Ian Watson praises ‘superstar’ Tui Lolohea after Hull rout

James Gordon

22nd February 2020, AJ Bell Stadium, Eccles, England; Betfred Super League, Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos : Tui Lolohea of Salford Red Devils.

Salford coach Ian Watson labelled Tui Lolohea a “superstar” and also reserved praise for half-back partner Chris Atkin following their win over Hull.

The Red Devils ran in 10 tries to beat the Airlie Birds 54-18 at Headingley, with Lolohea contributing 18 points from a try and seven goals.

Even without the experienced Kevin Brown, Salford made light work of their opponents who were disappointing in Andy Last’s first game in charge.

Watson said: “Tui is a superstar. He came over with a lot of pressure on him to control the Leeds side and it probably got on top of him.

“We tried to take that responsibility away from him and let him do what he does best.

“I think playing at Leeds will have played a part, he knows what happened here but that’s history. If we give him a platform to perform, he can do that to any team.”

Watson was also delighted with the performance of Atkin, who was playing in place of the injured Brown, and turned the game with his 90-metre interception try early in the second half.

“I thought Chris was great,” he said. “He got better as the game went on. Chris can be a very influential player for us.”