Salford Red Devils earned two crucial competition points against Hull FC this afternoon.
After a gruelling, high-scoring Betfred Challenge Cup clash with Huddersfield Giants, Paul Rowley’s side have had a week to recharge their batteries and return to Betfred Super League action against the Black and White’s.
One of our key returning personnel, Tim Lafai got us off to a great start when he forced Darnell McIntosh to knock-on around halfway.
However, despite a nice kick from Marc Sneyd on the last, the visitors went from coast-to-coast to open the scoring.
A three-man overlap on the left allowed Adam Swift make the dash down the touchline, where he had Jake Clifford in support to receive the ball and slide over.
Shaken, but not diverted by the early setback, Sneyd went to work with the boot and forced a drop-out when Tex Hoy batted the ball dead.
Some strong D on the next set forced a knock-on and it proved to be a pivotal penalty for the Red Devils.
Sneyd, with some nice work in the middle, slipped in Tyler Dupree, who made no mistake with a powerful run, leaving three FC defenders on the floor, to crash over.
Our number seven added the extras and we looked in prime position to wrestle the momentum in our favour.
Sam Stone lost possession on our own 20 not long after the restart, however, and handed Hull the chance to build an attack.
Jake Trueman spotted a gap in the Salford line on the right, spun past his man and strolled over.
Rowley’s rung the changes and the fresh legs of Jack Ormondroyd and Adam Sidlow powered us closer and closer towards the try line.
With 33 minutes on the clock, some quick hands and a neat grubber kick from Brodie Croft sat up nicely for Deon Cross to collect and slide over.
It was a crucial try in a crucial period of the game, but it got even better for Salford minutes later.
Sneyd – close to securing his 1000th career goal – produced yet another moment of excellence to send through a skidding grubber kick on halfway, in behind an off-guard FC defence.
Joe Burgess and Ryan Brierley were in pursuit, but it was our number one who turned on the afterburners to slam down the ball in front of the travelling fans.
HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 18-10 Hull FC
Tony Smith’s side returned for the second-half on the front foot and dragged themselves back into the game.
After a quick dash through the Salford line, Stone did really well to initially stop Trueman, but the same source whipped a nice ball out to McIntosh a few tackles later, who slid over in the right corner.
Our response to conceding tries throughout the contest was first class, and some good defending set the platform for another fantastic team try.
Deon Cross made the initial break with some nice footwork, but was stopped 30 metres out. A quick play-the-ball got us moving and Stone combined well with Sneyd to send the former under the sticks.
Back and forth the contest went, with former Red, Josh Griffin running a good line to receive the ball from Clifford and stroll over unopposed.
That try set-up a very tense ending to the contest, with both sides conceding errors.
But it was a knock-on the proved costly for Hull on their own 10 metre line.
A beautifully constructed move started with Sneyd digging into the line; allowing Croft the chance to fire a stunning pass over to the returning Ken Sio, who dived over in the right corner.
Sneyd was agonisingly wide with his conversion attempt, but minutes later, he made sure of the two points via a drop-goal, 25 metres out.
FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 29-22 Hull FC
Photo credit – Steve McCormick