Harris slams sloppy Salford

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Salford coach Iestyn Harris blasted his players’ attitude after they crashed to a 52-6 defeat by St Helens in their opening home match of Super League XX.

Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash tweeted: “I have had enough” after watching his side concede 10 tries to the reigning champions while Harris pledged to turn around their fortunes, insisting their debacle against Saints was “not acceptable”.

“I sensed very quickly that the attitude was not right,” Harris said. “There was a complete lack of composure in everything we did, particularly defensively.

“I had people jumping in, turning in, turning out all over the place, it was just not what we do.

“We’ve got to fix it up. The attitude was all wrong and it’s something we need to get to the bottom of very quickly because it’s an important season.

“We threw three or four passes just aimlessly, you need to have patience and build pressure, we tried to come up with some big plays and you have to earn the right to do that.”

Salford had full-back Kevin Locke back after missing the opening defeat at Warrington but he went off early in the second half with an aggravated groin injury and the Red Devils also sustained injuries to Michael Dobson, Cory Paterson and tryscorer Ben Jones-Bishop.

Locke afterwards tweeted an apology to the club’s fans and Harris confirmed the New Zealand international had declared himself fit before the game.

“He confirmed himself 100 per cent fit yesterday but 15 minutes into the game he’s a passenger,” Harris said.

“It’s a groin issue but if someone declares themselves 100 per cent fit, you’ve got to go with their judgement. Unfortunately it’s not worked out for us.

“We had to adjust accordingly but we lost a lot of bodies. Dobbo has done his shoulder and Bish has hurt his knee. We lost three or four bodies and they were all backs but it’s not an excuse, we could have had anybody out there today, it didn’t work for us.”

Rangy second rower Joe Greenwood and centres Mark Percival and Jordan Turner all scored two tries apiece as St Helens warmed up for their World Club Challenge clash with South Sydney in style.

Coach Keiron Cunningham was disappointed with his side’s sluggish start but delighted with their response.

“I couldn’t have wished for anything better in the second half,” he said. “I thought the young kids were brilliant and all the middles were outstanding. Salford threw a lot of stuff at them and their only points came from a kick.”

Cunningham was especially pleased with the performance of the 21-year-old Greenwood, who was set for a loan spell for the first month of the season before impressing in the friendlies and is now certain to face South Sydney on Sunday week.

“I’ve said since last year that Joe Greenwood is going to be a superstar,” he said. “He’s just going to get better and better. He’s a level-headed kid who has got a good will to learn.

“He was going to go out on loan for the start of the season but after what I saw in friendlies, I just couldn’t do that and I’m very glad I didn’t because he’s,earned his stripes.”

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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