Written by John Davidson
Photo by Salford Red Devils
Salford coach Richard Marshall is confident his team will bounce back after being beaten 29-6 by St Helens in round one of Super League.
In Marshall’s first game as coach of the Red Devils, his side was defeated five tries to one at Headingley Stadium. Salford struggled to break down Saints’ strong defence, apart from a second half score by Ken Sio, but the coach is far from disheartened.
“It was a tough one that,” Marshall admitted after the game.
“There was moments we were really pleased about, at times our defence was really good. [But] they got a couple of late tries, which didn’t reflect our performance. We didn’t capitalise on our try in the second half, the game was in the balance there.
“Saints are a quality team and we won’t be the first team they put that kind of score on. We had some really resolute defence on our line and stopped a few tries.
“It was just not enough, not consistent enough. We’ll take some learning from that. We’re a new team. But overall we’re not happy with that.”
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The Red Devils fielded five new players on debut, with Dan Sarginson moved to fullback and Jack Wells and Declan Patton on the bench. Danny Addy started at hooker in absence of Andy Ackers.
“Andy Ackers is self-isolating, it’s a Covid thing,” Marshall explained.
“He should be OK though coming in next week. Dan Sarginson suffered a knock, Lee Mossop a whack to the shoulder.”
Marshall admitted Salford were “a bit rusty” at Headingley but insists they will improve.
“It’s the first game, we’re a bit rusty,” he said.
“St Helens really have a get in your face mentality. This game won’t define our season, losing to St Helens.
“We were in survival mode at the end a bit there. St Helens were white-hot, they stated the season like they finished last season.
“[But] when we scored our points in the second half we should have kicked on from there. We have to be better in our discipline around the ruck area.”
Marshall was particularly pleased with the efforts of Elijah Taylor, who started at lock and joined the club from Wests Tigers in the off-season.
“Elijah was a bit of an unsung hero for us,” he said.
“I knew is quality. I was impressed with him, he’s a really good signing for us.”