Salford Red Devils 92 Widnes 0 Match Report
Whatever way you look at it, scoring ninety-two points in a single match is an incredible achievement. Even scoring eighty requires some doing. This latter tally works out at a point a minute, or to put it another way, one converted try every six minutes or one uncoverted try every four minutes, and when you factor in that attempted goalkicks, whether successful or not, take between two and three minutes each, that leaves precious little time left in which to achieve the requisite number, not to mention the periods, brief as they might be, when the opposition have had the ball.
When, therefore, you take account of the two additional scores needed for the remaining twelve points our players’ achievement was quite exceptional. True, the firm, dry conditions were favourable, but temperatures well over thirty degrees would have over-faced many a willing team. You have to be totally resolute to keep going in such heat.
True, also, that Widnes were missing a number of regular players, and were thereby a weakened side from the one which the Red Devils faced at Widnes, at the back-end of June. Not that you would have known that from their first foray into the Salford twenty area, shortly after Louise Fellingham had put Salford in front after collecting the ball on the bounce, from their first end-of-set kick, after only one minute, and then Demi Jones having kicked the goal.
For the next six minutes, though, the Reds were penned on their own line facing three full sets of six, as they were forced to concede two goal-line drop-outs, and if the visitors had been going to score a try, they needed to have done it at that point, because there were going to be few other opportinities.
Their kick over the try line, at the end of their third set was just a little too hard with the home side then regaining possession with a twenty-metre tap-restart, and almost immediately a clean break by centre Sade Rihari, who went just short of the remaining eighty before most unselfishly handing on to the supporting Taz Corcoran, who had been alongside her for the duration, to finish off the try, which Demi Jones again converted.
The fourth tackle of the next set saw Sarina Tamou break clear, slip the ball to Jones, who, in turn fed it to Brogan Evans, who scored wide out, but not too far out that Jones could not convert it to make the score 18-0, after only eleven minutes.
From that point on the floodgates opened, with tries coming thick and fast in the 21st, 24th, 28th, 33rd, and 37th minutes, to ring up a half time score of 50 points, and thereafter at fairly regular intervals throughout the second half. In all a total of sixteen tries was scored. Of those, two scores by Alex Simpson really stood out, the first being by means of a most classy run for a purely individual try, and then her finishing off some bewildering inter-passing with Rihari, in the build up to the second.
Jones, meanwhile, was in wonderful form with the boot, slotting the goalkicks over from all over the field to all but two attempts.
Far from being askance of such a high score, however, it is important not only to regard this as a victory over the opposition and the clock, but also a display of all the elements of character upon which the players had to draw in order to attain it: honesty, integrity, determination, resolve, dedication, commitment, togetherness, not to mention the talent of athleticism, all of which were prevalent throughout the encounter, and which are so abundant throughout the squad.
Now, they have a ten day break for them all to recuperate ahead of their home fixture against Hull FC, on Thurs 25th, prior to the equivalent men’s fixture later in the evening.
Tries: Ellison (4), Corcoran (3), Evans (2), Simpson (2), Fellingham, Kini, Rihari, Tamou, Jones
Goals: Jones (14)
Alex Simpson, Lauren Ellison, Sade Rihari, Brogan Evans, Eponine Fletcher, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Megan Condliffe, Tamzin Corcoran, Darcey Price, Helena Walker, Viki Kini, Sarina Tamou
Hannah Wicks, Abi Collins, Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor, Casey Naylor, Laura Bent, Gabrielle Chaplin
Sean Monks, Omaga Photography, for above photograph showing Alex Simpson in full flight for the first of her two tries