Sports

Coronavirus will hit Salford's cup aspect

coronavirus-will-hit-salfords-cup-aspect

Last updated: 10/13/20, 9:15 p.m.

Salford's head coach Ian Watson is looking forward to a trip to Wembley this weekend

Salford coach Ian Watson admits he will most likely be forced to switch his Challenge Cup finals after the club was hit by coronavirus.

The Red Devils have received positive Covid-19 tests for two players and have had to resign two more players after their results proved inconclusive just four days after their Wembley showdown against Leeds.

Salford also said they had eight players eliminated due to injury, but the Super League game against Hull KR in Warrington, which the Red Devils lost 24-22, resumed Tuesday "to protect the integrity of the competition".

3:26 Krisnan Inu scored three tries when Challenge Cup finalist Salford beat Huddersfield at Headingley 12-0

Krisnan Inu scored three tries when Challenge Cup finalist Salford beat Huddersfield at Headingley 12-0

Salford canceled training sessions on both Sunday and Monday to prevent further spread. Watson says he's unlikely to organize contact training before Saturday's final.

Watson made hooker Connor Aspey a debut against Rovers, fielding just six members of his likely Wembley cast, with Krisnan Inu being a purposely unused replacement.

1:34 Salford head coach Ian Watson believes his dramatic 20:18 comeback win over Warrington in the Super League will be a good preparation for Saturday's Challenge Cup semifinals

Salford head coach Ian Watson believes his dramatic 20:18 comeback win over Warrington in the Super League will be a good preparation for Saturday's Challenge Cup semifinals

"Kris shouldn't be on the bench, and neither should Luke Yates," said Watson. "They both put their hands up to play. We had a small session this morning and a couple were injured.

"We've had a lot of disruptions. We haven't been able to train since last Thursday's game in Huddersfield and this should be one of the best weeks of their career.

"But no one complained. We had to have two days at home and we thought the game would have to be canceled but we rolled it out well and I can't speak highly enough about the guys at the club." Moment.

"It may affect the final team of the Challenge Cup now, but I am very confident that we will win there no matter which team we use."

Watson's patched side struggled back four times to end the match and had a chance to take the lead on his first appearance of the season after an attempt by winger Ed Chamberlain in the 77th minute.

But Chamberlain failed to implement his own attempt and Ellis kicked a penalty just before the end to stop the run with five wins.

"I thought we were great, the guys showed character," added Watson. "We almost got a win."

The win ended Rovers' run in five losses and was inspired by the presence of co-captain Mose Masoe, who played his first game since a serious injury in a January friendly.

2:10 Hull KR co-captain Mose Masoe stepped into Halliwell Jones Stadium to face Salford after his catastrophic injury nine months ago

Hull KR co-captain Mose Masoe stepped into Halliwell Jones Stadium to face Salford after his catastrophic injury nine months ago

"He's a real inspiration," said Smith. "All the boys love him. He has really impressed us this year and he continues to help us and influence us in the right way."

Smith announced that he, too, almost never made it into the game while waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test.

"I've changed my team four times since yesterday," he said. "I'm glad we won because I can say that these are difficult circumstances and none of the players involved and many of the staff do not mind."

"The team that trained on Sunday was none other than what you saw today. I wasn't sure I could come today. I was only cleared this morning."

0 Comments
Share

Steven Gregory