MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 32-22 LEIGH LEOPARDS (ROUND 6)

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 32-22 LEIGH LEOPARDS (ROUND 6)

by | Mar 31, 2024

Ryan Brierley starred on his 300th career appearance, as Salford Red Devils beat Leigh Leopards on Rivals Round.

It’s now a fourth win in six Betfred Super League games to start 2024 for Paul Rowley’s side, who sit joint third with four other clubs.

Joe Mellor made his Red Devils debut, with Ollie Partington and Shane Wright also coming into the starting line-up for a highly-anticipated fixture between two entertaining teams.

Salford started on the front foot and earned the first chance of the game after Leopards half, Lachlan Lam was sent to the sin bin for a foul on Brierley.

There was a brief video referee check for a penalty-try, but that was waved away and Sneyd took the opportunity to knock over two points.

We were soon back, camped on the Leopards try-line and Brierley kickstarted his memorable night with a lovely dummy to slide over for his first of the season.

Mellor was the next to break through with a mazy run down the centre, but his chip and chase was thwarted by the Leigh backline, who gained possession and pushed upfield.

Their first real foray forward instant brought results when Kai O’Donnell was slipped through a gap to bare down on the try-line.

Brierley and Partington brought down the back-rower superbly, but a few tackles later, Umyla Hanley was the spare man to stroll over on the right.

As ever, the setback barely fazed the Salford spine, and they were all involved for a superb try just minutes later.

Sneyd dug into the line and flicked a perfect pass to Cade Cust, whose reverse pass was on the money for Brierley to charge through the line, step O’Brien and slide over.

It wasn’t long until we were over again, with Ethan Ryan scoring his first in Salford colours.

Sneyd was at the heart of the move, playing a well-executed cut-out pass to Lafai, whose tip allowed Ryan to step inside and crash over.

Just before the break, Brierley was sent to the bin for a foul on Hanley when the winger was looking to race through and try to ground Lam’s grubber kick.

Moylan – with just 20 seconds on the clock – decided to kick for goal and close the gap.

A big period after half-time may have ultimately been the difference. Some resilient defence repelled the Leopards and intelligent kicking from Sneyd going forward meant we completed high.

Brierley returned to the field and Salford got back on the front foot.

After probing for a few tackles, Partington’s charging run caused chaos, and his offload somehow found Sneyd yards from the line to scurry over.

Two tries in quick succession for Leigh followed, with Lam supporting Ed Chamberlain for one and Hanley linking up with Moylan for the other, but Salford would soon wrap up proceedings with our fifth try of the night.

Sneyd’s high bomb was claimed by Ryan and he dived over for a brace of his own.

Hanley secured his hat-trick late-on for the Leopards, but it wasn’t enough to worry the hosts, who ran the clock down and celebrated another big two points in front of the Salford faithful.

MATCH FACTS:

Salford line-up: Ryan Brierley, Ethan Ryan, Nene Macdonald, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Cade Cust, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Joe Mellor, Shane Wright, Kallum Watkins, Sam Stone, Oliver Partington.

Interchanges: Amir Bourouh, King Vuniyayawa, Chris Atkin, Joe Shorrocks.

Tries: Ryan Brierley (2), Ethan Ryan (2), Marc Sneyd.

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (6/6)

Leigh Leopards line-up: Gaz O’Brien, Umyla Hanley, Zak Hardaker, Ed Chamberlain, Josh Charnley, Matt Moylan, Lachlan Lam, Dan Norman, Brad Dwyer, Robbie Mulhern, Kai O’Donnell, Jack Hughes, Owen Trout.

Interchanges: Matt Davis, Ben Nakubuwai, Ben McNamara, Lewis Baxter.

Tries: Umyla Hanley (3), Lachlan Lam.

Conversions: Matt Moylan (3/5)

HT: 20-6

Photo credit: Steve McCormick & James Giblin.

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