Salford Red Devils started the 2019 Betfred Super League season in sensational style with a dominant 14-34 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Niall Evalds would score a hat-trick for Salford while debutant Ken Sio would also notch a double. Junior Sa’u opened the scoring for the Red Devils while Derrell Olpherts rounded off a fantastic performance.
Akuila Uate and Kruise Leeming scored the Huddersfield tries.
The Red Devils had a tough opening few minutes conceding a goal line drop-out which subsequently didn’t go the required ten metres. Huddersfield chose to kick at goal and Izaac Farrell gave the hosts a 2-0 lead after four minutes.
However, Salford slowly grew into the game and began to cause problems down the left-hand side which paid dividend when Sa’u powered his way over from close-range to give the Red Devils the lead. Lussick’s conversion went wide of the posts.
The first half saw Salford have the better of the opportunities however – ten minutes after scoring – Sa’u did need to leave the field due to an injury sustained crossing the line. Jansin Turgut would move into the centres and the move would prove inspired as he tipped on a neat Niall Evalds pass to give Ken Sio a try on debut.
It was Huddersfield who started the stronger after the break when Uate scored on his debut. Farrell converted to level the scores. But, ten minutes later, Lussick would add a penalty goal to restore Salford’s lead.
Regaining the advantage spurred the Red Devils on and Evalds would score twice in as many minutes. The full-back dummied and went through the Giants line before then collecting a Jansin Turgut grubber kick to double his tally in speedy fashion. Lussick converted one of the two conversion to give Salford a 12-point lead.
Salford continued to apply pressure to the Giants line and after two successive goal line drop-outs, Sio would score his second of the game after some nice link-up play from Jackson Hastings and Evalds. Sio converted his own try.
Evalds would complete his hat-trick in the final ten minutes as he again threw a lovely dummy and ghosted through the Huddersfield defence. Kruise Leeming did cross for Huddersfield but it was Salford who had the last laugh as Olpherts would take advantage of a string of errors from the Giants to score with the last touch of the game.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, McIntosh, Turner, Wardle, Uate; Farrell, Frawley; English, O’Brien, Matagi, Roberts, Mellor, Lawrence.
Interchanges: Leeming, Ikahihifo, Walne, Hewitt.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Sio; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Griffin, Nakubuwai, Burke, Tomkins.
Huddersfield Tries: Uate (43’), Leeming (77’).
Huddersfield Goals: Farrell (4’, 44′, 78′).
Salford Tries: Sa’u (13’), Sio (34’, 70’), Evalds (54’, 57’, 73), Olpherts (80’).
Salford Goals: Lussick (51’, 55’), Sio (71’),
Referee: Liam Moore.