Salford Red Devils were at their stunning best against Castleford Tigers in Round 15 of the Betfred Super League.
The first ten minutes was a real arm wrestle for territory, with Ken Sio thwarting the danger on a few occasions with some nice cover play.
Paul McShane’s knock-on allowed us to build our first meaningful set and Marc Sneyd’s high bomb caused chaos in the left corner.
Miscommunication allowed Rhys Williams to steal a march, scoop up the loose ball and stroll over.
The Tigers hit back almost instantly when Jason QareQare intercepted a loose pass and raced away with open field.
It was a real end-to-end contest, but Sneyd’s kicking was causing a real issue for Gareth Widdop, who spilled another ball in the path of Sam Stone.
The back-rower shuffled across the line and flicked a pass to Chris Atkin, who powered past his marker and slid over to the left of the sticks.
Sneyd added the extras and the Red Devils were really clicking – particularly on the right edge.
Another lightening break – with Brodie Croft the architect – sent Deon Cross charging through the line. With Sio on his outside, the centre opted to go himself and sold Widdop with a sublime step 10 metres out for an easy stroll in.
The scoring did not stop there, with another move starting with Croft’s pass; this time into Brierley, who moved it quick to Cross, and then to Sio to dive over in the right corner.
Our defence – as it has been all season – was resolute and a particular highlight was a try-saver from Ryan Brierley, who raced back to deny Will Tate a certain try.
Cas got back into the contest just before the break, with a hopeful kick that Kenny Edwards nicked ahead of Croft to cut the deficit.
HALF-TIME: Castleford Tigers 10-24 Salford Red Devils
It was straight back to business after the interval, with Tim Lafai bringing back his trademark flick pass to set Williams away for his second of the night.
The hosts did try to test of defensive line, but another crucial tackle by Cross denied Tate on the left edge.
A couple of sets later, Sio intercepted a loose pass and sprinted 40 metres to extend our advantage.
It was relentless from Paul Rowley’s side and we were soon over again after some neat passing on the left edge.
Quick hands created the overload and Williams – on a hat-trick – unselfishly flicked the ball back to Lafai, who brushed off his man and slid over.
With the two points secure, Rowley rung the changes. Kallum Watkins, Sneyd and Brierley were all afforded rests, but that did not stop the slick attacking play.
Quick, incisive passing across the line ended with Croft digging into the line and releasing Stone to run in another well-worked Salford try.
The full-time hooter signalled another two points for the Red Devils that takes them joint top of the Super League table.
FULL-TIME: Castleford Tigers 10-42 Salford Red Devils
Photo credit: Matthew Merrick