Salford Red Devils started the 2022 Betfred Super League season with a 26-16 victory away to Castleford Tigers tonight.
Tipped for a top-four finish this year, the Tigers tested Paul Rowley’s men. However, a strong defensive effort from Salford, along with the consistency of Marc Sneyd’s kicking, was the difference as the Red Devils left the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with the two points.
Salford took a 2-point lead in the 12th minute after receiving a penalty and opting for the two – Man of the Match Sneyd with the successful conversion.
Former Red George Griffin was the first try scorer of the evening though, putting the hosts in front in the 18th minute after powering over to the right of the sticks.
Salford responded a few minutes later and who else could it be but 2021’s Betfred Super League top try scorer, Ken Sio, to open pick up Salford’s first try of the 2022 campaign.
After a break from Joe Burgess down the left, Castleford were on the back foot and had left plenty of gaps in their line. The Red Devils worked the ball right and Sio was able to dive over in the right corner.
On the half-hour mark, another former Red in Derrell Olpherts strolled over down the left flank.
Inside the last four minutes of the first forty, both King Vuniyayawa and Deon Cross went over for their first competitive tries for Salford and Castleford’s Bureta Faraimo saw yellow just before the half-time hooter.
Half-time: Castleford Tigers 10-20 Salford Red Devils
The second forty was all about the defence and keeping control of the arm wrestle for Rowley’s men, who despite not scoring another try for the rest of the game, were able to extend their lead through penalty conversions.
Not before Olpherts doubled his try tally for the evening first, diving over in the left corner to cut Salford’s lead to four points.
Two successful penalties conversions just before the hour-mark, and one with eight minutes to go, edged Salford further in front, who were able to keep hold of the lead and take the two points home in what was a hard-earned victory in front of over 10,500 fans.
Full-time: Castleford Tigers 16-26 Salford Red Devils
Castleford: Evalds, Faraimo, Mamo, Fonua, Olpherts, Trueman, Richardson, Smith, McShane, Griffin, Edwards, Sutcliffe, Westerman, Turner, Watts, Lawler, Matagi.
Salford: Brierley, Sio, Lafai, Cross, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Akauola, Ackers, Burke, Wright, Greenwood, Taylor, Addy, Vuniyayawa, Costello, Luckley.
Castleford tries: Griffin (18′), Olpherts (30′, 50′)
Castleford goals: Richardson (2/3)
Salford tries: Sio (24′), Vuniyayawa (36′), Cross (38′)
Salford goals: Sneyd (7/7)
Referee: Tom Grant
Image credit: Steve McCormick