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Hammerless Nail

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  1. By way of comparison, while Richard Marshall was coaching Halifax at the top end of the Championship, Ian Watson was (briefly) coaching a hapless, hopeless Swinton down at the bottom end of the same league. Richard then went on to be assistant coach at a club that won back to back Super League championships, serving under a coach who is now coaching in the NRL and under another on whom the jury is perhaps still out, while Ian Watson went on to become assistant coach at a club that regularly featured in relegation battles, serving under a coach on whom the jury is very much back in and has delivered its verdict, a verdict which had the judge reaching for his black cap. The two have had broadly similar career trajectories, but one has been at a higher level each step of the way, so I wouldn't write him off just yet.
  2. But Richard this time. New Salford coach.
  3. Is having someone called Just Browny commenting on the Joel Tomkins finger incident an example of tautology?
  4. Leigh Leigh A Leigh East Leigh-on-Sea (obligatory expansion club) Leigh Dzrhinos Leigh Ningtowerofpisa Leigh Dingwiththeelbow London Leythers ('The Exiles') Leigh Rangers Leigh Miners Leigh Minors Leigh Majors Automatic P&R, but with Leigh related clubs exempted from relegation in order to give them time to establish themselves. Save a lot of arguments, won't it?
  5. I care, because I find Rugby League matches entertaining. Unusual, I know, but that's how it is. It's similar to how I can go to a cinema and not think "Meh, she might have won a Golden Globe for it, but the fact that Frances McDormand wasn't facing a relegation battle somehow spoilt it for me."
  6. Look to Krisnan Inu for an emotional hat-trick of tries and seven conversions from seven in a man of the match performance. Look to Manfred Mann to spout a right load of overexcited guff.
  7. It's a disgrace, that's what it is, and one that can only be put right by clicking on the squad list on the Twitter feed to reveal the other 5 players that make up the 21 players in their 21 strength 21 man squad.
  8. And Warrington fans finally get to tick "Seeing Warrington get a win over Salford" off their bucket lists.
  9. I don't think they chose to not have a wealthy backer. It kind of just happened.
  10. I attended a presentation given by then owner Marwan Koukash about the closure of the academy. He said that the RFL had assessed all SL clubs' academies, and had given Salford the lowest rating, a rating that meant the club wouldn't receive any funding from the RFL for their academy. The criticisms seemed to be all about the management side rather than what was happening with player development. Marwan accepted those criticisms and spent money correcting them. He then asked the RFL to reassess Salford's academy, but they refused, and said they wouldn't reassess for another five years. That meant that, in order to run an academy, Salford would have to pay around £100,000 per year for five years, and that would have to come out of money intended to pay for the first team squad. Marwan didn't think this was fair or viable, and so felt he had no choice but to disband it. It's fair to say that Marwan had a somewhat tenuous connection with reality, but this story seemed to be confirmed by the club's then performance director. I've never seen cost issues alone cited as the reason the academy was closed, but I'd be interested to see any links you have for this claim. Marwan later said that disbanding the academy was the worst decision he made at Salford, a bold assertion given the number of runners and riders in that particular field.
  11. What now for Salford? Well, this thread has already gone through the loss of the coach, players having to leave and not having the money to start next season. We just need a name change and being forced out of the stadium to give us a full house. Y'know, the usual. Realistically, I think Salford fans can be cautiously optimistic, at least for 2021. Before the start of this season, Ian Watson predicted that, with so many new players coming in, they'd struggle a bit early on, but would eventually come good. That's exactly what happened. However, the recent finals appearances should make it easier to retain players (I believe Josh Jones admitted in an interview that had he known Salford would reach the Grand Final, he wouldn't have signed for Hull - that said, it seems that had he known Hull was further away from St Helens than his Nan's, he wouldn't have signed for them either). Thus far, I think the only confirmed departures from the core first team squad are Mark Flanagan (retiring), Gil Dudson (Catalans) and Niall Evalds (been kicked in the head by a horse), although it's expected that Kris Welham will either retire or go to play part time (Featherstone has been mentioned - cracking signing for them: he's a hugely underrated player). Some of their replacements are already playing for, or have been training with, the club (Kallum Watkins, Morgan Escare), which means they should, hopefully, go into 2021 with a more settled squad than the one they came into 2020 with.
  12. Niall's from Yorkshire, so will have Yorkshiresque miserablism rippling through him like veins through marble. Most of his time at Salford has been spent in the comforting permadrizzle of relegation battles, but the past couple of seasons has seen the club reach the sunlit uplands of Grand Final and Challenge Cup final appearances, and I think he's found it all a bit too much. By moving to Castleford, it looks like he's moving back to the leaden grey reassurance of relegation battles: somewhere where he can get a proper wallow on.
  13. Possibly. To continue the "why didn't they go for the drop goal" debate, according to Wikipedia, Krisnan Inu has a career total of 3 drop goals, Kevin Brown has 3 and Tui Lolohea has 0. Luke Gale has 34. I susoect that's why Leeds went for the drop goal and Salford didn't.
  14. From memory, Salford have managed just one successful drop goal in the past two years. Even in the cup match against Catalans, they ran it in golden point extra time (resulting in the winning try) rather than going for the drop goal. I'm not sure Salford have anyone in the squad who could successfully kick one, so I wasn't too surprised to see them run it at the end there
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