Fired-up Salford Red Devils are determined to bounce back when they host Super League newcomers, Toronto Wolfpack, on Saturday, after last week’s heavy defeat to St Helens.
One Salford player especially keen to respond hard to the opening day loss is Australian winger, Ken Sio, the Reds’ only try scorer in Super League this season.
“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and do well this week,” he countered.
“I think we’re going to perform well as a team, we’ve just got to make sure we put our best foot forward and go from there.”
Friday night’s clash between Saints and the Reds was a remake of last season’s Super League Grand Final in more ways then one, as Salford came out losers against last season’s champions for the fourth time in less than 12 months.
The Reds only managed that one Sio try in the 48-8 hammering at the Totally Wicked Stadium as the new-look Salford team continues to adjust to one another.
The last time the Reds clashed with Toronto was September 2018 when Salford came out 28-16 winner’s in the Super League Qualifiers.
Both sides have revamped their squads since, and Sio has been keeping his eye on the Canadian outfit, now coached by Brian McDermott, a familiar face in Super League.
Sio said: “Just from video I think they’re a team that offloads a lot.
“We’ve just got to stay as one line and be well prepared for the offloads.”
Ian Watson’s side will be hoping for another historic season at the AJ Bell Stadium but know they need to put last weekend’s defeat behind them – especially as their fanbase now expect another exciting season.
Watson, at a press conference yesterday about the preparation for Saturday’s game, said: “It’s been about us, it’s not been about Toronto really.
“We’re focusing on ourselves and getting to where we need to be as a team, we’re still learning.
“For us it’s about buying into our processes and sticking with them.
“It always takes time to gel and no matter how well it’s looks on the training field, it’s only in games that you truly know.”
And Saturday’s contest against Toronto Wolfpack could be the perfect tonic for Watson’s men.
The new boys may come from a city almost 3,500 miles away from Salford, but the name Toronto Wolfpack is definitely one the Reds are aware of after the Canadians achieved promotion into the top division for the first time in their history last season.
Their Super League welcome however came in the form of 10-28 defeat to Castleford Tigers, with the step-up from the Betfred Championship offering a different class of opposition that the Canadians will need to address quickly if they want to establish themselves as a Super League team.
But last year’s Betfred Championship winners have been capturing the headlines for multiple reasons, with the signing of former New Zealand Rugby Union international, Sonny Bill Williams, a brilliant addition to a Super League already packed with an array of talent.
One thing for sure is that Salford will not underestimate the Canadians in Saturday’s bout because they themselves were massive Super League underdogs last term before shocking the rugby league world with a sensational season.
“If you look through their squad, they’ve got Super League players, they’ve got international players like Sonny Bill Williams.
“They’ve got a lot of quality and I don’t expect anything other than a tough game from them,” Watson said.
The match between Salford Red Devils and Toronto Wolfpack kicks off at 2pm on Saturday February 8 at the AJ Bell Stadium. More details can be found here.