U19S TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FAIR-WEATHER CONDITIONS

Hull 14  Salford 44                            Match Report

We so often are forced to report of how poor weather and difficult playing conditions have prevented teams from delivering the best of performances, but Salford’s U19s turned that tale on its head, on Wednesday afternoon, by producing a top class performance to return form Hull with the most convincing of wins.

Visits to Humberside are seldom fruitful in terms of points scored, or victories won, but the buoyant Red Devils took advantage of the chance of showing just what they could do, with ball in hand, when the elements are on their side, to overcome the endeavours of their hosts by a clean thirty points.

Their ascendency and dominance had to be earned, however, for in the early stages there was little to choose between the teams, with both sides testing each other to the full.  Indeed, the Reds’ defence had to be at its best, during this period, to withstand the degree of pressure under which it was placed.   So much so, that Euan Hayes’s opening score was quickly countered by the Yorkshiremen, leaving only Jack Stevens’s conversion to separate the sides.

The Red Devils’ pack, however, had done so much, by then, to get on top, that it was only a matter of time before their lead was extended by Josh Wagstaffe’s converted try, and suddenly they were on a roll, with further tries taking the half time score to 4-22.

Try as they might, the home side, thereafter, were seldom in the hunt, as the Salford forwards continued to lay the platform from which the backs were able to produce some enterprising and enjoyable rugby.  When required to do so, however, their defensive effort was such that it not only repelled the attack with competence, it also forced a number of handling errors from the opposition which unsettled them even further.

And so the tries continued, into the second half, with Hull getting in on the act, with two of their own towards the end of the game, the second of which was converted, but by then the Reds had notched up forty points, and still added a final one in between the two from their hosts.

Coach Danny Barton, was, understandably, delighted with his charges, their attitude, their efforts, and the performance,

He summed it up, thus, “Hull is an extremely tough place to go, but the conditions were good, and both teams tried to take advantage of this by playing fast, open, rugby.  We just did it a little better than they did.

“I was particularly delighted with one try, in which the ball was swept beautifully along the line from right to left, with our winger, Myles Paul, crossing in the corner.  Everything in that move just came right, including the insertion of fullback, Nathan Connel, into the line, to provide the extra man.”

Next week, the U19s will be entering a team into the nine-aside competition, at Headingley, whilst April 20th will bring their final home match of the season against Furness Raiders.

Salford Scorers:

Tries: Euan Hayes, Josh Wagstaffe (2), Myles Paul, Jack Stevens, Ellis Kelly, Louis Lord, Nathan Connell

Goals: Jack Stevens (6)

BARROW A BRIDGE TOO FAR

Furness Raiders 24  Salford Red Devils 20                             Match Report

After three successive victories for the start to their season, Salford U19s found that, in every sense of the phrase, this fixture, up in the Furness area of Cumbria, was quite simply ‘a bridge too far’.

Those who have visited the former Lancashire outpost of Barrow, will have some sympathy with the young Red Devils, in full knowledge of how draining the journey there can be.  For the team, however, this was exacerbated by the sheer physical presence of their opponents, which, despite warnings from coach, Danny Barton, as to what to expect, came as something of a shock to their system, in the early stages of the encounter.

Matters were not helped by the fact that the squad was a little below full strength, with some notable absences, not least that of organiser-in-chief, Jack Stevens, as a result of an injury sustained the previous seek, at Hopwood Hall.  Danny was, nevertheless, most pleased with his half back pairing, as indeed he was, with the performance of his forward pack, which stood up to their physically superior opponents, manfully, with, Man of the Match, loose forward, Lucas Coan putting in a full eighty minutes of committed endeavour, in the middle.

Their task was made all the harder, though, by some careless errors in possession, which promptly led to further additional pressure on their try line.  Add to this, some poor defensive decisions out wide, at key moments, which allowed the home side in for tries, which might otherwise have been thwarted.

The home side were quick to press home their advantage when they crossed for the opening try, but despite all the odds being stacked against them, Salford responded well taking the lead when Josh Higgins crashed over, on this, his return to the side, following a lengthy lay-off with injury.  Jack Kenway continued from last week, to take on the goal-kicking responsibilities, landing the first of his two successful attempts.

The Raiders, however, quickly wreaked revenge with two further unconverted tries to open up a six-point gap in their favour, only for Salford centre, Louis Lord, to score two fine individual tries, either side of half time.

The first came as a result of good ball movement, including both passes and off-loads, to the right flank, where he employed some clever and tricky running skills to foil the opposition and cross, to bring the Red Devils to within two points, at 12-10, at half-time.

Momentum was now with Salford, and, in similar vein to his first score, Lord put them back in the lead, with Kenway extending it further to 12-16, only for Furness to repeat their first half comeback with two more tries of their own putting themselves in a commanding eight-point lead.

The never-say-die attitude of the Red Devils was, however, rewarded with possibly the best try of the match, as a break by Kenway, sixty-metres from the Raiders’ line, saw him off-load to his supporting colleagues on the right, before the ball ended up in the hands of substitute right-winger, Ellis Kelly, who scored in the corner.

Whilst it might have been disappointing for the Reds to have travelled all that way only to have lost to a bigger, stronger, and more powerful side, it is important to remember that it is only  by playing against teams and players at least as good or better than yourself that your own performance will improve.

SALFORD:

Nathan Connell, Myles Paul, Louis Lord, Josh Wagstaffe, Linden Taylor, Adam Tierney, Henry Moran, Euan Haynes, Will Fearnley, Johs Higgin, Jack Kenway, George Charnock. Lucas Coan

SUBSTITUTES:

Alec Walton, Billy Wadeson, Ellis Kelly, Marshall Yates, Noah Farr, Oliver Burgess

Next Week’s Home Fixture v Wakefield (A J Bell) KO 2pm

Salford Red Devils U19’s succumb to adverse weather conditions

The relentless driving rain, which had precipitated the relocation of the Salford U19s’ home game with Barrow, on Wednesday afternoon, continued to take its toll on the Red team of the Cat 3 squad, by producing playing conditions with which they found the utmost difficulty in coping.
With their own field at the A J Bell completely under water, it was only thanks to the great spirited assistance of our good friends at St Peter’s RC School, Manchester, who most willingly sprang to our rescue by loaning their 4G pitch for the purposes of our fulfilling the fixture.
“It was a tough day for everyone concerned, with us having to decamp to the other side of Manchester, which was a considerable task in itself, but we are extremely grateful to St Peter’s, and our good friend, Jim Dixon in particular, for coming to our aid, and at such short notice,” coach, Danny Barton recounts.
Just as all this had affected Danny, so, too, it will also have affected the players themselves, with the whole build up to the match being disrupted and consequently different to their normal procedures.
“Not only that, the conditions far from suited us, whilst Barrow found them ideal for the physical dominance of their pack to assert itself,” Danny assesses,
“For ourselves, we just have to put it down to another piece of the players’ development.  All I ask is that they stick to working at the processes we have been putting in place, and they will definitely benefit from doing so, as time goes on.”
The game was barely five minutes through, when the visitors swept in for two converted tries, but the Red Devils responded, with a try from hooker, Connor Aspey, who scooted through the defensive line from a play-the-ball, selling a neat dummy on the way.
Unfortunately, goal kicker, Connor Law, was unable to convert, and the Cumbrians proceeded to exploit their dominance by running in a further two tries before scrum half, Keiran Prescott, scored a fine individual try to pull back another four points, and bring the half time score to 24-8 in the visitors’ favour.
With first teamers, Rob Lui, Joey Lussick and  Jackson Hastings, having made the journey across Manchester to support the lads from the touchline, there were hopes that the Salford players would make a quick response, but the second half belonged entirely to Barrow, with their strong powerful forwards taking complete control and forcing their hosts into errors both with, and without, the ball.
Centre, Joe Lawlor, showed some outstanding defence and deservedly was acknowledged as man of the match for Salford.
Next week sees another home game for the Reds, when they play Hopwood, in a return fixture, following their early season, narrow, away defeat.  It will be an ideal test for the players to show how much they have learned and improved in the intervening couple of months.

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