Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley believes his side will hold on to their top six spot in Super League and make the play-offs for a second year running as long as their minds don’t wander far from the task at hand.
The Greater Manchester outfit picked up an important win away against fellow play-off candidates Huddersfield Giants last Friday night, bringing an end to a losing streak which lasted seven games in all competitions.
Salford’s victory over in Yorkshire – watched by under 5,000 spectators – elevated them back into 6th on the ladder at the expense of Hull KR, who that same evening had been beaten by St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Rowley’s side, KR and Warrington Wolves in 5th both head into the weekend locked on 22 competition points, but the boss says he won’t be panicking about how any of the others get on because it’s too complex a situation.
Paul Rowley: ‘We’re the masters of our own destiny’
Leigh-born Rowley said: “I think we’re in a good place. Regardless of results, performance is always the most important thing, and we’ve always had confidence that we’ve been performing to a good level. Getting the result is a reward for the players.
“We’re in sixth, so we’re the masters of our own destiny. I don’t need to overly concern myself [with how other teams get on], but it’s a hard one because it’s not as clear-cut as wanting one team to lose, there always seems to be a plus and a negative.
“That’s the case whichever match is occurring. I mean you look at Leeds v Warrington (last Sunday)… Leeds won so they get a bit closer to us, but if Warrington had won they’d have pulled away from us.
“I had a similar conversation last year because we were in a similar situation, and I just think applying any emotional energy to that sort of thing will tire you out. It gets you in a place you don’t want to be, so we’ll just concentrate on us.”
Salford chief sends Wakefield warning
Neither of the Red Devils’ two meetings with Trinity so far in 2023 have been comfortable. In Round 5 on home soil, they got the job done, but required Marc Sneyd’s drop goal to seal a 14-13 triumph in golden point extra time.
More recently, Rowley’s side visited Belle Vue and left empty handed. Trinity picked up a much-needed two points with a thumping 32-6 win. Their 32 points came unanswered, with Salford’s only consolation Alex Gerrard’s 64th minute try.
It’s no surprise that the boss won’t be taking this third meeting lightly. He added: “I honestly don’t care [who we’re playing]. It’s just 17 against 17, Wakefield are absolutely going to be motivated and I said this the last time that we played them.
“It’s dangerous on its own merits, and every game is. We go to Wigan next week, then we’ve got Warrington at home the week after.
“Whichever way you look at it, there will be a danger, and there will be a plus and a minus to it. We just need to make sure we look after ourselves, that’s the most important thing for me.”