SALFORD Devils take on Warrington Wolves this Saturday at 3pm at the AJ Bell stadium. Andrew Riley went to speak to head coach Ian Watson, and new signing Todd Carney.
When Salford face Warrington at the AJ Bell on Saturday, it will be five years since the Devils recorded a win, back in June 2012, when they won 48-24.
They came very close last season, losing to a last-minute Chris Sandow drop goal, 30-31.
This season, Salford are looking the real deal again and only fell to Leeds thanks to a try that came from a forward pass in the final minute.
With new signing Todd Carney looking likely to be ready to feature in next week’s squad for the trip over to Wakefield as he tries to regain his fitness and learn the Salford playbook, head coach Ian Watson was upbeat, despite only taking two points from the first two games.
“We were disappointed in the manner we lost last week, but we have to play to the whistle. It’s no good stopping and hoping the ref will call it back, you have to commit and play the game.” He told the assembled press earlier.
Watson will still be without Justin Carney, after he picked up a two-game ban after making contact with referee James Child in the game at Huddersfield.
Watson would like to see more consistency in the way these offences are handled, given that two other players charged were deemed to be lesser offences, and were only given one game bans:
“We said to the [disciplinary] panel ‘There has to be a level of common sense applied’, and despite showing them proof that Justin made no move towards the referee, they deemed it to be deliberate.”
Looking towards Warrington, he was surprised that the visitors have yet to register a league win this season:
“I thought they looked great against the Broncos (in the World club series) and they will be desperate to get off the mark here.
After losing the way we did last year, we turned off in the second half. It was like we couldn’t believe how far ahead we were”
Former Dally M winner, the NRL equivalent of the Man of Steel award, Todd Carney also faced the press today for the first time since his arrival two weeks ago.
Keen to put his ‘colourful’ past indiscretions behind him, he’s been working closely with club conditioner Greg Brown since his arrival, and is looking forward to showing the fans just what made him such a name with Cronulla Sharks and Catalan Dragons.
He says that despite interest from other clubs, once he had spoken to Salford, he knew that was where he was going to be playing.
He does look to be a much fitter version of himself than we saw towards the end of his time in France, and given his ability to play at either Full back or Scrum half, the competition for places at Salford will keep established players like Rob Lui, Michael Dobson and Gareth O’Brien on their toes.