MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 22-20 HULL FC (ROUND 16)

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 22-20 HULL FC (ROUND 16)

by | Jul 7, 2024

Some more Marc Sneyd magic and hard-fought defence secured a fourth consecutive Betfred Super League victory this afternoon.

Hull FC were in town for our first meeting with the Black & White’s in 2024, with Paul Rowley’s side looking to solidify their spot in the congested top six.

Ryan Brierley returned to the team after suffering an injury in early-June. Sam Stone and Chris Hankinson were also shifted into the centres following injuries to Tim Lafai and Nene Macdonald.

Both sides looked fired-up, but it was certainly a cagey affair in the opening exchanges.

Both Sneyd and Ben Reynolds were testing the opposing fullbacks with some swirling kicks, but Ryan Brierley and FC’s, Logan Moy were passing each test.

A few errors apiece, littered inside the first 25 minutes slowed down play, with Joe Mellor’s attempted short pass to King Vuniyayawa – spilled by the Fijian – the only real half-chance of note.

However, as has been the case throughout 2024, the Reds remained calm and eventually were the the first to get on the score board.

Slick hands from Chris Atkin found Brierley, who set Deon Cross away in the corner to continue his red-hot try-scoring form.

FC responded instantly; Cross dropped the restart and Sneyd’s attempted intercept gave the visitors another set of six just 10 out. Reynolds got ball in hand and spotted a gap to cross and stroll under the sticks.

That – and an easy conversion – handed Hull a two-point lead, but they would throw it away on the hooter after some inventive play from Brierley.

The fullback kicked in-behind and Cross was unable to chase to the bobbling ball; but in the build-up, Brierley was impeded by Tom Briscoe and the winger was sent to the bin before Sneyd levelled up the scores from the kicking tee.

Rowley’s Reds started the second forty on fire and made the man advantage count almost instantly.

Working the ball left, Sneyd chipped one up for the advancing Brierley – who had hunted the ball down – to contest in the air. His leap was timed perfectly and he twisted away from Moy to ground.

Salford pilled on the pressure and a marvellous 40-20 from Sneyd geared-up the Red Devils for a try opportunity.

A full set later, on the last, interference in the ruck awarded Salford a penalty. It would prove crucial in the end, with Joe Shorrocks expertly flicking an offload to create the numbers on the right edge, with Chris Hankinson scoring his third try of the season.

FC responded via Denive Balmforth, who scooted from dummy-half to power through a small gap in the Red Devils line.

It was a try that threatened to change the tide and Salford may have been rueing two missed chances just minutes later if Reynolds’ kicking was as good as everyone knows it can be.

A strong carry up the middle from Ollie Partington, and a neat offload set Brierley away. He stepped the fullback superbly, but lost his footing at the vital moment.

There was some reprieve, however, with another penalty allowing Sneyd to tag two more points onto Salford’s total.

The same source almost made sure of the points a minute later. Some nice work from Amir Bourouh created the chance and Sneyd stepped multiple FC defenders before attempted to crash over the line – bravely held up by Brad Fash, in the end.

Hull used that boost to gain some momentum and after a very fruitful set, a short grubber from Reynolds allowed Jordan Lane to collect and score.

A late shot on Ollie Partington gave Sneyd the option of adding another two points, which he took and turned out to be the decision that won Salford the game.

Lewis Martin crossed on the left wing for FC and Reynolds – from the touchline – dragged his conversion attempt wide to keep Salford two points ahead.

That was enough in the end and the Reds travel to the South of France next Saturday knowing another tough test awaits in this thrilling Super League season.

MATCH FACTS:

Salford line-up: Ryan Brierley, Ethan Ryan, Chris Hankinson, Deon Cross, Chris Atkin, Marc Sneyd, Brad Singleton, Joe Mellor, Shane Wright, Loghan Lewis, Sam Stone, Kallum Watkins, Ollie Partington.

Interchanges: Amir Bourouh, King Vuniyayawa, Gil Dudson. Joe Shorrocks

Tries: Deon Cross, Ryan Brierley, Chris Hankinson.

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (5/6)

Hull FC line-up: Logan Moy, Tom Briscoe, Carlos Tuimavave, Liam Sutcliffe, Lewis Martin, Jake Trueman, Ben Reynolds, Herman Ese’ese, Danny Houghton, Yusuf Aydin, Jordan Lane, Will Kirby, Ligi Sao

Interchanges: Brad Fish, Will Gardiner, Denive Balmforth, Tiaki Chan

Tries: Ben Reynolds, Denise Balmforth, Jordan Lane, Lewis Martin.

Conversions: Ben Reynolds (2/4)

HT: 6-6

Photo credit: Steve Gaunt

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