Paul Rowley believes his Salford Red Devils team got what they deserved from a fantastic 23-8 victory over Leeds Rhinos on Sunday afternoon.
In Round 12 of the Betfred Super League, the Red Devils came into the game knowing two crucial points were on offer against a side under new management. With the usual noisy The Salford Stadium crowd powering them on, Ken Sio and Joe Burgess got Salford off to a flying start with two quick tries.
Leeds responded through Ash Handley, but Andy Ackers capitalised on a neat Brodie Croft grubber kick minutes later to send his team into the interval with a healthy lead.
After a cagey start to the second-half, Marc Sneyd’s drop-goal exploded it into life, with Croft weaving his magic once more to send Ryan Brierley over in front of the South Stand.
Speaking to the press directly after the game, boss Paul Rowley was delighted that his team have the points they deserve after some impressive showings in recent weeks.
Rowley said: “We’ve had a few good performances lately, so it’s nice to convert the performances into points, and I think it’s nothing short of what we deserved after some clear progression at the club.
“We’ve had massive adversity this week with illness and Covid, so we had literally no more players to choose from and people shifted in and out. When it’s like that, I remember back as a player it’s difficult and you tell yourself you’re alright and you’ll get through it, but it’s difficult.
“But what it does say – and I’ve said it for the previous 12 rounds – that we’ve got a team with a great attitude, great character, and a fair bit of ability as well and I think that was on show in today’s result.”
Moving on to discuss Brodie Croft – Salford’s Man of the Match – Rowley says he’s not surprised to see the Aussie play so well and recalls a heroic piece of defending late in the game which denied Leeds a try at an important time in the game.
“Well, that sums him up. We’ve seen some great heroism over the weekend, you see the James Roby one and then you see the Brodie Croft one. But he was captain today because ET (Elijah Taylor) could barely speak with the flu – so Brodie took it and I thought he was excellent.
“But he’s been brilliant every week and I think he’s growing as a player – still a young player – and he’s finding what he’s about. I’ll give credit to the staff, particularly Kurt (Haggerty), who does a lot of work with Brodie and Sneyd.”
Next up for Rowley and Salford is the visit of Castleford Tigers on Friday. All the way back in Round 1, the Red Devils earned a sensational 16-26 victory at the Mend-A-Hos Jungle Stadium.