David Clegg Speaks With U19s’ Head Coach, Garreth Carvell, About His Side’s Latest Encounter, And Their Forthcoming Home Fixture, Against Warrington
Salford’s U19s shook off two consecutive defeats at the hands of Wigan and Catalans Dragons to re-assert their Super League credentials, with an impressive, 28-22 away victory, over Widnes Vikings. Satisfying as the final score was, it was the all round performance, which was most pleasing to Head Coach, Garreth Carvell.
This was because there was clear evidence of the team reproducing, on the field, areas of the game, on which they had been working during the week, in the run up to the game. Not only that, they had stuck doing so throughout the whole game, unlike in the previous week, away at Catalans, where, after a really good first half, they had fallen away from this.
The fact that, at Widnes, the rigour and discipline they showed in doing this led, consequentially, to victory was especially pleasing to Garreth, who believes that this will have proved, to the players, the value of continuing to play to their structure, for the full eighty minutes.
“By sticking to our processes, we were just too good for the opposition,” he enthuses. “All the boys just dug in well, and credit to them for that.”
He also considers that a number of positional changes helped the team, especially the move of Chris Worrall to prop, where he led the pack magnificently, whilst Lewis Hatton initially replaced him at loose forward before returning to his more accustomed second row position, later in the game. Certainly Garreth was keen to give credit to them, and also the rest of his forwards.
“Our forwards did really well and made good in-roads into the opposition,” is his assessment. “We also had good impact from the bench, and when we had to defend our line, they were all extremely good.”
In attack, they chased every kick, and one of these, which appeared to be going dead, was raced after all the way, by winger, Jake Knox, whose determination and effort was rewarded with his getting the touch-down, just before it could roll over the dead ball line.
“Even when the score was 16-16 we still looked comfortable and confident in our own ability,” claims Garreth. “They showed belief in themselves as a good side, and so it proved.”
Not that there are not areas in which the youngsters have a thing or two to learn, for, having built up a 28-16 margin, one over-eager individual chose to take the resultant short kick-off on the full by running into the 10m area with the expectation of having a clear run to the line. The penalty which followed promptly led to the Vikings’ final try, which brought the scoreline closer than it would otherwise have been. It was, nevertheless, a worthwhile lesson for a number of Salford players, as a good half dozen acknowledged that they had never come across that rule before.
On the positive side, however, Garreth points to certain areas which are showing considerable improvement.
“They are starting to learn different ways of carrying the ball, and also different ways of playing the ball quickly,” he maintains. “This will help them as they progress, and especially when they start playing against men. Our ruck speed is a whole lot better than it was, so now we need to work on slowing down that of our opponents.”
This coming Thursday sees the team return for their first home fixture in four weeks, when they entertain Warrington. Last season, Warrington were the one team against which, then U19s Salford Head Coach, Martin Gleeson, would have liked to have tested his much improved side in the second half of the season, as in their one and only encounter with the Wolves had seen the visiting Red Devils scorn victory with a series of botched attacks which broke down with the line at their mercy.
A number of players from that fixture remain with our U19s squad, and are keen and eager to do battle with the Wolves, once again, this time on home soil. There may, however, be one or two disappointed faces when the team is selected.
“Everyone is keen to play, after falling short, last season,” Garreth reports, “but some players have not had much opportunity to play so far this season, so some of these will be getting their chance this week, as they have been showing a really good attitude. They deserve their shot now.
“This will be another really tough test for us to see whether we can keep to our game plan for the full eighty minutes.”
Referee – Mr P Marklove
Touch Judges – C Murphy, K Murphy
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