Salford Red Devils were beaten 16-26 by Huddersfield Giants in Round 7 of the Betfred Super League.
In what seemed like a constant arm-wrestle, Ian Watson’s men took their opportunities when presented and scored tries in crucial stages of the game.
The Red Devils were clearly up for the fight and started to get the ball moving through the hands from the very beginning – Brodie Croft looking the most dangerous.
Matt Costello – back in the team at centre – almost created the first break of the game when he intercepted the ball on halfway; but our number 24 just couldn’t keep hold of it and the referee called a knock-on.
As expected, the Giants were persistent and structured in possession, with Joe Burgess getting us out of trouble on the 5th minute with a wonderful collect and carry downfield.
Both sides were trading sets, but it was Salford’s first mistake of the game that handed the visitors the lead. Jack Ormondroyd’s pass was loose and when Marc Sneyd tried to flick it on, the ball ricocheted into the path of Ashton Golding to collect and stroll over unopposed.
Huddersfield continued to apply the pressure when Danny Addy was penalised for a late hit, but some solid defence handed Salford the opportunity to build – albeit from their own 20.
Croft again – the architect of a lot of great play this afternoon – made a break down the centre and tried to find his man in support, but Chris McQueen spotted the pass and his interception put the Red Devils in trouble.
Despite managing to stop the rampaging second-rower, Salford were penalised for offside on the next play and Oliver Russell opted to kick for two from just 25 metres out.
Paul Rowley’s side were struggling to build any momentum, but some quick and incisive play forced a six-again – and they took full advantage.
After being denied on the left edge, Salford worked it through the hands before Shane Wright spotted a gap on the right edge to power over.
Burgess was forced off with a rib injury just before the break and Kevin Naiqama made Salford pay with a quick dash through the centre. He had Owen Trout in support, who had the easy task of collecting and sliding under the sticks, with Russell adding the extras.
HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 6-14 Huddersfield Giants
The Red Devils were completing high throughout the 80 minutes and playing some good stuff when they got towards the Giants line.
Salford created numbers on the left and Costello – who had switched to the wing since Burgess’ injury – acrobatically finished in the corner.
Despite Sneyd hitting the post with his conversion attempt, that brought Salford within four points and they were straight away back on the attack.
A back-and-forth next ten minutes ended with the hosts penalised for offside on own 10 metre line, meaning Russell had the opportunity to kick for two and extend Huddersfield’s advantage to six.
The momentum quickly shifted and Trout was in again for the Giants minutes later – strolling through a huge gap in Salford’s defence just right of the sticks.
It quickly became too steep a mountain for Salford and McQueen made sure of the victory when he latched onto a Naiqama offload in the right corner.
Kallum Watkins got a late consolation on the hooter, but it was too little, too late for the Red Devils, who now turn their attentions to Rivals Round next Saturday against Leigh Leopards.
You can buy tickets for that fixture HERE.
FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devis 16-26 Huddersfield Giants
Photo Credit: Steve McCormick