Super League: Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos preview
Last Updated: 25/07/14 10:29pm
Phil Clarke believes Salford’s game against Leeds will be their biggest test yet as they chase a top-eight place
Salford Red Devils will be aiming to make it a fourth consecutive league success on Friday night when the title-challenging Leeds Rhinos visit the AJ Bell Stadium.
The Red Devils are starting to pay dividends on Marwan Koukash’s investment following victories over Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC and Hull KR in recent weeks.
Koukash insists Salford are still five years behind the Rhinos in terms of development, however, head coach Iestyn Harris will be confident they can upset the odds.
Leeds toppled the Red Devils 32-4 at Headingley in April, although Salford have strengthened since with the additions of Kevin Locke, Mason Caton-Brown and Josh Griffin.
Caton-Brown has been a try-scoring machine since joining from London Broncos, Griffin helped inspire their win over the Robins, while Locke is expected to be fit after missing out last Sunday.
New Zealand international Locke made a try-scoring debut against the Giants, but has been sidelined for their last two wins due to a groin strain.
The Red Devils, who are just four points adrift of eighth-placed Widnes Vikings in the race for the playoffs, are without suspended duo Gareth Hock and Tommy Lee. Lama Tasi is back after serving a two-game ban.
“We are five years behind Leeds and making steady progress. Will be a good test on Friday and we need to be at our very best to compete,” Koukash said on his Twitter account.
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Leeds will be without captain Kevin Sinfield for Friday trip west along the M62 after he picked up a two-match ban for headbutting Castleford’s Luke Dorn in last Thursday’s 24-24 draw.
Danny McGuire will take the captain’s armband and he could be partnered by Liam Sutcliffe in the halves.
Fellow youngsters Brad Singleton, Elliot Minchella and Josh Walters have also been drafted into coach Brian McDermott’s 19-man squad.
"They've been improving for a number of weeks and they've had a couple of big wins recently," McDermott said of Salford. "It's no surprise to us. We struggled against them at our place and were fortunate to get the result really.
"I really rate their pack, they have a couple of exciting fellas at the back and everything goes through Rangi Chase. There's no secret about that and, while you can plan for it and try to stop that, it's a big task to physically do it.
"It's the way they are defending as well. They've got a fair amount of energy and aggression so we need to be good."
Salford Red Devils: Fages, Rapira, Evalds, Sa'u, Johnson, Tasi, Chase, J. Walne, Walton, Locke, Meli, Caton-Brown, Ashurst, Puletua, Hansen, Morley, J. Griffin, Tomkins, D. Griffin.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, S. Ward, Delaney, Bailey, T. Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Minchella, Walters
Don’t miss any of the Super League action on Friday night as Salford Red Devils take on Leeds Rhinos live on Sky Sports 3 from 7.30pm
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils20 - 22Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2014, Round 22
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Castleford Tigers' Weller Hauraki is facing a possible two to three-game ban after being charged by the RFL.
Huddersfield Giants coach Paul Anderson has not given up on top spot after Sunday's win over Catalan Dragons.
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- Wane - Bradford deserved it
- Riley returns to haunt Wolves
- Relegated Bulls stun Warriors
- Chester hails Eden after rout
- Eden inspires Rovers rout
- McDermott: Rhinos in good shape
- Saints too strong for Vikings
- Leeds edge out Salford
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- Tigers snatch dramatic draw
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- Saints v Vikings: Teams
- Ellis inspired by Cas revival
- Hull FC v Tigers: Teams
- Costigan hails Chan capture