Salford have made Super League much stronger - Robinson impressed by rise of Red Devils

By Patric Ridge 11 October 2019 6
Salford have made Super League much stronger - Robinson impressed by rise of Red Devils

Jason Robinson is delighted Salford Red Devils have progressed to the Super League Grand Final, even though it came at the expense of his former club.

Before going on to help England's rugby union side to World Cup glory in 2003, Robinson played league for Wigan Warriors for eight years between 1992 and 2000.

Robinson's old team finished second behind runaway league leaders St Helens in the regular season this year and defeated Salford in their first play-off match, though they lost second time around in a rematch against the Red Devils to miss out on a trip to Old Trafford.

The triumph sent Salford through to their first Grand Final, capping off a remarkable season for a squad widely tipped to finish in the bottom half of the table, and Robinson feels their success has the potential to spark more interest in the competition.

"Wigan will always be my team, but you give credit where it's due," said Robinson, speaking to Omnisport on behalf of Land Rover, Official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019.

"Salford were struggling, potentially going down. You don't have to listen to the noise. You just need the culture within a club, a team spirit which says you're going to do everything possible. Salford Reds are rising and then some, they're on a rocket at the moment.

"It's great to see. It has made Super League much stronger. Fans will follow success and we've seen that with Salford and they've delivered."

Robinson also believes Salford's inexperience of play-off rugby has made them even more dangerous, though acknowledged Saints - who are hunting a first title since 2014 - are big favourites for Saturday's decider.

"It's disappointing to see Wigan lose, but it looked like a simple factor - you could tell [Salford] wanted it more," Robinson added.

"Salford are not used to it, they haven't been in a Grand Final before. They were hungry for it, they were chasing everything. They deserve to be in the final and they'll know it'll take a massive effort to beat St Helens.

"[Saints] have been the form team, four times they've beaten Wigan this season. If Salford can do it for one more game, it's big. I just hope they can somehow find that again.

"It will be a new experience, being in front of 70,000 people at the Grand Final, but they'll have good support. The neutral will follow Salford."

Jackson Hastings has starred for Salford this season, with the 2019 Man of Steel to play his final game for the club this weekend ahead of moving to Wigan - a switch Robinson is delighted with.

"Hastings has been one of the driving forces, the way he's played this year has been phenomenal," Robinson said of the 23-year-old. "I played for years with Wigan and won nearly everything in the game, but not a Man of Steel.

"For him to be in that Salford team, one everybody had written off, playing the way he has been playing and now getting into a Grand Final. It's brilliant.

"They'll be gutted to be losing Hastings. Wigan will be disappointed to not get into the final but they'll be delighted to be getting him. His attitude as well, in every interview, he's very humble. The attitude off the field is getting the rewards on it."

 

Land Rover is the official Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019.  With over 20 years of heritage supporting rugby at all levels, Land Rover is celebrating what makes rugby, rugby. #LandRoverRugby

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