Rugby League: McRae's criticism riles Gregory

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The Independent Online
The Salford coach, Andy Gregory, has hit back at criticisms from St Helens' Shaun McRae after Saints' Stones Super League title hopes were buried at The Willows on Thursday.

McRae labelled Salford "a very ordinary side" after a 39-26 victory over Saints ended their hopes of retaining the championship, and also criticised the pitch and the facilities at the ground.

"He's naturally disappointed, because it looks as though they won't win the title this year, but I think Shaun will have woken up this morning and regretted some of the things he came out with," Gregory said yesterday.

"I think any neutral in the crowd would have had his own ideas over which side looked ordinary. I don't regard us as an ordinary side and we have worked very hard to get where we are," he said after Salford went into fourth place in the table.

"I admit our pitch isn't the best, but as for our facilities, he should remember that Salford spent two years in the First Division, without all the Super League money that he has had at his disposal.

"We haven't had money to throw around and I am not in the business of bankrupting my club."

Gregory said that the club had shrugged off McRae's outburst, which followed an admission from the Australian-born coach that Saints cannot now overtake the Bradford Bulls to retain their title.

"I remember going on tour with Great Britain in 1984 and everyone was talking about whinging Poms," Gregory said. "Well, it wasn't the Poms who were whinging last night. The tables seemed to have turned somehow."

Saints now have to regroup for their home match against Wigan on Monday, with Andy Northey added to their lengthening list of absentees following his four-match ban.

McRae has promised a shake-up following the sub-standard performance at Salford. "Too many players didn't fancy it until it was too late," he said. "There will be changes and there will be signings."

Also on Monday night, Andy Goodway will watch his new side for the first time as their coach when Paris St-Germain face the London Broncos.

Goodway will be without the former Perth Western Reds winger or centre, Paul Evans, for his first two matches in charge. Evans has been suspended after being sent off for a high tackle for the second time this season.