Updated: Tuesday, 25th February 2020 @ 8:29pm

Salford City Reds travel to Hull KR without Matty Smith as search for playoff finish continues

Salford City Reds travel to Hull KR without Matty Smith as search for playoff finish continues

By Ben Burrows

Salford City Reds face a crunch clash with Hull KR as they begin life without scrumhalf Matty Smith today.

The 24-year-old England international signed for Wigan Warriors on Friday leaving a big hole in Reds’ potent backline.

Despite the loss of Smith second row Luke Adamson believe the coaching team of Phil Veivers and Sean Long can take the club forward.

“Given the right resources, Phil and Sean can really take this club places, I am totally convinced of that,” he said.

“The future is bright. We have really come on this season and there is no reason why we cannot keep working towards becoming an established top-four club.

“This is the long-term goal and I feel it is attainable. Both Phil and Sean have really impressed me, standards have risen right across the board.

“I know the word potential has often been used in the past regarding Salford, this time, though, things are looking up and we are heading in the right direction.

Reds have been one of the highest scorers in the competition and Adamson is keen to point to the contribution of Reds’ pair of jet-heeled wingers.

“We have two of the best wingers in the entire competition in Jodie Broughton and Danny Williams. They have both been in superb form and have been scoring some outstanding tries.

“This is the catalyst for the high number of excellent tries we have been scoring this season.”

Hull KR have had an up and down 2012 season so far which has left them sitting just outside the playoffs in ninth.

Craig Sandercock has been blighted with injury problems all season and has been unable to field a settled lineup throughout the campaign.

And preparations for Sunday’s match at MS3 Craven Park haven’t been helped with three of Sandercock’s players having already played midweek.

Scott Taylor, Con Mika and Lincoln Withers all played a part in the Exiles 32-20 win over England on Wednesday but Sandercock is forced into selecting them again due to injuries.

“I have no reservations about playing all three of them on Sunday,” he said.

“We need them. If we were travelling comfortably in the top four it might have been a different story,” he added. “But we need all hands on deck considering the injuries we have.

“If they can get through this weekend, they have the following weekend off as it's the Challenge Cup semi-finals,” he said. “They have to get through as best they can, but they have looked after themselves well.”

Reds must close the six point gap on eighth placed Bradford Bulls if they are to have any chance of competing in the end of season playoffs and will see Sunday’s clash as the ideal opportunity.

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