RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL FC

After the excitement of several recent games, Salford supporters must surely be becoming used to being kept on the edge of their seats with the closely run encounters that have become almost regular occurrences, at least at the Salford Stadium.

From the Golden Point extra time victory over Wakefield, back in March, to last week’s progression to the next round of the Challenge Cup at the expense of Huddersfield when time was really the Red Devils’ greatest ally, the Salford players have had to hang on in, on a number of occasions, and this weekend’s clinching of the double over Hull was of very similar ilk.

The major issue nowadays is that the Reds are quite regularly winning this sort of game, which has not been the case on so many previous occasions, and that is something worth celebrating in itself.

Once again, on Sunday afternoon there were many teeth-clenching moments, particularly as the last quarter of the game wore on, because the visitors had shown themselves quite capable of scoring when they had the opportunity.  Indeed, they had done so as early as the fourth minute, when they broke from deep in their own half to go the remaining length of the field with impressive handling and support play, to score in manner reminiscent of many a Salford try.

And thereby possibly hangs the reason for the closeness of so many matches.  It would seem that a number of other sides, for whom wide expansive rugby has hitherto been kept to a premium, are now chancing their arm by embracing this style of attacking play to suit their own strengths.  Such slick, well-rehearsed ploys are extremely difficult to defend against, as Super League teams in abundance discovered last season, and now the Red Devils are having to contend with such, themselves.

There is no gainsaying the originals, however, as Salford players continue to increase their armoury with even more options, as shown by their third and possibly decisive try, three minutes before the interval.  That final spell of ten minutes had proved to be a purple patch for the home side, when they overturned the second of two, Hull, four-point leads both of which they held for eleven minutes, this one being with a scoreline of 6-10.

A number of repeated, short sets then enabled the Red Devils to build pressure before a Brodie Croft kick-through was taken by Deon Cross for a converted try, which restored their dominance.  It was their second score of this period, however, which, for we spectators, stood out from everything else.  What we saw was a seventy-metre kick downfield, followed by a thrilling and closely contested chase.

What we had to reflect upon before appreciating it fully was the skill, talent and understanding among the players.  Few of us, probably, were expecting anything along these lines when the ball was passed to Marc Sneyd direct from the base of the scrum. Yet everyone of those involved knew exactly what was about to happen; everyone was on the same page.  With all of the defending Hull players lined up at the scrum, the opportunity was wide open for the attempt.

Our number seven’s kicking game is much admired, and feared, throughout the league, but to place the ball so impeccably for it to slow almost to a standstill between the Hull try and dead-ball lines from such a distance took incredible skill, not to mention hours of practice.

The undoubted strength of the Salford team is the pace they have in the backs, and it was the ability of the two chasers, Ryan Brierley and Joe Burgess both, to outpace the sole Hull covering defender, showed that off to the hilt.  Brierley it was, perhaps for some, surprisingly so, who was first to the ball, but it still needed grounding cleanly, and doing that at such speed required even more from the fullback.  It would have been so easy to have scotched the chance, going at such a pace.

That try, and how it came about, put a whole different perspective on the game, and on Salford’s ability to score from a variety of means.  Short, kick-chase tries often seem a little innocuous when compared to skilful handling moves and cleverly angled running.  The thrill and excitement, talent and skill, as a result of the distance involved in this one, however, made it comparable to any score, by whatever means.  It will certainly cause a few more headaches among opposing defences.

Being involved in so many close games is certainly honing the Red Devils’ talent for managing the game in the final quarter, and it is this, which, despite our anxieties in the stands, enables them to concentrate on nullifying their opponents’ further opportunities, something that they were far better at, this week, than the previous one.

Consequently, two second half tries kept them ahead, albeit on a couple of occasions by only two points, after a worrying start to the half, and then, after twice missing his first goalkicks in five games Sneyd calmly slotted over a drop-goal to give the side a two score cushioning, which kept them comfortable to the final whistle.

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 29-22 HULL FC (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 13)

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

MATCH PREVIEW – SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL FC (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 13)

It’s back to Betfred Super League action!

Just over a week after booking our place in the Challenge Cup quarter-final, attentions turn to our league campaign, where we welcome an in-form Hull FC to the Salford Stadium.

We travelled to face the same opposition in early March, where Paul Rowley’s side produced a stunning display to win 14-60 at the MKM.

Since that very day, Tony Smith and co have picked up the pace, and now sit just four points behind the Red Devils going into this weekend.

Here’s everything you need to know before this one…


SQUAD NEWS

Despite the huge loss of second-rower, Shane Wright not long ago, there was a triple – even quadruple – injury boost for Paul Rowley this week.

Andy Ackers returns to the 21-man after failing his HIA against St Helens a fortnight ago.

He is joined by Adam Sidlow. The prop started his second stint at the club in good form, but a muscle injury against Wigan Warriors halted his progress. His return will be a welcome boost for such a depleted forward pack.

The two other big returnees are the Samoan duo of Tim Lafai and Ken Sio.

Both have struggled for fitness and spent a significant amount of time for the sidelines. Lafai in particular has suffered a few muscle problems, but both are back and raring to go against FC.


INU’S PREVIEW

Assistant Coach, Krisnan Inu spoke to the media ahead of this one, with the recent contract extension of Chris Atkin top of the agenda.

“Chris has been awesome since he’s come to the club,” Inu began.

“I was fortunate to play alongside him, so to see him progress in the manner that he has and the player that he is – like you said – he’s probably played every position on the field apart from front-row.

“He’s been awesome and a great signing for the club!”

Watch the press conference in full by clicking HERE!


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There is still time to join us at the Salford Stadium this afternoon.

Our ticket office will be open prior to kick-off, or you can click HERE to secure your place!


SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL FC TO BE INCLUSIVITY ROUND

We are delighted to reveal this Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash against Hull FC will be all about inclusivity.

In collaboration with the RFL’s ‘Rugby League Together’ campaign, there will be various activities on match day that shine a light on equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the club, and beyond.

Like most home games in 2023, Sunday will begin with the Women’s team taking to the Salford Stadium Community Field at 12:30pm.

Our incredible ladies earned promotion to Super League 2 just 12 months after their formation, and have started the campaign with a a win over Castleford Tigers.

They face Leigh Leopards in their second encounter and will look to continue making history in their first-ever home fixture as a Super League side.

From 1:30pm, there will also be LDSL activities taking place on the 3G pitch, next to the stadium; plus an opportunity to try out wheelchairs used buy our newly-formed team in the West Stand forecourt, prior to kick-off.

When the men’s team emerge from the tunnel for their highly-anticipated clash, there will be a 13 second pause to promote anti-discrimination in rugby league and beyond. We ask all supporters to join us by applauding alongside the players at this time.

As revealed earlier last week, the Round 13 clash will be streamed exclusively on Our League and you can find out more by clicking here.

If you’re unable to attend the game and are watching from home, you will also see moments of recognition at half-time for our PDRL, LDSL and wheelchair teams inside the stadium from their live feed.

Join us at the Salford Stadium and celebrate our inclusivity round by clicking here.

SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL FC – TICKET INFORMATION

Progression in the Betfred Challenge Cup means Hull KR await in the quarter-final.

However, it’s back to Super League business this weekend, with Tony Smith’s Hull FC the latest visitors to the Salford Stadium.

Back in March, Paul Rowley’s side romped to 14-60 victory over the Black and White’s at the MKM Stadium. There was some incredible team tries in that game, but the pick of the bunch was a full-length effort, finished off by Tim Lafai.

Tickets for this particular fixture are ON SALE NOW! Click HERE to secure your place now and join us at the Salford Stadium!

A reminder of our ticket office opening times can be found below:

SALFORD RED DEVILS VS HULL FC TO BE STREAMED ON OUR LEAGUE

Salford Red Devils and Hull FC, the two clubs who were groundbreakers for the first Betfred Super League fixture to be streamed on a pay-per-view basis on the Our League App, will again feature in match two, on Sunday, May 28th.

This time the fixture will be played at the Salford Stadium, where Paul Rowley’s Red Devils will be aiming to complete a double after their stunning 60-14 win at the MKM Stadium in March.

Whereas for Tony Smith’s Black and Whites, the match will provide an opportunity to confirm the subsequent improvement which has seen them win their last three fixtures.

Six-camera coverage will again be provided by In Touch Productions, led by Neville Smith, who drove Sky Sports’ pioneering coverage of Rugby League in the UK for two decades – and allowing the appointment of a video referee.

Fraser Dainton will be the commentator with RL legend Adrian Morley returning to home territory in Salford as the expert summariser.

Fans at home and abroad will be able to buy a live streaming pass for £4.95 in advance of the game – increasing to £10 on the day of the match.

To buy a live streaming pass, for £4.95 until midnight on Friday night and then £10 on Saturday, click Rugby League (rugby-league.com) – if you’re not already an Our League member, you can register on that link for free.

For more information on how to sign up to Our League – click Rugby League (rugby-league.com)

Our League was launched by the RFL in late 2017 as a free membership scheme for Rugby League supporters, and now has well over 250,000 members. It has offered content including Cup draws and live coverage of a wide range of matches including England men’s and women’s internationals.

However, nothing beats watching the Entertainers in person and a range of tickets are still available to buy by clicking HERE.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: HULL V SALFORD

Just over twelve months ago, in Round 3, after an encouraging, winning start to the ’22 season, the Salford Red Devils were brought down to earth with a bump by a comprehensive defeat at Hull, which consequently made it all the more gratifying to return there over this weekend, and repay them, and with considerable interest.

On the back of two disappointing defeats, both of which had been in encounters they could have won, their travelling faithful might have been forgiven for expecting something similar, as they made the journey over the Pennines, but, on this occasion their anxieties were to prove totally unfounded.

Although caught cold in the opening exchanges, with Hull scrum half, Clifford, deploying a show-and-go to cross for four points after just three minutes’ play, this proved a mere hiccup, as the Red Devils simply set-to to stamp their authority on the game, and within only three minutes they had actually got in front.

On only the second play from the restart, an incredible break by Marc Sneyd saw him hand on to the supporting Ryan Brierley who was stopped close to the left touchline fifteen metres out, and from his quick play-the-ball five pairs of hands propelled the ball to Deon Cross who grounded for the try, ten metres in from the right touchline. 

Sneyd’s successful conversion, from a highly similar position to Clifford’s earlier, failed attempt, put the visitors in front, and in that fifteen second period of play we had microcosm of what started to unfold as the game.

First, we had Sneyd’s unexpected, but telling break, which was to be the first of many he, in particular, and other play-makers, Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers and Chris Atkin made to wreak havoc in the home side’s defensive structures.  Indeed, Sneyd later turned this into a solo effort, when, in the 51st minute, he cut through from 15 metres out, to score under the posts.

Then we had the excellent support play of fullback, Brierley, in which he excels regularly, but to be joined in so doing, on this occasion, by many others to keep the second wave of attack in evidence and so frequently leading to tries.  He was soon among the try scorers, himself, as a result of getting alongside Croft, on the initial break, to score under the posts, in the eighteenth minute, crucially putting Salford three scores ahead, at 4-18.

Those five pairs of hands which accurately, and tellingly, got the ball to where the space was, on that first occasion, was to be replicated in many other attacks, and with such considerable variation in the form they each took, that the Hull defenders began to look completely bewildered by what was going on around them, seemingly unable to stem the flow of attacks and waves of tries which were mounting up.  Spectators could but marvel at the incredible display served up for their entertainment.

The fact that it was Cross, rather than Ken Sio, who got over for that first grounding was to herald something of a dearth of try-scoring opportunities, for both wingers, throughout the afternoon.  They contributed much in other aspects, however, particularly in diffusing high bombs to the corners and returning the ball up field on collection, without any errors.

As for the tries, so effective was the passing and support play throughout, that the try line presented itself to the inside strike players so quickly that it was the players just inside, who took the lions’ share, with Cross and co-centre, Tim Lafae each notching up a brace, as did second rower, Shane Wright.  Fellow second rower, Kallum Watkins, also crossed for one, on 45 mins. Lafae’s first, on 53 mins, must surely have ranked as the try of the game.

Finally, Salford went in front from that first try thanks to Sneyd’s accuracy with the boot, and this continued throughout the game, with his slotting over ten out of twelve shots, which compared most favourably with Hull’s solitary one from three.

Muted fears, during the interval, that the second half would see a turnaround in fortunes never materialised, for the simple reason that, unlike at Warrington where the Wolves received the ball direct from the second-half kick-off to generate some momentum, on Saturday it was the Red Devils who received it, and within fifty seconds had extended their lead even further, courtesy of Cross’s second try.

And so it continued for the following twenty minutes as their score was ramped up to fifty, but it was not only their attack which flourished.  They backed this up with some excellent defence, the highlight of which was the twenty-second minute, try-saving tackle by Sio and Brierley, both of whom seemed to fly across from nowhere to bundle Swift into touch, when he looked for all the world a certain scorer.

Hull just could not match the Reds in any of this.  Much has been said of their defence, and Tyler Dupree’s rampaging try, immediately after this incident, has been held up as evidence.  What this ignores, however, is that Tyler, most shrewdly, had picked a small gap to run at, and through, and the mismatch in size against other one-on-one challengers enabled him to brush them aside with ease.

So much, therefore, for the fans who had made the journey there, to revel in, on their return.  For the team, it was not only a return to winning ways, but also a return to the amazing form they had last shown in the final third of last season, and this coming Sunday’s visit from Wakefield gives them an opportunity to showcase their many skills to all their home fans.

MATCH REPORT – HULL FC 14-60 SALFORD RED DEVILS (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 4)

Salford Red Devils bounced back in style to convincingly beat Hull FC 14-60 in Round 4 of the Betfred Super League, at the MKM Stadium.

Paul Rowley’s side had been hampered by even more injury trouble during the week, with Oliver Partington and Joe Burgess the latest on the treatment table, but all 17-men contributed to a fine team performance this afternoon.

It was the hosts that opened the scoring on 3 minutes, with Jake Clifford spotting a gap on the left to squeeze between two Salford bodies and stretch over.

But from then onwards, the Red Devils took control.

A combination of Marc Sneyd and Ryan Brierley broke the FC line, with the latter stopped 10 metres out by Cam Scott. A quick play-the-ball allowed us to take advantage of the short numbers on the right, where Deon Cross was on hand to stroll over in the right corner.

One quickly became two minutes later. Following a set restart, Brodie Croft danced across the line to tee up his Aussie teammate, Shane Wright to bag his first of the season.

Croft was at it again for our next try; jinking his way through the Hull defence and slotting the supporting Brierley away to slide under the sticks.

Salford were in the groove, but the next try was caused by the brute strength of Tyler Dupree. Continuing his rich vain of form, the 23-year-old barged off multiple FC defenders and crashed over to extend our lead.

Wright was at it again just before the break. His acceleration caught the Hull defenders by surprise and there was no stopping our number 17 when he was charging towards the try-line – capping off an excellent first forty.

HALF-TIME: Hull FC 4-30 Salford Red Devils

Last week against Warrington, the Red Devils were caught out by some quick-fire tries just after the interval, but it was us who seized the initiative this time.

Croft – who was toying with the Hull defence at times – delayed his pass at just the right time for Cross to make the dart and stroll over unopposed.

Sneyd was the next on the scoresheet with a stunning, solo try. Dancing through the FC defence, our number seven left multiple bodies on the floor before diving over in front of the jubilant Salford supporters.

He then kicked the extras; one that brought up 1,000 career goals – a phenomenal achievement for a real Super League great.

It got even better shortly after. A superb team try, with Williams, Brierley and Sneyd all involved, allowed Lafai to stroll over in the left corner.

There were a pair of FC tries before the close, with Adam Swift intercepting and sprinting 80 metres and Brad Fash crashing under the posts.

But it was Salford who has the last laugh, with Lafai twisting and turning out of a challenge to stretch over.

FULL-TIME: Hull FC 14-60 Salford Red Devils

Photo credit: Steve McCormick

MATCH PREVIEW – HULL FC VS SALFORD RED DEVILS (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 4)

Round 4 of the Betfred Super League is here and Salford Red Devils travel to face Hull FC at the MKM Stadium.

Looking to bounce back from defeat at Warrington Wolves, Paul Rowley’s side have been hit by even more injury trouble, but spirits are high and they’ll being looking to bring home two competition points.

The Red Devils were at their thrilling best at times last Thursday, cutting through Daryl Powell’s side on countless occasions during the first 40.

Ellis Longstaff – on debut – and Marc Sneyd both got on the scoresheet, but it was Ryan Brierley’s try that really stood out. Ken Sio intercepted the ball and somehow kept his balance to tee up our number one, who charged 75 metres downfield to hand us the lead.

Warrington produced a second-half comeback, but much like our Round 2 defeat against Hull KR a week prior, there were plenty of positives for Rowley and his staff to take into this week.

Hull FC are the next challenge, with new addition, Tex Hoy, a player who has really caught the eye. The fullback has taken the Super League by storm in the opening three rounds and was awarded the Glens Vodka Player of the Month earlier this week.

Here’s everything you need to know surrounding our Round 4 meeting later today:

SQUAD NEWS

The Red Devils were hit with two further injury blows this week. Oliver Partington – nominated for February’s Player of the Month – has picked up a knee problem and Joe Burgess has picked up a shoulder knock – with both expected to be out for an extended period of time.

There is, however, the huge positive of Danny Addy slowly but surely returning to match fitness. The Scottish international has been out since early August with a ruptured Achilles, but he will no doubt be a huge boost to the team upon his return.

Adam Sidlow is in line to make his 100th Salford appearance, while Chris Atkin could make his 100th Super League appearance.

ROWLEY’S PREVIEW

Our Head Coach faced the press earlier this week to discuss a multitude of different topics – including facing a tough Hull FC side, the rise of Tyler Dupree and Oliver Partington’s form prior to his injury.

On our opposition, Rowley knows the threat they pose his side and picked out some individuals who could cause problems on Saturday afternoon.

“A big club, so they’ve got a good squad and some people who are playing really well. There’s some obvious threats like Brad Dwyer, Tex Hoy – people like that,” Rowley began.

He continued: “They’re certainly a club who are capable of being pretty damaging, we’ve seen that against Castleford – particularly in the first-half – and against Leeds. They’re a good club, with a coach who has had success in Super League over the years – one who I have played under myself.”

“They are definitely a dangerous opposition, who will have fantastic crowd in a good arena – so I’m looking forward to it.”

Watch the pre-match press conference in full by clicking below!

HOW TO BUY TICKETS

You can still join us at the MKM Stadium, with pay-on-the-day still an option for travelling supporters!

OUR LEAGUE STREAMING HULL FC VS SALFORD RED DEVILS ON SATURDAY

Salford Red Devils and Hull FC will break new ground for the Betfred Super League this Saturday afternoon (March 11th) when their Round 4 fixture is streamed live on the Our League app.

It will become the first ever pay-per-view streamed Super League fixture – making the action accessible to all supporters, in the UK and worldwide.

Fans will be able to buy a live streaming pass for £4.95 in advance of the game – increasing to £10 on the day of the match.

For more information on how to sign-up – click Rugby League (rugby-league.com)

Match coverage will start at 2.45pm, ahead of kick-off at 3pm at the MKM Stadium in Hull – and the match will have a video referee.

RL Commercial, in partnership with Sky Sports, have been working with the Betfred Super League clubs to identify several matches in the 2023 season to explore the potential audience for pay-per-view streaming.

Rhodri Jones, the RL Commercial Managing Director, said: “We’re excited by the potential of this first ever pay-per-view streaming fixture, to allow more supporters to watch an attractive match, and to generate more revenue for the clubs involved – and we are grateful to Hull FC, Salford Red Devils and our broadcast partners Sky Sports for making it possible.

“Pay-per-view streaming is a way of allowing more people to watch matches that are not currently televised, from wherever they are in the world – and the development of the Our League app over the last five years has provided Rugby League and the Betfred Super League with a great platform for that.”

Hull FC Chief Executive, James Clark, added: “We are entering a pivotal era for the sport where we must break new ground to raise the profile of the game and grow our fan base – and our online and digital strategy will need to be central to this.

“Whilst nothing can replace the excitement and drama of being there in person, this is the next best thing, and we look forward to playing our part in helping the sport push new boundaries – starting with what we hope will be an exciting match day on Saturday.”

Ian Blease, the Salford Red Devils Director of Rugby & Operations, said: “As part of a continuing effort to grow Rugby League, introducing a pay-per-view streaming service allows more and more people to watch the sport we love.

“Experiencing a game live will always be the best way to capture the atmosphere, but also having the ability to watch remotely can only be a good thing.”

Our League was launched by the RFL in late 2017 as a free membership scheme for Rugby League supporters, and now has well over 250,000 members. It has offered content including Cup draws and live coverage of a wide range of matches including England men’s and women’s internationals.

But nothing beats watching the action live! You can be there in person at the MKM Stadium this Saturday to watch Hull FC take on the Salford Red Devils.

To buy tickets for the match – click HERE.

To buy a live streaming pass, for £4.95 until midnight on Friday night and then £10 on Saturday, click Rugby League (rugby-league.com) – if you’re not already an Our League member, you can register on that link for free.

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