Opposition Profile: Salford Red Devils

Betfred Super League. Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos. Leeds Cameron Smith. 3rd May 2019. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Next up for the Rhinos is last year’s Grand Finalists Salford Red Devils, as the Rhinos go on the road for the first time in 2020.

Find out more about the Red Devils here…


Overview

Ian Watson’s Red Devils were one of the best teams in Super League last season and were rewarded with their first ever Grand Final place. Now without the influential Jackson Hastings, the club have looked to add experience for the big occasions. Alongside Tui Lolohea, who joined the club from Leeds last year, Kevin Brown and Chris Atkin have both been recruited. Dan Sarginson has been a major capture from Wigan while former NRL forwards Luke Yates, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Pauli Pauli have bolstered the front row.

Ava Seumanufagai made his debut in the second game against Salford last season at the AJ Bell.

After a three match pre season that saw Salford come up against Swinton, Leigh and Warrington, the Red Devils had a tough start to the season, losing heavily to Champions St Helens in round one. They bounced back in the second game with a win against new boys Toronto thanks to a ‘try of the season’ contender from Rhys Williams, but then suffered a narrow 12-10 defeat against Huddersfield in their last game.


Last Time Out

Last Friday night, Salford suffered their second defeat of the season with a two point loss to Huddersfield Giants. Tries from Ken Sio and Dan Sarginson gave the Red Devils the lead following Adam O’Brien’s early try for the Giants but a try for Louis Senior locked the scores up at 10 all. The sin binning of Kevin Brown proved fatal as a minute later, Sezer kicked a penalty goal to win the game for the visitors.


Key Players

Dan Sarginson

Position: Centre

Super League Apps: 158

Super League Tries: 45

Honours: England (2014, 2016)

Bio: One of twelve new signings brought into the club for 2020, former Wigan Warriors centre Dan Sarginson is a major capture for Ian Watson. The centre signed from London in 2014, winning two Grand Finals before moving to Gold Coast Titans.

Pauli Pauli

Position: Prop

Career Apps: 98

Total Metres in 2020: 116

Former Clubs: Parramatta Eels, Newcastle Knights, Wakefield Trinity

Bio: After a spell on loan at the Red Devils last season, hard hitting forward Pauli Pauli signed a new contract to stay at the AJ Bell. He made three substitute appearances during that spell, scoring three tries as the Red Devils reached the their debut Grand Final.


Previous Meetings

Since 1997, clashes against Salford have proved high scoring. Leeds’ 70-6 victory in the 2015 treble season eclipses any result between the two sides home or away; ten different players scoring for the Rhinos. Specifically on the road, the Rhinos’ highest result came in 2012; Zak Hardaker scoring a hat trick in a 56-12 win.

Salford won their first league game against Leeds in 2009, beating the Champions 30-20 at Emerald Headingley, but the Red Devils only won their first home game in Super League against the Rhinos in 2016.

The Rhinos have also kept the Red Devils scoreless three times in Super League (2004, 2016, 2018). In 2004, Leeds continued their beaten start to the season with a 44-0 victory over Karl Harrison’s side; Chev Walker and Marcus Bai scoring twice as Leeds recorded a nine try thrashing.

Last Ten Meetings at the AJ Bell Stadium

Salford Red Devils 28 Leeds Rhinos 16 (Rnd 14, 03/05/19)

Salford Red Devils 14 Leeds Rhinos 46 (Rnd 3, 17/02/19)

Salford Red Devils 38 Leeds Rhinos 22 (Rnd 23, 27/07/18)

Salford Red Devils 24 Leeds Rhinos 50 (Rnd 21, 09/07/17)

Salford Red Devils 14 Leeds Rhinos 10 (Rnd 10, 09/04/16)

Salford Red Devils 18 Leeds Rhinos 28 (Rnd 10, 12/04/15)

Salford Red Devils 18 Leeds Rhinos 22 (Rnd 22, 25/07/14)

Salford Red Devils 16 Leeds Rhinos 42 (Rnd 24, 09/08/13)

Salford Red Devils 10 Leeds Rhinos 16 (Challenge Cup Rnd 5, 29/04/12)

Salford Red Devils 16 Leeds Rhinos 56 (Rnd 7, 16/03/12)


Record against Leeds

In previous meetings, Leeds have won 96 out of 130 league games played between the two sides. Away from home in Super League, Leeds held an eleven game winning streak that lasted from 1997, when Salford first joined the league to 2009.

Hooker Darcy Lussick scored in both games against the Rhinos last year on home soil.

Out of their 32 home wins over Leeds in the league, Salford have picked up 24 of them on home soil. Most of them came prior to the start of Super League in 1996 but in the summer era, Salford have won three times. Firstly in 2016, with Leeds missing key players, tries from Logan Tomkins and Rob Lui was enough to edge the Rhinos 14-10 before the Red Devils took the two points again at the end of the regular season in 2018 (38-22) and in the second meeting between the two sides last year (28-16)


Last Clash vs Leeds

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Although Leeds had defeated Salford 46-16 to pick up their first points of 2019, when the Rhinos visited the AJ Bell for the second time the high flying Red Devils took the two points with a 28-16 win. Despite tries from Mikolaj Oledzki, Ash Handley and Harry Newman, the home side produced a five try display to move sixth in the Super League.


More Information

Tickets and travel for Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased either by coming down to the Leeds Rugby Ticket Office at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, over the phone on 0371 423 1315 or online at tickets.therhinos.co.uk.

Find out more about tickets, travel and much more, CLICK HERE.