about that here.
Player Performance Manager Danny Barton said: “Obviously, we’re thrilled for Dan following his inclusion in the Ireland squad.
“Dan is a really good player who has had a terrific season. His work ethic and attitude are second to none and that has been rewarded with his selection.
“It’s great to have three players headed to the U19 European Championships in August and I think it just demonstrates the quality of young lads we have here at Salford Red Devils.”
The full squad is as follows:
Luke Findlow (Ince Rose Bridge), Ryan Curran (Athy Sharks), Conor Smyth (Athy Sharks), James Cromie (Belfast Stags), Zack Fellows (Midland Hurricanes), Josh Basthill (Belfast Met Scholars), Fiach Millward (Athy Sharks), Paul McGookin (Belfast Stags), Sam Cullen (Athy Sharks), Ronan Michael (Longhorns RL), Callum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings), Joe Togher (Hindley), Charlie Donnelly (Dublin City Exiles), Josh MacNamee (Longhorns RL), Shalun Carey (Longhorns RL), John Why (Galway Tribesmen), Jordan McKibbin (Portadown Pumas), Kevin Varga (Longhorns RL), Andrew Smyth (Belfast Met Scholars), James Mulvaney (Longhorns RL), Sam O’Sullivan (Galway Tribesmen), Gareth Gardiner (Belfast Met Scholars), Dan Goddard (Salford Red Devils).

Academy | Luis Roberts and Cian Rhys selected for Wales U16s

Salford Red Devils players Cian Rhys and Luis Roberts named in the Wales U16 29-man training squad with the hopes of featuring against England in September.
Both Cian Rhys and Luis Roberts had successful seasons with the Red Devils U16’s sides last season and Player Performance Manager Danny Barton wasn’t surprised by their inclusion.
Barton said: “We’re delighted that both Cian and Luis have been selected for the Wales U16’s training squad, they’ve both been terrific this season.
“Cian is a versatile player who occupied a number of roles very successfully throughout last season while Luis is a dangerous centre with an eye for the try-line.
“We are hoping that both will feature against England later in the year and experience international rugby league.”
The full squad is follows: 
Benjamin Harris (Aber Valley Wolves), Shaun Webber (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Jac Lloyd, Immanuel Feyi-Aboso, David Yulu-Nzamba, George Sheppard (West Wales Raiders), Cian Rhys (Burtonwood Bulldogs/Salford Red Devils), Brynmor Bradley (London Broncos), Ewan Challenger (Cardiff Blue Dragons/West Wales Raiders), Ewan Badham, (Llanelli Knights/City of Hull), Ieaun Badham (Llanelli Knights/City of Hull), Morgan Jones, Harvey McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets/St Helens), Keenan McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets/St Helens), Lewis Gough, Cameron Samuel, Callum Penn (Torfaen Tigers), William Oates (Aber Valley Wolves), Luis Roberts (Hindley ARLFC/Salford Red Devils), Reilly Scriven (Torfaen Tigers), Kyle Huish (Aber Valley Wolves/Wigan Warriors), Jacob Lee (Aber Valley Wolves/Wigan Warriors), Ieuan Hancock (Torfaen Tigers), Joshua Atkinson (Wigan Warriors), Gwilym Evans, Iwan Johnes, Iwan Pyrs-Jones (Wigan Warriors), Trystan Rawlings (West Wales Raiders), Kieran Lewis.
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder! 
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.

Danny Barton | “There’s a big focus from everyone at the Club on our youth”

Salford Red Devils Category Three U19’s side gathered for their first session ahead of the 2018-19 season earlier this week and Player Performance Manager Danny Barton is ‘excited’ to see the new talent progress.
Barton said: “Our first training session was fantastic.
“We’ve recruited really well when it comes to our 19s this season. We’ve got some really exciting kids on board with a lot of local talent some of whom have progressed through from our 16s.
“They’re all passionate about playing for Salford Red Devils and going as far as they can here at the Club and, maybe, even challenging for a position in the first team down the line.
“There’s a big focus from everyone at the Club on our youth at the moment.”
Danny Barton has been working closely with Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease and Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson and this has seen youngsters Sam Bardsley and Jack Ratcliffe begin training with the first team.
Barton said: “We’re all in the same mindset and we’re all local which really helps.
“It all seems to be coming together with Ian [Blease] as Director of Rugby and Ian [Watson] as Head Coach and we’re all looking to develop and further our youth development here at Salford Red Devils.
“I’d love to get someone into the first team within the next five years – that’s the goal.
“We had Jack [Ratcliffe] and Sam [Bardsley] down talking to the 19s earlier this week and discussing what it’s like training with the first team and I think some of the lads realised the opportunity they have in front of them.”
Barton’s Salford Red Devils Category Three U19s side have moved up a division for the 2018-19 season but the Player Performance Manager is confident his team can impress on the back of a restructuring of the league.
Barton said: “Fixtures for the 19s start in September but we’ll be heading into pre-season in the coming weeks.
“The lads have got some programmes from our conditioners, so they can come into pre-season fit and healthy and hopefully make an impact on the field this season.
“We are looking at having two teams at 19s this season with one team competing in the top division.
“I’m excited to see the lads progress here at Salford and I’m looking forward to getting the season underway.”
More information on the Salford Red Devils U19s fixtures will be made available nearer the beginning of their season.
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder! 
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.

Squad | Education Academy’s Sam Bardsley trains with the first team

Salford Red Devils Education Academy’s Sam Bardsley has started training with the first team following an impressive spell with the Academy sides.
Bardsley said: “All the first team lads were really welcoming, and I really enjoyed training with them. It was great to experience what they go through on a day-to-day basis.
“It was quite intense, but I feel like I managed it well and fit in well amongst the group after Head Coach Ian Watson had introduced me to everyone.”
Salford Red Devils Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease said: “It is important that we give our youngsters the right environment in which to build their career.
“Getting them training in the first team system is the first step in that line of progression.
“Sam is a local talent who has earned his opportunity to train with the first team after impressing with the Salford Red Devils Education Academy over the last few years.”
Bardsley continued: “I just want to stay at Salford Red Devils for as long as possible and continue to grow as a player and learn from the lads in the first team who’ve lots of experience.
“If anybody wants it enough and has the drive to try and break through here at Salford and try and train with the first team there’s no reason they can’t.
“Myself and a few other of the Salford Red Devils Education Academy lads have had the opportunity to train with the first team and hopefully we can make the most of the chance we’ve been given.”

Foundation | Halifax Elite 52-12 Salford Red Devils U19’s

Salford U19s College Academy fell short in their away quarter final of the College National Cup, against Halifax, at Siddal ARLFC, despite a plucky effort from each and every one of their players.
Even before they travelled across the Pennines the whole context of the game was stacking up against them, since, with only thirteen fit players, they were all forced to play through the full game without any respite, and were, furthermore, reduced to twelve men for the final ten minutes as a result of yet another injury,
That would have been difficult enough against any opposition, but the League 1 Red Devils were up against a bigger, pacier side currently in second place in the Premier League, which is a division above Salford.  Indeed, the Yorkshire team had travelled to St Helens and beaten top League 1 side Cowley College, in the previous round.
Despite all this, the Red Devils dug deep throughout the eighty minutes, as outlined by assistant coach, Jay Boyd.
“The lads really put their bodies on the line,  never gave up until the final whistle, and showed the right attitude throughout,” he proudly reports.
Halifax got off to a great start and were 16-0 up within the first 15 mins, but the Red Devils managed to hit back and clawed back some of that initial deficit with a score of their own.  They forced an error from the home side, and then with the aid of two penalties, opened up the opposition defence, on 20 mins, for Will Mills to cross out wide on the left-hand side, from where goalkicker, Tom Farr, landed a magnificent conversion.
This, however, merely served to spur their hosts on to greater determination and effort, and sadly for the unfortunate Reds, they took control of the game from that point on, finishing the half with 28-6 half time advantage. As often happens, when one team is deprived of the ball for lengthy periods, when the visitors did get some possession the tension and anxiety was such that they turned it over again, quite quickly.
“We were really clinging on to stay in the game, in that later period of the first half,” assesses Jay, “but in the circumstances we did really well to keep them down to that score, because they had had so much possession, and our lads were having to do so much energy-sapping defending.
“Halifax were a really good outfit and they kept getting up into our faces and trying to force errors from us.”
Although shortly after the resumption Halifax extended their lead even further, the half time discussion had given the Salford lads some renewed fortitude and they immediately responded with their second try of the game, again through Will Mills from a blindside play by fullback, jack Ratcliffe.  Tom Farr then had a much more straightforward attempt with his second successful conversion.
So much did this inspire them that they really buckled down to match the opposition, set for set, in a belated arm wrestle for a full 25 minutes, without any further score.
“We just went with them for back-to-back sets without anyone scoring, and really matched them for this full period,” Jay considers.
The lack of any interchanges was to catch up on the Red Devils eventually though, which, coupled with the amount of defending they had had to do, left them totally out of energy by the closing stages, and the Yorkshiremen took full advantage to run up a cruel and perhaps little unfair-looking scoreline. No-one, however, could gainsay the courage, stamina, and sheer determination the visitors had shown.

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