Broughton salutes Ratchford
Salford winger Jodie Broughton is not sure of Stefan Ratchford's best position but hopes he remains at centre for the foreseeable future.
Broughton was the Reds' four-try hero of their 22-10 win over Catalan Dragons in Perpignan last Saturday but was quick to hand over the praise to the creative Ratchford.
Normally a half-back, the 22-year-old Ratchford was switched to the threequarters when Ashley Gibson became a late withdrawal from the side to play Hull KR a fortnight ago.
He was an instant hit in Salford's impressive 34-18 victory over the Robins and, after making another big impact in his makeshift role against the Dragons, is set to continue his partnership with Broughton against Crusaders at the Willows tonight.
"Stef was outstanding last week, as he has been all year," said the 23-year-old Broughton, who joined the club from Leeds 18 months ago after a loan spell with Hull.
"He set up the first try on a plate for me but I had to do a bit of finishing for the others.
"He's good at making play in the middle of the park with a lot of people around him but out wide, when he's in a one-on-one or a two-on-one, he creates so much space.
"I'm not sure if it's his permanent position but in the last couple of weeks it's worked pretty well."
Salford will be out to atone for their opening 42-12 defeat by the Crusaders at the Millennium Stadium.
While Iestyn Harris' men have lost all six matches since that seven-try triumph, the Reds have begun to put their game together after a slow start and will be aiming to make it three wins in a row for the first time since 2006.
"We struggled a bit early on but we played a lot of the big teams like St Helens, Wigan and Leeds which nobody expected us to beat," said Broughton.
"We're starting to gel now and we're looking to follow up last week's win with a third on the bounce. I think the last time Salford did that they reached the play-offs."
Crusaders are hoping the arrival of re-reinforcements from Australia can help them halt their dismal run.
Rhys Hanbury and Frank Winterstein, two regulars from the team that reached the play-offs last season, missed the first two months of the season after being stranded by visa delays but flew into the country this week along with new signing Hep Cahill and all three have been included in Harris' squad for tonight's game.
Cahill, a back row forward from Melbourne Storm, was signed to plug the gap caused by the transfer to Leeds of Weller Hauraki and Crusaders fans will be hoping he can make a similar impression to his fellow countryman.
"There is a little bit of expectation on my shoulders I guess," he said. "The boys have been geeing me up but I am trying not to look into it too much.
"It has been a while since I have played a game of rugby but I cannot wait to pull on the Crusaders jersey.
"Salford have been going good of late but it is important that the boys and myself just focus on our own performance.
"We've got a great squad of players with a lot of experience. We've got quite a few new faces so, once the boys start gelling, we will come good."