Salford Red Devils were one of the most entertaining sides to watch during the 2022 season and part of that was their tendency to score points and lots of them.
The side that finished sixth and made the playoff semi-finals following a 28-0 thumping of third placed Huddersfield managed to score 700 points, second only to Wigan during the regular season.
Brodie Croft was rewarded for his brilliant playmaking with the Man of Steel award whilst Ken Sio finished second in the try-scoring charts with 26 tries over the 27-game season.
One of the players who didn’t necessarily score many tries but certainly contributed to their success in his new position was Kallum Watkins with the 31-year-old transforming into one of the competition’s best second-rowers.
That level of performance as well as the leadership qualities have seen Watkins instilled as captain for 2023 following the loss of Elijah Taylor to Featherstone and Watkins was keen to talk about Salford’s style in a recent interview.
Speaking on Betfred’s Youtube channel, Watkins said: “I think there’s a mixture that contributes, the philosophy of Paul Rowley and the coaching staff and what they want to implement into our team.
“But then we’ve got to have the payers that are capable of doing that and it takes time, it takes practice. We had a good start to the year but then hit a dip through March and Easter, the turning point was around that time when we played the top teams like Saints and Wigan and came up with really good performances.
“We were short on the result and needed to change performances into wins and we did that till the end of the year so for us it’s about making sure that we’re having a good pre-season building into a big year but our brand of rugby is our identity really.
“For us you’ve got to do the simple things right to get the opportunities to express ourselves with the ball.”
The appointment of Paul Rowley is one that has gone down with great success but it could be the retainment of their star man Brodie Croft that dictates how Salford perform beyond this year.
Croft sees his contract run out at the end of the season and the talented Australian could be destined for an NRL return so a push for silverware could be key in retaining his services.