Richard Marshall learning ‘hard lessons’ as Salford’s poor start to season goes on


Salford head coach Richard Marshall admits his side are on a tough learning curve following a third straight Super League defeat.

The Red Devils were the first side to travel to the Stade Gilbert Brutus this season, but a dismal performance led to a 42-16 hammering at the hands of Catalans Dragons. 

It took until the 56th minute for Harvey Livett to post his side’s first points, by which time Steve McNamara’s men were long out of sight at 32-0. 

The result left Marshall – who took over from now-Huddersfield coach Ian Watson ahead of the 2021 season – rueing a lack of quality and unforced errors as he gave an honest appraisal of his side’s current position.

READ: Catalans 42-6 Salford: Dragons ease past sorry Red Devils to maintain unbeaten start

“We are learning some tough lessons at the moment,” he said. “We’ve played three tough teams and we’re the first team to come out to France, but at the same time we thought we would execute our plan a lot better than that.

“We were rattled and Catalans blew us away. We led to our own downfall and made far too many mistakes and errors.

“We all have to be responsible for our ball control but I will take responsibility for the performance. I have to put my hand up and I will make sure we are working really hard to improve upon that performance this week.

“We’ve let our supporters down with that performance.”

Yesterday’s meeting was the first home game of the season for the Dragons, whose two previous Super League outings and Challenge Cup victory over Wakefield were all played in England. 

However, Red Devils boss Marshall insists that a longer travel time isn’t to blame for their sorry defeat in the South of France.

“I don’t think travel is the problem,” he admitted post-match. “We got on a plane instead of a bus and we’re not using that as an excuse.

“Apart from the first 20 minutes where we were in the contest, in the fight, I thought our performance levels fell away and we made too many errors.

“At 20-0 down we were always going to be struggling. We need to start games a lot better with more intent and energy.

“We don’t need to change our whole game plan over the next few weeks but there are certainly some areas we need to look at.

“We can’t be producing performances like that, it is not the required standard.”

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