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Paul Rowley praises Nene MacDonald amidst unsavoury Leeds Rhinos chants

Former Leeds Rhinos star Nene MacDonald returned to his old stomping ground on debut for Salford Red Devils and was met with a hostile reception to say the least.

There were boos from all four corners of the ground when he had the ball, cheers when he made an error which were few and far between and some unsavoury chants.

Speaking after the game, his new Head Coach Paul Rowley praised Nene MacDonald and revealed it has been a tough week for him: “He did really well to handle the occasion, there’s credit to him. He’s come today, he had a family emergency. His boy was really poor. He’s been in hospital with his boy all day. He’s not eaten, not drunk. And I think we had to meet him halfway here. So he wasn’t going to play to be honest for them reasons so I’m just glad A. he’s there, little fella’s home and well. I just thought it was a really you know good shift from him to you know to step up and be a team player and so you know the boys appreciate it I appreciate it I’m proud of all the team.”

Salford Red Devils suffer injury blow

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 11/03/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League Round 4 – Hull FC v Salford Red Devils – MKM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England – Salford’s Paul Rowley interviewed.

Rowley also confirmed an injury blow to Joe Mellor: “Joe Mellor’s injured, he’s got a lower limb injury so he’s not back for the foreseeable. So yeah, we’ll let him. It hurts us, absolutely. Because he’d have been playing tonight, Joe. So yeah, anything hurts. I’ll play, if I lose any player it hurts. So yeah, we’re thin, there’s no doubt about that but like I said before when you’ve got belief and character there’s no real limit to what you can achieve and that’ll be our mantra going forward.”

On top of this, he confirmed that Ethan Ryan was weeks away from being fit. This makes the signing of David Nofoaluma all the more important.

On this, he said: “He has some pedigree and some CV so he’s another addition and it gives us more options you know because the players who are playing on the wing can play other positions as well so it’s a good step forward for us.”

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