There was a time, earlier in the season, that the Salford Red Devils were struggling in Super League.
Hovering above the danger zone at the bottom of the table, Paul Rowley’s men turned it on and turned things around.
However, at the time, Sky Sports pundit Jon Wilkin remarked that he felt that Salford did not have the ‘minerals’ nor the ‘steel’ nor the ‘backbone’ to make the play-offs.
Those comments have been well and truly thrown out of the water with the Red Devils making light work of some of their opponents in recent weeks and months which has led to some backlash against Wilkin – especially from Salford Director of Rugby Ian Blease who originally took to Twitter to show his displeasure.
However, the former St Helens and Toronto Wolfpack forward has defended his comments, pointing to the context at the time that they were said in.
“I’m surprised by the turnaround,” Wilkin said live on Sky Sports News: The Verdict.
“In round five I made some comments and I stand by what I said. Salford couldn’t defend and they were relatively spineless in how they were performing.
“Certainly, from that point on to now has been a remarkable turnaround.
“Once you get on that conveyor belt and confidence starts to build, you can do anything.
“Salford with limited means and relative to the big clubs have made a remarkable turnaround. I’m delighted for Ian and everyone there.”
The next step for the Red Devils is to get one over on St Helens – a side that they thrashed barely weeks earlier at the AJ Bell Stadium.
If Salford win on Saturday, it would mean a second Super League Grand Final in just three years following their exploits back in 2019.
And, it would cap off a remarkable season under new head coach Paul Rowley who, it’s fair to say, has been a breath of fresh air in Super League in 2022.