Salford Red Devils were one of the most entertaining sides in the 2022 Super League campaign and that saw them score an impressive 700 points, second only to Wigan Warriors.
Heading into 2023 the side look primed for more high-scoring affairs as they’ve retained much of their core, particularly Brodie Croft and Ken Sio who combined on plenty of occasions with Croft registering a total of 25 assists and Sio 26 tries.
With Paul Rowley also having a year under his belt the Red Devils could even get better and full-back Ryan Brierley is excited about that prospect.
“I probably touch the ball the most, I enjoy that responsibility and I think when you’ve got Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft in front of you then it makes my job easier,” Brierley told The Sportsman Rugby League Youtube channel.
“Then you’ve got Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Ken Sio and Joe Burgess it’s certainly an easy job to give them the ball so I think there’s points on offer within the team.
“The big change for us last year was making sure we got the balance of not trying to overplay at times or move the ball too early. That enabled us to get on the front foot a little bit more and once we found that balance we created more opportunities.
“The system, the way Rowley plays, the philosophy, you need every part of the jigsaw in place before you pull the trigger.”
Brierley has played under Rowley a lot before with the 30-year-old having over 100 games with Rowley at Leigh between 2012 and 2016 as well as a brief spell with Toronto together.
As a result the pair clearly have a trust and the Scottish international was keen to credit the man who took them to the playoffs.
“He’s changed a lot if I’m honest, when I was younger he used to stress a lot over little bits that he couldn’t change. But now he is the most chilled person, I saw a clip of him in the Huddersfield game and I think we’d just scored our first try and he was laughing and joking. I just though ‘how can you be so relaxed’, but it does transfer into the playing group.
“It’s an environment where people want to come and because it transfers into players, the players aren’t nervous to express their skill level. To play how we p-lay you’ve got to have a high level of skill and also bravery to mentally throw that pass or make that kick.
“The bravery and confidence that he instils in us to do that is something that we reap the rewards from.”