U19s Head Coach, Alongside David Clegg, Assesses His Side’s Recent Fixture With Castleford, And Previews Thursday’s Match Against Bradford
For the second time in as many weeks, the Salford Red Devils U19s ended up on the losing end of a scoreline which did little to reflect the significant contribution they made to what, until midway through the second half had developed into a close, and keenly-fought, contest.  That they had been unable to maintain this for the duration was probably down to lapses of concentration, particularly in the opening quarter, which enabled the visitors to run in break away, long distance tries.
“The boys are disappointed with parts of their performance, and the main problem was their lack of concentration for brief moments,” assesses Head Coach, Garreth Carvell.  “A lot of the tries Castleford scored were against the run of play, though we possibly could have defended much better against those than we did.
“We had spoken about the importance of a good start but we let ourselves down in this respect by conceding three tries in the first fifteen minutes.”
The team had spent the week working on ironing out certain small glitches in their previous encounter with St Helens, and Garreth had said that his main priority for his side was for them to produce that in last week’s game.
“We did well to put these into practice for much of the game,” he reflects, “but then errors kept cropping up, for which individuals were not taking full responsibility.  There is no excuse for that.”
It was, nevertheless, to everyone’s credit that changes which were made, in order to enable the team to come back and overturn such a deficit, worked to the extent that they had taken a two point lead, by half time.
“We had to make a few changes in order to try and turn things around, and the players did so” he explains, “but then we started to pick up a number of injuries, and we had to change the line up again.  That was unfortunate, but then that’s rugby league.”
This coming Thursday Bradford Bulls are the visitors, and although the current positions of the respective clubs may seem to indicate that this might prove to be a slightly less challenging fixture from the last two outings, Garreth does not necessarily agree.
“You only have to look at our experiences against them last year,” he points out.  “They were a good strong side with some big powerful players within it, so I am not expecting an easy game at all.”
Indeed, last season’s three matches had all been extremely close, and the first of those had really caught the Red Devils cold.  True, they put things right in the remaining two games, but even these had only a few points separating the two teams at the end of each.
Garreth, therefore, is anxious that his charges get their metal approach right for what could turn out to be a much trickier encounter than it, at first, might appear, and while there are certain technical aspects which are coachable, having the right attitude is something which comes from the individual players.
“The Academy is all about providing the players with the opportunity to make the next step up, but that requires them to take responsibility for their own actions particularly when things go wrong, and without that they will not make that step up,” he warns.
Match Officials:
Referee – Mr M Griffiths
Touch Judges – S Houghton, S Dean
Venue – The Enclosure, A J Bell Stadium           KO  7pm
Admission – Adults £2
                          Concessionaries £1
                          Season Ticket Holders Free

Thurs 24th March Bradford Home 7pm
Sun 3rd April Wakefield Away 2pm
Thurs 7th April Wigan Home 7pm
Sat 23rd April Catalans Away 3pm
Thurs 28th April Widnes Away 7.30pm