Brodie Croft believes the feelgood factor created by coach Paul Rowley can help Salford Red Devils maintain their grip on a play-off place.
The Red Devils go into their key Sky-televised clash at Castleford Tigers today (Monday, August 29) in sixth place, level on points but above their hosts on points difference.
It remains tight after Rowley’s side made it three straight victories by beating Hull FC 28-18 at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday, while Lee Radford’s Castleford were 19-18 winners at Warrington.
Leeds, having beaten Huddersfield 18-14 at Headingley on Wednesday, are a point and a place better off than Salford.
Australian halfback Croft was a close-season addition from Brisbane Broncos, while former Leigh and Toronto coach Rowley, whose team close their regular-season schedule at home to Warrington on Saturday, took the helm in succession to Richard Marshall in November, having worked as the club’s head of rugby development, talent and pathways.
The pair have forged a strong relationship, and 25-year-old Croft, who started his career at Melbourne Storm and represented the Combined Nations All Stars against England in June, explained: “The coach has created a great mentality in the group.
“There is real belief in what we can do as well as resilience, and we have started to turn promising performances into results.
“We have to keep that going and have a real push to make the finals, and if we can get there, it’s a whole new competition, and anything can happen.
“We’ve put in so much hard work to get to this stage; we would all hate for it to get undone with poor performances now.
“And if we do make the finals, we don’t want to just make up the numbers. We want to do something special.”
Rowley’s side has won plenty of admirers with their attractive style of rugby, but he was pleased with their grittiness against Hull.
“Coming through a tough game without it being overly pretty is a good sign,” he insisted.
“We were happy to win ugly.
“We have belief in the group and we were patient. I don’t think the players were very stressed, even when Hull came back at the end. That’s an admirable quality.”
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