The Salford Red Devils got their Super 8 Qualifiers campaign off to the perfect start with a comprehensive 34-12 victory over the Huddersfield Giants.
Salford welcomed debutants Feleti Mateo and Luke Burgess into the side following their transfer deadline day arrival from Manley, and also welcomed back Justin Carney, who had missed the previous game through injury.
The Red Devils got off to a perfect start, George Griffin barged over from close range to open the scoring six minutes, with O’Brien converting from straight in front to give salford a 6-0 lead.
Just six minutes later and Salford were celebrating another try, Mason Caton-Brown continuing in his fine vein of form to score in the corner, O’Brien adding the two points with a trick conversion. O’Brien then converted a penalty to push Salford out to a 14-0 lead.
Huddersfield came back into the game and put Salford’s defence under huge pressure, but the Red Devils held firm, defending five repeat sets on their own line, and then clearing their lines with a penalty.
With two minutes left in the half Salford were over again, Weller Hauraki muscling his way through the Huddersfield defence to put Salford to a 20-0 lead at half time.
The second half started off in fast fashion with both teams looking to establish dominance, and it was the Red Devils who would be first to cross with Ben Murdoch-Masila crashing over to extend Salford’s lead to 24-0.
Huddersfield came back into the game with a try through Nathan Mason, who went in under the posts to get the visitors on the board.
The Giants scored again in quick succession, with Oliver Roberts scoring to put the Giants right back in the contest, with the score at 24-12 following the kick.
With the visitors looking to use the momentum from the two scores, Salford responded well, Mason Caton-Brown scoring his second of the game, beating the defence for pacing and scoring in the corner.
Caton-Brown soon completed his hat-trick, getting in behind the Giants line to extend the lead 34-12 following O’Brians successful kick.
The Red Devils saw the game out with ease to claim the win in the opening game of the Super 8 Qualifers, and take a good performance into next Saturdays local derby away to Leigh Centurions.
Final score: Salford Red Devils 32 Huddersfield Giants 12
Salford Red Devils Squad: O’brien, Carney, Sa’u. J.Griffin, Caton-Brown, Lui, Dobson, Kopczak, G.Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Mateo, Flanagan, Hauraki, Krasniqi, Kenny, Burgess
Try scorers: G.Griffin, Caton-Brown x3, Haruaki, Murdoch-Masila