Paul Rowley has called on Salford Red Devils to reach the Super League Grand Final for Brodie Croft after the star halfback was ruled out of this week’s semi-final.
Croft, this season’s Albert Goldthorpe Medal winner and one of three contenders for the Man of Steel award, suffered a head injury late in the first half of their play-off eliminator win at Huddersfield Giants.
The Australian must now serve the mandatory eleven-day stand-down period and complete the head injury protocols, so will miss Salford’s trip to defending champions St Helens on Saturday.
But Salford coach Rowley is confident that the team can manage without Croft, and implored his players to get the win at Saints so Croft can feature again in the Grand Final.
“It’s a big blow, but sometimes it’s not meant to be and the story is written a bit differently,” said Rowley.
“The job of the rest of the group is to ensure Brodie gets another outing and that such a fantastic season has not ended.”
Champions in each of the past three seasons and League Leaders’ Shield winners this term, St Helens have set the standard in Super League for some time.
Rowley knows the enormity of the challenge ahead of his side at the Totally Wicked Stadium, facing a team he encourages his players to aspire to match.
“We speak a lot about St Helens; we have done from day one,” he said.
“The reason we do that is because they are the benchmark. We try and work to get near to what they do week after week.
“We’re back as the underdog, which is nothing new. It’s such a difficult place to go against the champions.
“But what I’ve learned is you can’t sneak your way to anything worth winning, so we’ll take this route and won’t be daunted by the challenge.”
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