Paul Rowley wants Brodie Croft to enjoy time at Salford

Paul Rowley

Salford head coach Paul Rowley says he wants Brodie Croft relaxed and enjoying his rugby during his time with the club.

The former NRL half-back made his first appearance for the Red Devils as they began their pre-season campaign with a win over Swinton.

Croft opened the scoring at the AJ Bell Stadium, supporting a break made by Deon Cross. The Super League side would run in nine tries altogether against their League 1 opposition, claiming a 48-12 over their neighbours.

The former Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos man featured for 70-minutes in the game; and Rowley wants to help his half-back enjoy his time in England.

Report: Brodie Croft scores in first Salford appearance against Swinton – three talking points

Rowley wanting Croft to enjoy the pressure

Speaking after the Swinton win, Rowley said on Croft: “He’s very much about his structure and process. 

“He’s come from Melbourne and then obviously he was at Brisbane. Being at Melbourne, playing with Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, he’s obviously played amongst the best players in the world. 

“He was in a system that really is hard-nosed and rigid. You can see that in him. 

“He’s definitely a pro and a winner and somebody who sets very high standards for himself and the people around him.

“I guess the hardest bit now is helping him relax a little. He’s been under an awful amount of pressure being a young lad in those two environments. Whilst the pressure is still there [with us], it may be in a different way to allow him to enjoy himself more.”

Cross impresses in first appearance

Rowley admitted his side got exactly what they were looking for out of the game, and also confirmed no new injuries.

Salford’s boss was also particularly pleased with utility-back Cross, who made his first appearance for the club in the centres.

The former Widnes winger was praised by his head coach during Salford’s pre-match press conference, impressing during pre-season. Cross assisted the first two tries before adding one of his own in the first half.

“Cross is a winger, but we obviously had no centres so he played centre. He’s ran at a full-back at times as well,” said Rowley. 

“I think he’s showing his versatility. I was asked pre-match the question of who impressed me the most over pre-season and it was Deon. 

“He’s not the finished article. Deon is always the first one asking questions, wanting more. He’s receptive, intelligent and a good athlete so he has all the attributes. 

“I’m really made up for him to have a solid performance. It’ll be good to see him go again against another level of opposition in Halifax next week.

“It will be a good challenge.”

READ MORE: Round one Challenge Cup round-up

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About Josh McAllister 1343 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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