Everyone loves a blockbuster movie so much so they often by the DVD, or nowadays pay for a subscription to Disney+ or Netflix to re-watch it.
Well for Salford fans, 2022 is like having Devils+ or Salfix because their defiant journey through the play-offs is echoing their fairytale in 2019.
Written off at the start of the season as more likely relegation possibles rather than play-off probables, the Red Devils have played some scintillating rugby which has taken them all the way to the semi-finals where they meet Champions St Helens who ended their 2019 fairytale with an Old Trafford defeat.
Keen for revenge and to continue to defy the odds, Salford boss Paul Rowley has spoken about the togetherness of the squad and their willingness to feed off each other’s experiences: “We’re a small group in terms of staff and players combined, but we’re a tight group. I think everyone has found their place. Everyone is open enough and confident enough to speak. Opinions are valued and everyone is respectful and appreciative of the role that each and everybody plays
“Every week everybody’s opinion, everybody’s input is valuable and well received so absolutely those people that have that sort of experience, if they’ve got something to share or they feel it’s appropriate then through it out on the table and you’ve got a lot of listeners.”
However Rowley is not phased by the task in front of him, he knows exactly the threat St Helens pose outlining as such after their win over Huddersfield last week: “St Helens are the Champions and have been for several years. We talk a lot about St Helens and the reason why is because they’re the benchmark. I’m sure we’re not the only one. We try and work to get near to what they do week after week.
“Nothing new. We’re back as the underdog. You can’t sneak your way to anything worth winning.”
However, he did also express confidence in his own team noting that they’re now well versed in do or die rugby: “We’re a team that has probably played play-off football for seven or eight weeks because the league has been so tight so the jeopardy has been there.
“We’re quite adaptable, resilient and chilled. So, it’ll be no different this week. It would be ignorant to get carried away or start thinking too far ahead.”