TONIGHT’S VISITORS Salford Red Devils will ride into Emerald Headingley on the crest of a wave of confidence, according to their assistant-coach Willie Poching.
Salford are the only unbeaten team in the Qualifiers, on a five-match winning run which began when they hammered Rhinos 38-22 at AJ Bell Stadium seven weeks ago and will secure Betfred Super League survival if they win tonight.
Poching, who played for Leeds and had a spell as assistant-coach there, said: “The boys have found some form and found some confidwnce and we are in a really good place at the moment.
“It is a nice position to be in, especially after the season we’ve had.”
Half-back Jackson Hastings made his debut in the home win over Rhinos and has been instrumental in Salford’s recent revival, but is suspended tonight along with ex-Leeds prop Luke Burgess.
“Jackson has had a big influence on us and he is going to be a big loss,” Poching admitted.
The boys have found some form and found some confidwnce and we are in a really good place at the moment. It is a nice position to be in, especially after the season we’ve had.Willie Poching
“But I think we are in a place where we are more than capable of covering for him now.
“I might not have been able to say that a couple of weeks ago.”
The win in July was only Salford’s third against Leeds during the summer era. They haven’t won at Headingley since 2009 and Poching said: “We’ve not spoken about it, but we know the club’s not won there in a while.
“We got our first win against them in a long time a few weeks ago, but the bigger picture for us is getting that one win, regardless of the opposition.
“We understand how tough Leeds are going to be; they’ll have a bit of confidence on the back of last week’s win. Any win in this competition is important, but getting one more is the big focus for us.”