Salford happy to be underdogs as the Red Devils target Old Trafford glory

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Rowley Salford Red Devils SWpix

Photo: Fabrice Rodriguez/SWpix

Salford coach Paul Rowley says his side will enter the play-offs as underdogs, but insists they aren’t resting on their laurels.

Rowley rested the majority of his first team in their final game of the regular season as they went down to a 32-14 defeat to Warrington at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Red Devils finished sixth in the table and will travel to Huddersfield in a play-off eliminator next Saturday.

Rowley rested most of his side against Warrington with all eyes on the play-offs. Only three players – King Vuniyayawa, Sam Luckley and Tyler Dupree – featured in the Salford side that battered Castleford 50-10 the week previous.

Rowley said: “We never invested any emotional energy into who we would play, we have just be worrying about ourselves.

“We have been the underdog from day one. We are the underdogs again as the play-offs start. We’ll treat ourselves like that because that means we need to work hard and be committed to the cause and that’s what we will be.

“In the top six there’s jeopardy and reward. Although it’s not a free hit for us as the pressure we have is from within, we will go there confident; and with the utmost respect for the opposition and see where it takes us.”

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Paul Rowley proud of Salford pathways

Six players, who have been playing in the club’s reserve team, made their debuts for the Red Devils. Rowley said it was a proud day for the club.

He added: “I was never stressed about anything. We’ve dealt with what’s been put in front of us as we earned the right to get in the play-offs with a game to spare.

“The game was a chance for us to tick a few boxes in whatever suited us best; in terms of the health and fitness of our squad before the play-offs. That’s exactly what we did.

“I thought it was a really positive day for the club despite not getting the result. We showed we have a definite pathway as we had six debutants who all stood up and did fantastically well.

“It was like kids at Christmas to be honest them wanting to get on and I’m super proud of them.”

In the other play-off eliminator, Catalans Dragons will host Leeds, who beat Castleford on Saturday afternoon to secure their place in the top six.

St Helens and Wigan, who finished in the top two, will have a week off next week. They’ll face the winners of Huddersfield/Salford and Catalans/Leeds the week after in the semi-finals.

The Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saturday, September 24. The World Cup will get underway on October 15 when hosts England take on Samoa at St James’ Park.

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