Huddersfield 28  Salford 30        Match Report

Salford Red Devils Reserves took over, on Saturday afternoon, where their senior counterparts had left off the night before, by doubling the number of wins over the Huddersfield Giants this weekend, and also running up back-to-back wins of their own – but only just.

There had been so much to admire in their performance, throughout the majority of the fixture, with the Salford forwards taking control from the outset, and the Reds opening the scoring with ease, from two early converted tries in the first twelve minutes.  This was in some respects unsurprising as they were able to field a much bigger and physically stronger side than in recent weeks, owing to the return from injury of a couple of senior players and the inclusion of two or three loan players from Swinton.

They even had a purple patch at the start of the second half, when they took the game completely away from the opposition to open up a twenty-point lead, which enabled their travelling fans to relax briefly before the game was turned on its head. 

Due, most likely, to inexperience of game-managing a winning lead, with ten minutes to go that lead had been halved, and shortly afterwards reduced to a mere six points.  Almost unbelievably, the final kick of the game was to become the deciding factor in the result.

It was as the result of a Giants’ error in the seventh minute that right winger, Dan Harrison, suddenly found himself in possession on his own twenty metre line with no-one in front of him.  He therefore did what all good wingers do, he pinned back his ears and sped the remaining length of the field down the touchline, holding off all pursuers to score wide out, but not too far out for Matty Rudd to commence his one hundred percent goal-scoring feat, which was to prove so crucial, at the final whistle.

If that had not shocked the home team to the core, conceding back-to-back tries so early on must surely have done so, when at the end of the very next set, the resultant end kick led to Scott Parnaby adding the second.

Just as it might have been thought that the visitors could score at will, their hosts galvanised themselves and, aided by their kick off being dropped close to the Salford try line and a rather foolish set-restart being given away, they had enough tackles in the bag to force an overlap on the right for a converted try to open their account.

Such was the Red Devils’ dominance, however, they were able to wipe out this setback with another try of their own.  An end-of-set chip and chase led to a penalty, which in turn led to Jordan Brown forcing his way over, between the posts.

Had they been able to carry this 6-18 lead into half time, it would have given them a three-score cushioning, but a dropped ball in their own half gave possession to the Giants, and they forced another overlap, this time on the left flank to bring the score to10-18, at the interval.

No-one could have hoped for a better start to the second half than the Red Devils got, with two tries in the first five minutes.  The first came as a result of pressure on the Giants, whilst in possession close to their own line.  The ball was lost backwards, and Amir Bourouh was first to get to it, followed by Owen Blackwood making it another pair of back-to-back score when he crossed between the posts to bring the score to 10-30.

It was on the 58th minute that the game changed so remarkably.  A Salford mix up on attack, in the Giants’ left hand corner, led to two back-to-back penalties, and the resultant sets of possession saw Huddersfield narrow the gap by four points. 

From then on, the game became more and more frustrating for the Reds as a total of five penalties in twenty minutes gave the home side a new lease of life, with further tries on the 70th, 72nd, and 79th minutes.  Fortunately, only the first of these was converted, and their final kick, which every Huddersfield fan on the ground was willing to go over, missed, and the relieved Salford players ran out winners.

Coach, Stuart Wilkinson, was pleased with the way his team had performed for the bulk of the game, and in particular the ferocity of their physicality both in attack and defence, but equally pleased with the win.  He felt that Amir Bourouh had been outstanding throughout, showing creativity, providing inspiration, and standing head and shoulders above everyone else on either side, whilst Joe Coop was continuing to show improvement week in week out.

Their last fixture of the regular season will come next week when they make the long journey to Humberside to take on Hull KR, where they could make it a hat-trick of wins with which to round off.

SALFORD

Billy Walkley, Daniel Harrison, Owen Blackwood, Joseph Coope- Franklin, Scott Egan, Matthew Rudd, Joseph Lowe, Leunbou Bardyel Wells, Amir Bourouh, Matthew Unsworth, John Hutchings, Scott Parnaby, Rhys Davies

Subsitutes

Jordan Brown, Jacob Lee, Charlie Glover, Kellen Wood

18th PLAYER – Mikey Gilligan

A magnificent second half performance proved to be decisive in the Red Devils registering their first win since their victory over Castleford, back in early June, when they proved far too strong and, equally so, able to adapt in defeating the Huddersfield Giants.

So often in recent weeks fans have left games feeling a little disappointed after slender half time leads have been eroded by opponents as the second forty minutes has passed.  Not so on this occasion, however, with the visitors going from strength to strength, as the game unfolded.

There will have been little surprise, one would suspect, in the Salford ranks at this, with the strongest starting seventeen they have been able to field since the early rounds of the season, and only long-term absentee, Shane Wright, who would undoubtedly have claimed a spot in the team if fit, missing out.

From the very outset there was a sheer determination evident throughout the visitors’ ranks and they totally dominated the opening exchanges, with Huddersfield being put on the back foot throughout this period.  Indeed, Salford did cross for a couple of would-be tries, both of which were chalked off by referee, Liam Moore, and much against the run of play, it was the Giants who opened the scoring on 17 minutes, with a converted try.

This merely served to stiffen the Reds’ resolve, and, within three minute, they had erased it by means of Ryan Brierley’s steaming onto Brodie Croft’s impeccably delayed/timed pass to go over to the right of the posts, and although Huddersfield restored their lead by two points, it was incredible footwork from Sam Stone, following a great break by Andy Ackers, that put the Red Devils in front for the first time, on 32 minutes.

No-one was getting overly optimistic at half time, with the score line being one of the slenderest of recent weeks.  But the mood of the Salford players was unmistakable as they resumed for the second half, and with good reason: that fifteen minutes in the dressing room had determined a total change of tactics, which was to prove to be the undoing of their hosts, who had clearly done their homework on how to defend against Salford’s wide expansive handling moves.

This had proved to be quite effective in the first half, limiting the Reds to only their two tries.  The second half was to be quite different, however, with the boot of Marc Sneyd taking over.  Not only did he succeed with converting all of their five try total together with a late penalty after the hooter had gone, his tactical kicking opened up the home defence again and again.

The first came as early as the 42nd minute when a high kick was allowed to bounce and resulted in Ackers adding a second kick overhead for Stone to completely rock the Giants by grounding the ball a split second before it would have gone dead.

Not every kick brought a try but invariably brought rewards of a different variety, such as goal-line drop-outs, knock ons, and good field position.  One further one, though, did, with Ken Sio grounding in the corner for his long-awaited hundredth Super League try, while Chris Atkin put the icing on the cake after Kallum Watkins and Deon Cross had reminded us of just how good the Reds can be with ball in hand.

What will probably have pleased the coaching staff particularly was the fact that they conceded not a single point after the interval and the Giants had to be content with their one solitary try and couple of goals from the first forty.  Not that they did not come close on a couple of occasions, but the Salford defence was equal to each, with last ditch tackles denying them when it looked for all the world that they would score.

So the drought of league points has been brought to an end, and this could be just the victory that will ultimately prove to be the one which turns the season around.  It was certainly one of their best all round performances and for the full eighty minutes.

Salford Red Devils produced arguably their best all-round performance of the season in a 8-32 victory over Huddersfield Giants.

Travelling to face a direct playoff rival after seven successive defeats was always going to be a tricky test, but Paul Rowley’s side were outstanding in all areas of the field.

Ryan Brierley and Brodie Croft forced an early drop out with a nice chase.

A promising move – involving the same pair – nearly opened the scoring, but the referee pulled play back for an obstruction.

Our metres through the middle caused Huddersfield a whole host of problems. Ken Sio, Joe Burgess and Brad Singleton all with charging runs push us upfield.

We had our chances to put points on the board, but it was the Giants who struck first, with Jake Bibby capitalising on a loose ball to slide over.

Oliver Russell added the two, but that was the only time they’d cross across the entire contest.

Salford responded instantly. Some slick play from Croft – a beautiful delayed pass – set Brierley away in front of the travelling faithful.

Russell scored a penalty-goal on the 30 minute mark after a high tackle, but Luke Yates’ loose carry allowed us a full set on the Giants’ line.

Sam Stone – who was outstanding across the contest – span away from his marker to stick out an arm and hand us a half-time lead.

HALF-TIME: Huddersfield Giants 8-12 Salford Red Devils

The first 10 minutes of the second period was a bit of an arm wrestle.

Huddersfield were certainly winning the territory battle, but a few handling errors were delaying any progress.

Their real, repeated pressure was elevated when Stone made a BIG tackle. A set later, Salford took control via the same source.

A high bomb on the last bounced to Kallum Watkins, who’s neat flick pass set Andy Ackers away.

An inventive kick skidded past Chris McQueen and Stone got his hands to the ball for his second of the night, at such a pivotal time.

It put the Red Devils firmly in the driving seat and what came next was a moment of history for a true modern day great.

When another neat, skidding grubber kick went racing into the right corner, there was only one man who was getting to that ball.

Sio slammed down to score number 77 in a Salford Red Devils shirt, and number 100 in Super League.

Two points were almost confirmed, but it still didn’t alter the effort and enthusiasm in defence.

Brierley and then Croft both made try-saving efforts in the right corner to deny Sam Halsall.

We transitioned defence into attack, with the champagne rugby we’ve seen so often under Rowley come to the fore once more. Watkins flicked a neat pass inside and Cross teed up Atkin for a stroll over.

One of the final plays of the game perhaps summed-up our dogged performance. Burgess stopped Esan Marsters in his tracks, with a whole host of Salford bodies flooding in to power the centre out of play.

With Connor kicking a drop-out, out on the full, Sneyd took the opportunity to nudge another two points onto the total, right on the hooter.

FULL-TIME: Huddersfield Giants 8-32 Salford Red Devils

Photo credit: Steve McCormick

It’s a fixture with huge playoff implications.

Salford Red Devils will make the trip across the Pennines to face an in-form Huddersfield Giants, at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Despite defeat to St Helens in their last fixture, a perfect July has propelled Ian Watson’s side right back into the playoff hunt.

A victory for the home side would bring them level with the Red Devils, but Paul Rowley and Co. will be looking to inflict revenge after losing to the Giants earlier this season.

We were boosted by the return of key personnel in our last outing. Skipper, Kallum Watkins, Tim Lafai and Marc Sneyd were all back in action, and have now had nearly a fortnight to rest and recover.

Here’s everything you need to know before this one…


SQUAD NEWS

For once, maybe all season, there is very limited changes to Paul Rowley’s 21-man squad.

Rhys Williams drops out, with Adam Sidlow returning to the fold after a minor injury concern.

Shane Wright and Alex Gerrard remain our long-term absentees.


ROWLEY’S PREVIEW

Speaking to the press before our Round 22 clash, Head Coach, Paul Rowley was asked about the debut of new signing, Brad Singleton.

He said: “I thought he had a really good debut. He’s been good on and off the field. He’s a honest lad and knows what tough, winning environments look like.

“He’s a great, experienced player to have in camp and they’re the type of guys the younger players learn from.

“They’re coaches within the team themselves because they’re leaders, they’re honest and a little bit old-school in many respects – so he’s been great!”

Catch everything our Head Coach had to say by clicking HERE!


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There is still time to join us at the John Smith’s Stadium this evening. Click HERE to buy tickets, with pay-on-the-day also still an option for travelling supporters.


The run-in is here!

Paul Rowley’s side are in the hunt for one of the final playoff places and the first of six crucial fixtures takes place tomorrow, against Huddersfield Giants.

As ever, spirits are high and everyone is ready for the challenge.

Check out some of our favourite snaps from Captain’s run this morning:


After a short break, Salford Red Devils will return to action with a trip to face Huddersfield Giants on Friday 18th August, at 7:45pm.

The game carries significance in so many ways.

Not only would a crucial two points overturn a recent run of poor form, it would also take two away from a direct playoff rival with the season ticking towards its conclusion.

Supporters may fondly remember our last visit to the John Smith’s Stadium.

Joe Burgess, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Brierley and Andy Ackers were all on the scoresheet as we nilled the Giants in a dominant playoff eliminator.

Tickets for this particular fixture are available NOW. Click HERE to secure your tickets!

The different price bands and a reminder of our ticket office opening times can be found below.

VARIANTPRICE
Adults£21
Over 65’s£16
Under 17’s£6
Junior season ticket holders£5
Under 5sFOC
CarerFOC (with paying ambulant/wheelchair disabled at £4)

Please note, ticket prices do raise by £4 on the day of the game.

Disabled supporters are charged at the appropriate rate and can be bought directly from our ticket office by calling 01617861570.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Salford Red Devils receive commission on all tickets pre-purchased from Salford Stadium and nothing from on the day sales, so we urge you to buy your tickets from us directly.

The one thing about cup ties, as far as we supporters are concerned, is not to be distracted by such aspects of the game as performances and winning or losing margins.  In a cup tie the only thing that matters is winning, because winning determines your whole future as far as that competition is concerned.

So, as far as last Saturday evening’s sixth round Challenge Cup tie, against the Huddersfield Giants, is concerned, the important thing is that Salford’s name went forward into the bag for the draw for the quarter-final.  That they might, possibly even should, have won by a bigger score, in the greater scheme of things matters not at all.  Huddersfield would have given anything to have had that very two-point winning scoreline be in their favour.

As a form of entertainment, however, you would have had to travel a considerable distance to witness anything as admirable and riveting, with both sides committed to wide, expansive, fast-flowing, open rugby, and each of them having their quite lengthy periods of dominance, in which to put their skills on display, with the most favourable of playing conditions assisting with this.

The switches in momentum, however, seemed, at times, to come completely out of the blue.  How many Salford supporters, for example, when the Giants, after twenty-five minutes, for the fourth time, kicked off after, on this occasion, Rhys Williams’s converted try, sat back expecting to enjoy an avalanche of Reds’ tries for the remainder of the half, and probably beyond?

And the next change after that did not even come, as we had all hoped, upon the second-half resumption, with the visitors, in fact, continuing where they had left off, by crossing for their fourth try, in the 45th minute.  Indeed, it was twelve minutes into the half before the Red Devils restored their dominance, for what we had all then expected to be the remainder of the match.

Those two spells, when things appeared to be going so well for the Red Devils were most reminiscent of last season, when one try just led, almost immediately in some cases, to another.  It is the hallmark of summer rugby – what was intended when the game changed season, back in 1995.  With the dry conditions, handling becomes easier and errors fewer, which is fine for the team in possession.  Back-to-back tries become far more commonplace.

It is, however, for the opposing side a quite thankless task, endeavouring to defend against the continuous onslaught of attacking plays, and sooner or later energy, to stem this, disappears.  Things then can only change when eventually possession becomes the prerogative of the other side, and they are in the position of calling all the shots.

It was two poor end-of-set kicks immediately after Williams’s try, the first of which went directly over the dead-ball line thus instigating a seven-tackle set bringing the Giants good field position.  The second came at the end of Salford’s subsequent set, which was collected on the half way line giving Huddersfield the opportunity to set up their first really threatening attack and gain the first of their tries which proved to be a tonic to the visitors.

Suddenly, the Red Devils found themselves defending against a team throwing the ball around, under the direction of Fages, in a similar manner to their own.  Defence against recent opponents has been on wet surfaces, which slows down the attack, meaning that the defence has that little more time to make its decisions.  The faster the game, the harder it is for defenders.

Thankfully, the half time interval kept eight of the Red Devils’ original twenty-four points intact to provide some cushioning for the second forty.  Having outscored the visitors by one try in the first half, it turned out to be Huddersfield who were to cross for the extra try in the second period.

Once they did regain control again, on fifty-two minutes, the Red Devils carried on from where they had left off in the second quarter, and once again built up a seemingly impregnable twenty-point lead with only fifteen minutes left.  It is generally accepted that eighteen points is insufficient a margin, at half time, to securely win the match, but anyone would have thought that twenty would have been more than sufficient, fifteen minutes from the end.

That thought seems to have been there in the Salford players’ minds, but most clearly was not in the minds of the Giants.  The Salford players must surely have believed that they could comfortably outscore their opponents, which they both did, and did not.

They did not because their seven-try feast was matched by their opponents.  It eventually came down to the one hundred percent goal-kicking fete of Marc Sneyd, whilst Huddersfield’s Connor fell short of that target, albeit by one, but that one attempt mattered greatly.

Salford Red Devils progressed to the next round of the Betfred Challenge Cup after a crazy night of rugby league at the Salford Stadium.

There’s always a buzz when the cup rolls into town, but supporters were treated to an absolute points-fest, with both defences leaking points at will.

The scoring began straight away, and it did not slow down from then on. King Vuniyayawa powered us forward with a strong carry and from the next tackle, some tidy combination play between Joe Burgess and Matt Costello sent the former over in the left corner.

Ryan Brierley was hit late in our next set from the restart and Marc Sneyd’s kick into the packed East Stand pushed us even further upfield. On the third tackle, Alex Gerrard was the man to spin his man and scurry over to the left of the sticks.

The next ten minutes were quiet on the scoring front, but we still continued to show our intent, with Costello and Brierley both forcing repeat sets with some dogged work on the last.

Like throughout the contest, we sprung into life close to the Giants line and lovely, deft grubber kick from Brodie Croft sent the skipper, Kallum Watkins charging through and extend our lead.

We were on fire, and a nice move just minutes later gave Rhys Williams the chance to bare down on the Huddersfield line. Our number 22, after a few shimmies inside and out, crashed over in the right corner.

Sneyd – who finished seven from seven with the boot – was adding to the Giants misery with a few pinpoint conversions from out wide.

But suddenly, the game flipped in an instant.

Sam Hewitt was the first to score for the Giants, running a good line, at the right time, to stroll under the sticks.

Salford were penalised for offside on their own try line just four minutes later and Luke Yates – who was a difference-maker off the bench – made the break to score again.

We attempted to refocus and rally back to our best in attack, but a nice move involving Costello, Burgess and Atkin ended with the referee pulling back the try for a forward pass.

From that set, former red, Jake Bibby closed the gap with a finish in the right corner, right on the half-time hooter.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 24-16 Huddersfield Giants

Paul Rowley’s side know they had to tighten-up in the second forty and were given another scare when Tui Lolohea kept the ball alive on the last. He released Yates, who broke through and score and bring the Giants within two.

Salford really needed a break and were afforded the field position when Brierley was hit high by Kevin Naiqama.

Sneyd sent a high bomb on the last and miscommunication in the Giants line allowed Burgess to grasp the loose ball in the right corner, with the simple task of touching down.

It was the same source who created the same problems for our next try – but this time in the opposite corner. Williams the happy recipient of a fumble to score his second of the night.

Our number seven – who really is Challenge Cup royalty – was at it again a few minutes later, but this time with his hands rather than his feet.

Deon Cross made a lovely break through the centre and offloaded to Sneyd, who had open grass ahead of him to charge through and score.

That may have looked like game set and match, but three tries in the final ten minutes for the Giants made it very, very nervy in the final minutes.

Lolohea was the first to cut the gap with a scoot from dummy-half, with Jake Connor quickly adding the extras.

Naiqama was the next when he used his electric speed to shimmy past the Salford line and slide over to the right of the sticks.

Yates – and Connor’s conversion – cut the gap to just two yet again when he bagged his third, but despite a late scare by Will Pryce, Salford clung on to their lead and a place in the quarter final.

FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 44-42 Huddersfield Giants

Photo credit – Steve McCormick

ICYMI: Our Betfred Challenge Cup clash against Huddersfield Giants will be streamed exclusively on Viaplay!

Nothings beats seeing the Entertainers live, but if you’re unable to join us at the Salford Stadium tomorrow, Viaplay have got you covered.

After tasting defeat in the last meeting between the two sides a few months ago, Paul Rowley’s men will looking to bounce back and reach the next round of the cup at the expense of some familiar faces.

We’ve enjoyed a positive to the regular season, but that’s all put on halt this Saturday as we battle for a spot in the quarter-final.

Here’s how you can watch the crunch clash:


How to watch Viaplay in the UK!

Sky

Customers signing up at www.viaplay.com can watch live this Saturday on Viaplay Sports 1, channel 412. New customers can subscribe from just £11.99 per month with no connection fee.

Viaplay customers on Sky will also receive free access to the Viaplay streaming service by registering here – https://viaplay.com/gb-en/premier-sports

Online Streaming Service (Web, iOS App, Android App)

www.viaplay.com – watch live online just £11.99 per month!

Virgin

Viaplay Sports channel 551. You can subscribe for £12.99 per month via the provider with no connection fee or minimum contract. Call 0845 840 7777 or set up viewing via box. (Press Home > Apps and Games > All Apps > TV Upgrades.)

Amazon Prime

Viaplay is available on Amazon from £14.99 per month for Prime customers. New customers can sign up here – https://rb.gy/cpmg3e

Samsung

Viaplay is available on Samsung from £14.99 per month. New customers can sign up directly on the Samsung platform.

Roku

Viaplay is available on Roku from £14.99 per month. New customers can sign up directly on the Roku platform.

Up for the cup!

Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils will begin their Betfred Challenge Cup adventure in 2023 by hosting Huddersfield Giants in Round 6.

Kids (under 16s) can come to the highly anticipated clash for just £1, with regular adult tickets priced at £10 and concessions (over 60s) £5.

Anyone wanting to sit in Upper West – in any price band – can secure their place for £35.

We want to create the best atmosphere possible to back the boys, so for this fixture, we will be only opening the West and East stands.

With our remaining Betfred Super League home fixtures already planned in advance, we feel that this Challenge Cup game is the perfect chance to attempt to recreate our famous Shed.

However, pleased be advised this is a seated area only.

Huddersfield Giants fans will be located in the North side of the West Stand.

Tickets for this fixture are available now – book your place and back the boys at the Salford Stadium by clicking HERE!

A reminder of our ticket office opening times can be found below…

After an early exit at the hands of Wigan Warriors last year, the team and management will be determined to make their mark and battle for a spot in the quarter final.

Everyone will remember the Red Devils reached the final of this competition in 2020. Inside an empty Covid-stricken Wembley Stadium, Luke Gale’s 76th minute drop-goal was the difference on a heartbreaking afternoon.

Salford have already faced the Giants at home this season; with Owen Trout scoring two for the visitors in a 16-26 victory.