GOOD Friday sees Salford Devils take on the club who, geographically at least, are the closest to them in the Betfred Super League, Leigh Centurions. Andrew Riley went to speak to the Salford head coach Ian Watson ahead of the 3pm kick off.
After shocking a lot of fans by beating the current Challenge cup holders on their own ground, 18-54, last week, Good Friday is a very different home game challenge for Ian Watson and his team of Red Devils.
Currently sitting in second as we reach the half way point in the regular season before the league splits, Watson has every right to be upbeat going into the Easter weekend.
Leigh, who despite making a bright start to the campaign, sit in ninth and are looking to turn around a series of defeats which included a close 14-17 loss to Leeds Rhinos, and last week a 26-37 defeat to Catalan Dragons, who Salford face, live on Sky, on Easter Monday, head coach Neil Jukes was under no illusion as to how tough the coming weeks were going to be;
“We are either really good or nowhere near the level which is acceptable in Super League. We are too hit and miss and have been for the past few weeks.
“All the guys are hurting but they will take it on the chin. I have told them all it was always going to be a tough season but we just have to keep working hard.
“I told them (the players) about Salford’s score at Hull, and they are under no illusions about how tough the job on Friday will be” He told Quays News.
Ian Watson though was upbeat about the short turnaround the club have, flying to France on Sunday for the Monday game.
“Wins breed confidence.” he told Quays
“We’re only looking at the Leigh game for now. We’ll have the same squad as last week, and then after Leigh, who will no doubt raise their game, we will have a day to recover at home before travelling.”
On his opponents, He’s full of praise for the way Leigh have approached their return to the top flight.
“They have a few ex Salford players in their squad, and with Gaz Hock missing, (Suspended) they have lost a real leader of their pack.
“But it’s good for us that teams are raising their game because they want to be the one’s who stop our streak.”
On the gap between games, He says the players are getting used to it.
“We have had these sort of five day turnarounds already, so a four day one is something we factor in.
“We backed up earlier against Wigan, so this is part and parcel of being a rugby league player. You dont want to be out there training day after day, you want to be playing.”
Salford are also hoping to send their dance team coach, Georgina, to the USA as she has been selected to represent England at the World Cheerleading finals.
They are raffling off a signed limited edition “Magic Weekend” shirt ahead of the game, but fans can also donate online by clicking on the link in the picture above.