David Clegg Gets The Views Of U19s Head Coach, Garreth Carvell, As They Prepare For Thursday’s Home Game Against St Helens
With a total of hundred points, in only two matches, this must have been the sort of start to his coaching career of which U19s Head Coach, could only have dreamed, though of course the fact that these opening encounters have been against the RFL Development Areas of Cumbria and North East, has been of help.
You can only beat what is put in front of you, however, and the Red Devils have certainly done that in style, over the past two weeks.
“The final scores have definitely done the boys justice,” Garreth acknowledges, “though in both games they have been rather patchy in the opening minutes.  Once we got the message through to them about what they needed to do, it was a different game.  It was as if they were a completely different team, on both occasions.”
His main aim is that the players have been learning from these games, and with St Helens the visitors this coming Thursday, there will not be any room for an indifferent start, this week.
“Although we have played against two physical teams, we have been able to get away with things that we would not have got away with against Super League opposition, and that’s the adjustment we have to make,” he professes.
So, despite the short turn around, the identification of faults,and working on correcting those is paramount, ahead of this next, much sterner, test.
“We could be on the end of a hiding after the first twenty minutes, if we do not get a much better start, this time,” he predicts.  “It’s important that we start really well, and that is something that we’ll be drilling into them, this week.”
Certainly, confidence will not be in short supply, come the kick-off, having rattled up so many points, and with only one unconverted try conceded, to date.
“It definitely looks as though we can score tries, so that will stand them in good stead,” he concedes, “and you get a good feeling from winning, that also helps.  It breeds confidence and belief, and that will be something for the lads to grasp on to for this next tougher challenge.
“We have built ourselves some momentum, and now we are up against an opposition against whom we can start gauging ourselves.  We’re really looking forward to the game.”
A couple of totally new faces have been in evidence, in the two previous fixtures.  Stand off, Jon Whttaker, and winger, Jake Knox, have both come on trial, and have both been among the try scorers in one or other of the matches.
“Jake has joined us from Leigh, after their U20s folded,” Garreth explains.  “He had been contracted to them for three years so they obviously believed he had potential, as indeed we do. He has a lot to learn, but that is part of our job as coaches.  He took his try scoring chance, on Saturday, really well.
“After his first game against Cumbria, Jon came off the bench, on Saturday, and he controlled the game really well, then.  It has been a big step up for him, as he had only played amateur rugby before, but he can play several positions, and he clearly gained a lot of confidence from his first game.”
With the first team not playing until Sunday, therefore, this is possibly the first opportunity that many will have had of watching the new look U19s, so a good following would undoubtedly boost the players for what is their first really big challenge.   Interesting as the result of any encounter is, at this level the prime focus is the development of the players, who, one day, will be in a position to pull on the first team shirt.
Match Officials:
Referee – Mr J Callaghan
Touch Judges – S Houghton, A Williams
Venue: The Enclosure, A J Bell Stadium                       KO 7pm
Forthcoming Fixtures:

Thurs 10th March St Helens Home 7pm
Thurs 17th March Castleford Home 7pm
Thurs 24th March Bradford Home 7pm
Sun 3rd April Wakefield Away 2pm
Thurs 7th April Wigan Home 7pm