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Morley rallies struggling Salford

13th of March 2014
Morley rallies struggling Salford

Salford captain Adrian Morley admits it is time for the expensively-assembled Red Devils to start producing the goods.

Salford captain Adrian Morley admits it is time for the expensively-assembled Red Devils to start producing the goods and he would love to kick-start their First Utility Super League campaign against his old club Warrington Wolves.

The evergreen forward faces his old team-mates for the first time when the Wolves visit the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night, with Salford looking to avoid a third straight defeat and the Wolves aiming for a third consecutive win.

With owner Marwan Koukash insisting on a top-six finish, Morley admits pressure is mounting on the Salford team to live up to all the hype.

"We get pressure from the media and pressure from Marwan but that's not necessarily a bad thing," he said. "I've really enjoyed the build-up.

"Marwan has done a fantastic job in raising the awareness and interest in the club but it's human nature, like the tall-poppy syndrome; we're there to be knocked down.

"It's been a bit of a shock for some of the boys. Other teams see Salford as a scalp but that's something we've spoken about. We are in the thick of things now; we just need to start performing."

Having led Warrington to three Challenge Cup victories at Wembley and to back-to-back Grand Final appearances, this was the first fixture Morley looked out for in his new role as Salford skipper.

"I've got a lot of friends at Warrington, having played seven years there," said the 36-year-old prop, who is full of admiration for his former coach Tony Smith.

"I'd say he's the best coach I've had," Morley said. "Some coaches are extremely good at some things and not so good at others but he's probably the most rounded. He ticks all the boxes.

"He was fantastic not only for my career but Warrington needed someone to come in at that time to enable them to realise the potential they had. I've got a lot of time and respect for Tony as a coach."

Elsewhere tomorrow night, both Leeds Rhinos and St Helens will have home advantage as they look to maintain their unbeaten records, while Hull KR seek their first win of the season when they go to Wigan Warriors.

Widnes Vikings coach Denis Betts will be hoping his side can take their impressive home form on the road when they meet the Rhinos at Headingley.

The Vikings, fresh from a hat-trick of wins at the Select Security Stadium, will leapfrog their hosts in the table if they can pull off a first win at Headingley since 2002.

"It's good to get on the road," Betts said. "We've had three good games at home now but we go to Leeds and we will get a fast surface and a team who has the most line breaks in the competition.

"They have a pretty daunting backline but this is what it's about for us, facing players of that quality."

Catalan Dragons have won on four of their last five visits to St Helens but they go to Langtree Park as a club in crisis following their sudden recall to Perpignan for a series of heart-to-heart talks after suffering a fourth successive defeat.

The French outfit have nine senior players on the injury list, with three more suspended, while Jamal Fakir and Brent Webb have both paid the price for Sunday's 56-14 hammering at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

That makes Saints clear favourites to extend their winning run to five matches but coach Nathan Brown remains wary of their beleaguered opponents.

"They have good players who are long-term injured and they've lost players to suspension too but they have some capable lads there - Zeb Taia and Jeff Lima for example," Brown said.

"For the first 20 minutes they will rip into us and we will have to play well to give ourselves a good chance."

Wigan coach Shaun Wane is looking for a big improvement in his side's defence when they they seek a 13th consecutive Super League win over the Robins.

The reigning champions have won just one of their first three matches but Wane has influential skipper Sean O'Loughlin back and he is confident of being able to erase the defensive errors that proved costly in their 36-31 loss to Castleford Tigers on Sunday.

"I know we'll come good and come good soon," Wane said. "We've had a really positive review and highlighted a few small areas where we need to improve.

"That will make a huge difference to how we defend and that's the problem; we are leaking too many points.

"We're scoring more points than this time last year so the attack is not a problem but the opposition scoring 30-odd points is not acceptable."

Rovers, who have taken just a point from their first four matches, will give a debut to former Great Britain winger Ade Gardner following his arrival on loan from St Helens.

"He's just what we needed in terms of his experience and talk out on the pitch," said Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock.

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