It’s time for a player review on our top try-scorer of 2017 – Niall Evalds.
Evalds has become a regular feature for the Red Devil’s in recent years but this year was his real breakout season with Evalds taking the Super League by storm with his speed, timing and footwork helping him cross for 15 tries in all competitions while playing in a variety of roles within the back line.
Niall’s first appearance of the season came at centre against Wigan in a 16-26 defeat on the opening weekend of the season. However, Evalds’ first game at full-back came in May against Wigan and what a performance the 24-year-old put in as he grabbed a brace in the Red Devils to their first win at Wigan for twenty years.
Evalds crossed for four more tries in May beginning at the Magic Weekend against Leigh before he also scored on the wing in a 50-12 battering of Catalans Dragons.
But, Evalds’ most memorable moment of the season surely came against Warrington in late May as the youngster scored a hat-trick at the Halliwell Jones Stadium; the Red Devils only hat-trick of the season. On the wing against the Wolves, Evalds’ three tries saw Salford race into a 32-6 lead over the 2016 Grand Finalists.
Despite losing in the Challenge Cup semi-final the breakout star enjoyed playing at the Halliwell Jones this season Evalds pulled off a magnificent last-ditch tackle on Joe Burgess to prevent Wigan going further ahead.
After making the number one spot his own heading into the Super 8s Evalds showed why scoring a terrific weaving try against Hull FC before also going over at the DW Stadium and in the Red Devils victory over Huddersfield.
There is no doubting Evalds will take his fine form in both attack and defence again in 2018 as he looks to continue to put his stamp down as one of the brightest young prospects in the Super League.
Niall Evalds was sponsored by The Dog and Patridge and Sounds of Salford throughout the 2017 season.
Niall Evalds’ 2017 Stats (All competitions)
Appearances: 23
Tries: 15
Fact: Niall scored two braces and Salford’s only hat-trick all away from home in 2017.
Niall Evalds’ 2017 in pictures