Salford Red Devils full-back Gareth O’Brien couldn’t have come into the 2017 season on a bigger high than slotting that infamous one-pointer at the KCOM Craven Park to secure the Red Devils Super League status in the most dramatic of fashion.
O’Brien earned a regular place in the side for the majority of the year with O’Brien actually scoring points in 16 of his opening 17 appearances of the 2017 season. Despite a lot of his points coming from the boot O’Brien crossed for a brace at the John Smith’s Stadium to guide the Red Devils to their first victory of the season in February.
The full-backs most memorable moment of the season – to no surprise – came in the form of a late match-winning drop-goal as Salford became the first side to defeat eventual Grand Finalists Castleford. O’Brien calmly slotted over a one-pointer with two minutes remaining to seal a 13-12 win at the The Salford Stadium in mid-March.
Often O’Brien’s point scoring hauls were the difference for the Red Devils with his four goals against former side Warrington earning a win in March, his six points being the margin of victory at Leigh in April and his seven-point tally being the difference between the Red Devils and Toronto Wolfpack in Round Five of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Towards the end of the regular season O’Brien and Niall Evalds both spent time at full-back with O’Brien wearing the number one shirt in wins over Leigh in Newcastle, Catalans, Warrington and Huddersfield.
O’Brien came on in the halves against Wigan in the Super 8s before making the stand-off position his own in the final three Super 8s games. A 52-14 victory against Huddersfield was the pick of his performances as the 25-year-old kicked eight goals and was involved in a handful of Salford’s eight tries.
The versatile drop-goal specialist will enter his third season with the Red Devils in 2018 and will be looking to hit the 400-point mark for Salford.
Gareth O’Brien was sponsored by Murray Metals throughout the 2017 season.
Gareth O’Brien’s 2017 Stats (All competitions)
Appearances: 28
Tries: 9
Goals: 45
Drop-Goals: 3
Points: 129
Fact – Gareth O’Brien is currently the highest points scorer in the Salford Red Devils squad with 345 points.
Gareth O’Brien’s 2017 in pictures: