Salford Red Devils earned a hard-fought two points against Castleford Tigers in Round 9 of the Betfred Super League.
Paul Rowley’s side were buoyed by Rivals Round success against Leigh Leopards last Saturday, but were made to work hard for the two points this evening.
The visitors started proceedings on the front foot and when Marc Sneyd was penalised for a high tackle, Gareth Widdop found Greg Eden on the left for an easy stroll over.
Salford responded well and picked up the pace in possession. Sneyd’s kick on the last deflected off a Castleford player and earned us a set 20 metres out, with a some clever passing nearly sending us over on multiple occasions.
The Fords were a tough outfit to break down all evening and threatened the Salford backline with some high kicking.
One in particular forced Joe Burgess to collect under immense pressure, but the winger claimed the ball well and made some valuable metres upfield.
Salford went close on 24 minutes when Sneyd collected a loose ball, but despite seeming to ground the ball, the ricochet came off our number seven and the on-field referee – alongside the video referee – gave no try,
The same source created Salford’s next opportunity a few minutes later. Greg Eden dropped a high bomb on the last and gave us another set from just 10 metres out.
Sneyd delayed his pass beautifully to release Joe Burgess on the left flank, but Niall Evalds recovered well at the last second to crash our number five out of touch.
That meant there was more defending to do on our own line, but we did it well and scored a try moments later, in typical Rowley style.
Kallum Watkins picked out Ryan Brierley on the wing with a magnificent offload and set our number one racing away.
He had the galloping Brodie Croft in support and Brierley’s deft grubber kick sat perfectly for the Aussie to collect and stroll under the posts.
Sneyd brought us level with the boot.
HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 6-6 Castleford Tigers
We came out for the second-half with a fresh energy and almost capitalised on a Castleford error, but a combination of Shane Wright, Chris Atkin and Sam Stone just couldn’t ground the ball – with the video referee, once again, confirming the on-field call.
The Red Devils still had to be solid in defence and some neat skill from Brierley from his own in-goal area avoided a drop-out on 54 minutes.
It was that very effort – alongside a few penalties – that gained valuable territory and led to our second try of the night.
Six again was called and Salford took advantage in some style, with Wright continuing his red-hot scoring streak in front of the South Stand.
The second-rower received Sneyd’s short pass and crashed over to the right of the sticks – with Sneyd adding the extras.
The next phase of the game was a real arm wrestle, with no side really making much progress downfield.
Gareth Widdop threatened with a break down the right, but Stone made a superb tackle to halt the Cas halfback and we saw out the remaining set on our own try line.
Sneyd kicked another two points via a penalty-goal with 10 minutes to go and that felt like Salford had done just enough to earn the two points.
A few half-breaks from both sides in the last period were halted by some good defence and the full-time hooter signalled back-to-back Super League wins for the Red Devils.
FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 14-6 Castleford Tigers
Photo credit: Steve McCormick