Salford Red Devils winger Manu Vatuvei has compared the atmosphere at the Challenge Cup semi-final to the NRL Grand Final in Australia.
Although it was a losing start to his Salford career, the match against Wigan Warriors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington struck a chord with Vatuvei.
And the former New Zealand Warriors flyer wants the Red Devils fans to bring the noise for his home debut on Friday against the table-topping Castleford Tigers.
“The atmosphere and the noise two weeks ago at the semi-final was immense and to experience that in my first game was surreal,” Vatuvei told the Salford website.
“We’d only gone out to warm-up and the Salford fans were chanting and singing – it was fantastic.
“You only really get an atmosphere like that in a Grand Final in the NRL so it was really special to be involved with that.”
Since the loss to Wigan, Vatuvei has opened his try-scoring account for Salford with a brace against Hull last Friday.
However the Red Devils were beaten by the Black and Whites, leaving Vatuvei without a victory to his name after two games.
But despite the disappointing start, the Kiwi international knows his new club have the ability to challenge the Tigers.
“Obviously, we’ve lost both games so far that I’ve been involved with but I’m confident that we can get a victory this weekend on my home debut,” he added.
“As a winger it’s always nice to get off the mark early but we’d have preferred the victory.“
“I’m hoping the Red Devils fans come out in their numbers again for my first game at the AJ Bell Stadium and get behind the boys.”