For the second week in succession, Salford Red Devils had a half time lead expunged during the second period, to end up with a loss that had appeared most unlikely, as the teams trooped off for the half-time interval, in this Round 3 fixture at the home of the Warrington Wolves.

That the home side had opened 2023 with two most impressive victories, at home to Leeds and away at Huddersfield, must have hung over the visiting Salford fans, prior to kick-off, but such anxieties were quickly dissipated despite a Warrington try in the eighth minute, for there was a definite step up by the Reds, from the previous week’s performance against Hull KR.

The tactics based around their slick, wonderfully entertaining qualities might well have not changed but the execution of them was markedly better than the previous week, with every pass being so much more telling, and the gaps opening up more easily and effectively, as a result.

Their first, and equalising try, on eleven minutes, was a consequence of some precisionally timed, and accurately executed, passes, as the ball was moved along the line to Joe Burgess who unsurprisingly had had his opposite number sucked in-field, and so was completely in the clear to race down the wing before sending an equally effective and accurate pass inside to the supporting Ellis Longstaff, who must have revelled in crossing the line against his parent club, on their own pitch.

In addition, the Red Devils had learned from their previous experience the importance of muscling up in the physical aspects of the game.  Twice, in the opening twenty-five minutes, Tyler Dupree made clean breaks through the Wolves’ defence, brushing off attempted tackles and making great yardage up the field to build up good field position.  Not only he, but the remaining members of the pack were eager to make their presence felt, with Ollie Partington at the centre of so much of both attacking play and defensive efforts.

Last week, the problem was that they had failed to build a sufficiently comfortable lead, after their opening four pointer.  Not so, this time out, with first yet another interception by Ken Sio which saw him make progress before setting up Ryan Brierley, who showed terrific speed to get over for another. 

With Marc Sneyd’s being on target with both conversion attempts, his third effort was to tack on the extras to his own try, when he hoodwinked the Wires’ defence and coasted through.  He rounded off the first stanza with an additional two points from a penalty goal, which meant that by half time, there was a clear fourteen points difference between the sides, as opposed to the four, against Hull KR.

It is extremely doubtful that there was anyone who did not expect a response in some form or other from this Warrington side, so impressive in previous weeks, and our players will have certainly prepared themselves for such, but, when it came, it was in a form that was extremely difficult to do anything about, for quite simply they were most cleverly deprived of the ball, being in possession for less than ten minutes of the forty.  Without it, all anyone can do is tackle, tackle, and keep on tackling in the hope that it will come around to them, eventually.

All that tackling takes it toll, however, on energy levels, knocks and the like sustained in the collisions, and with a sense of frustration building up, which can then affect effectiveness on the few occasions possession does come their way.  One wayward pass to Joe Burgess, on the first tackle of a set, which went behind him and straight into touch, was merely symptomatic of this.

The Wolves took possession straight from Salford’s half-time kick-off, and proceeded to start as many as seven sets and retain possession for almost nine minutes.  The Reds’ one chance of stemming this tide came at the end of the first set, the high kick from which was left completely unclaimed by anyone on the field, and the ball, having been allowed to bounce, ricocheted up and backwards into the arms of Warrington, who were quickly afterwards awarded a penalty, which triggered a set restart.

From that point on, they found ploy after ploy to reclaim the ball for yet another set. The problem then became compounded by defenders conceding penalties, set restarts, and even a sin-binning, which on this occasion proved to be so crucial, in their increasingly tiring endeavours to styme the waves of attack thrown at them.  So good, though, was the Salford defence in the early stages of the half that there were times when the Wolves actually ended up further back than they had started the set.

Significant, however, was the Reds’ seeming difficulty to deal with the high, short-distance, hanging kicks, which their hosts seemed to be able to reclaim, with some regularity.  Williams’s kick into the corner for Thewlis’s try was probably their highlight of these, and if the final score-line seems a little unfair to the luckless Red Devils, it was, in part, because it was adversely affected by two, eight-point tries, the first of these being this one, with Dupree being adjudged to have fouled the scorer after the grounding.

So, after four months of the close season, during which coaches of other sides have had chance to weigh up how to deal with the flamboyant attacking style of the Salford Red Devils, we have twice now seen the use of tactical kicking as a partial means of starving them of sufficient possession to be the threat they can be.  It is now up to Salford to work on dealing with this in readiness for next week’s trip to Hull. FC


It was such a promising opening, with the Red Devils starting with a splendid display of wide, expansive, attacking rugby, which had become so familiar to the Salford fans in the later stages of last season, but which had been absent in the previous week’s visit to the Leigh Sports Village.

Yet here it was again in what was only Round 2 of the new season, in all its exciting, entertaining spectacle, from the very first set when swift hands put right winger, Ken Sio, in space, and the visiting Hull KR players were desperately having to scramble back to prevent an early setback.

When, at the end of their back-to-back sets, they forced the first of two goal-line drop-outs, it seemed only a matter of time before they went in front.  It turned out to be just ten minutes, with their attack being restarted by the second of the drop-outs, and ended with a wide pass to Sio, who scored in the corner.

Although Marc Sneyd’s conversion attempt failed to find the mark, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that there would be more on the way, and indeed for the next ten minutes the Red Devils continued to dominate possession and field position, though with no further points to add to the scoreboard.

The game started to change a little around the twentieth minute, with back-to-back penalties gaining good field position to enable the visitors to test the Salford defence, and although they did not get anything to show for it immediately, they seemed to grow in stature and confidence, as a result.

In truth, four points after such a protracted period of Salford dominance seemed scant reward for their efforts, as they had had sufficient possession and position to have added at least one, if not more, scores, which would probably have dispirited the visitors somewhat had they been able to do so.  As it was. their self-belief that they could contain the threat their hosts posed grew, and inspired them to further effort.

Consequently, when Sio, as he is wont to do, intercepted a Hull pass to his wing, his progress was arrested before he could even get into his stride and the team then had the task of taking the ball up the field, tackle by tackle.  They also seemed to make heavy weather of the increasing amount of defending they were required to do.

The Robins’ pack is quite an imposing group, all of whom are capable of making their mark on any game – a victory over the Wigan Warriors, as they had achieved in round 1, is no mean fete – and they started to gain the ascendency, not just on the attack where they drove forward relentlessly, but also on defence, where they harried and hassled the normally rampant Reds into an increasing number of hurried and wayward passes.

The writing was clearly on the wall, when, on 32 mins, the referee was forced to refer a Robins’ grounding to  the video referee, and, although this was ruled out, it merely portended what was to come after the interval.  It will surely have been the away dressing-room, which will have been the more satisfied, over the recess, and they continued where they left off, after the resumption.

Salford’s best moment of the second half came on 54 minutes, when they were stung into a response to Hull’s two-try opening to the half, by overcoming the less productive of some of their more recent attacking forays, with slick hands putting Deon Cross over for their second try, to put themselves to within two points of the visitors.

Twice within five minutes, Salford were denied possible further tries.  A referral to the video referee ruled out Sio’s grounding in the corner, on 56 mins, with Brodie Croft being ruled offside prior to his involvement, and then on 70 mins. A ball steal by Tim Lafai led to another attack along the line to the right wing, where Cross, this time, just had a bit too much to do to get over the line for what would have been his own second score.

Hull, however, had no such problems in adding to their score with further tries on 57 and 72 mins, as Salford continued to fail to muscle up to the continued pressure on their defence.  Deserved, Man of the Match, Ollie Partington had led the way in how to deal with this, and it is likely there will be work done upon this element for others, in the coming days.


Salford Red Devils were beaten 10-24 by Hull KR in Round 2 of the Betfred Super League.

It was a disappointing night for Paul Rowley’s men, with a string of errors ultimately costing his side after a positive start to the game.

The Red Devils were trying to create opportunities from the start and Marc Sneyd forced an early goal-line drop-out with a clever kick into the left corner.

Tyler Dupree and Tim Lafai threatened to break the defensive line early on, but both efforts were thwarted before they could cause KR problems

Salford’s pressure eventually told when Ryan Brierley’s carry right to the line allowed Kallum Watkins to receive the ball and spot Ken Sio in space to slide over in the right corner.

It was the perfect start for the hosts, but KR – who beat Challenge Cup holders, Wigan Warriors in Round 1 – grew into the contest and gained territory as the half went on.

Hull thought they’d pulled themselves level on 33 minutes, but Shaun Kenny-Dowall was adjudged to pull Sio back in the build-up.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 4-0 Hull KR

KR started the second-half on the front foot and Ethan Ryan was the first to go over for the visitors. Jordan Abdull sent a tricky grubber kick into the right corner and the bobble fell kindly for the winger to ground, with Will Dagger converting for the first of four occasions.

It was the same source with another grubber kick moments later; this time it was Frankie Halton who made the dart to gather the ball and slide over.

Salford were back on the board soon after, as they tried to wrestle back the momentum. Quick hands had Sio as the spare man, but Deon Cross jinked inside beautifully to sell his man and stretch over the try line – Marc Sneyd adding two.

The visitors hit straight back, however. Kenny-Dowall sprung into life on the left-edge and teed up Sam Wood to stretch over and extend KR’s lead.

Rowley’s men tried to fight back and some lovely work from Brodie Croft allowed Sio to collect the ball with open field ahead of him, but our number six was adjudged to be offside and Hull were awarded a penalty.

From that move, Willie Peters’ side made sure of the two points. Abdull’s swerving high kick was spilled by Brierley and Wood picked up the loose ball to stroll over for his second of the game.

FULLL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 10-24 Hull KR


Salford Red Devils are looking for back-to-back Betfred Super League wins when they take on Hull KR at the Salford Stadium this evening.

Live on Sky Sports, it is set to be an enthralling encounter, with both sides already enjoying opening day victories.

The Robins were extremely impressive against Challenge Cup holders, Wigan Warriors, beating them 27-18 at Craven Park, while the Red Devils spoiled Leigh Leopards’ party with a 10-20 victory at Leigh Sports Village.

Salford fell behind on the half-hour mark, but two quick-fire tries from Kallum Watkins and Andy Ackers flipped the game on its head before the break.

Ryan Brierley – with a Man of the Match performance – added to our lead early in the second-half and some resolute defending secured both points.

KR present Paul Rowley’s side with a whole new task, but the Head Coach will be confident his team can produce a positive performance in front of the roaring Salford faithful.

Here’s everything you need to know surrounding our Round 2 clash:

Squad News

The big piece of squad news is the return of our flying winger, Joe Burgess.

After notching 16 Super League tries across 2022, the 28-year-old will be raring to go after spending the majority of pre-season on the sidelines through injury.

Burgess is the only addition to the squad from last week’s victory, with Adam Sidlow missing out on this occasion. Oliver Partington and Sam Stone – after impressing on debut – will be wanting to make their home debuts tonight.

Burgess’ Preview

Speaking of Burgess, we caught up with our number five after Captain’s run on Wednesday to talk his return to fitness, our winning start against Leigh Leopards and maintaining momentum against Hull KR.

“Yeah, it’s good to get back into the squad and it just feels like normal life is back!” Burgess told us.

“Pre-season is gone and I’m just ready to crack on with the season now.”

He continued: “It was frustrating that I couldn’t play in the pre-season friendlies and then missed out last week, which was a big opener.

“So I’m just really keen to get back in and do a job for the boys.”

Watch our full chat with Joe below!

How to buy tickets

Tickets for this game remain available and can be secured in two ways:

  • Online – CLICK HERE
  • On the day – Tickets can be purchased on the day from the ticket office, located on the West Stand.


At Salford Red Devils – through our Building the Future strategy – we are keen to work with schools across the Greater Manchester region to inspire young people to achieve their potential, both on and off the rugby pitch.

We are delighted to launch our Salford Red Devils ‘Be a Red’ school reward programme for the 2023 Betfred Super League season.

The concept of ‘Be a Red’ is to reward students who consistently demonstrates the same qualities as our players do in training and games – positive attitude, hard work, resilience, responding positively to feedback and a desire to improve.

Each school will select their ‘Be a Red’ award winner in advance of every one of our Super League home games during 2023, with the selected student receiving a Family Ticket from the club as our way of saying ‘Well Done!’

Salford Red Devils Director, Paul Trainor said: “We are delighted to launch the ‘Be a Red’ programme with our many partner schools across Greater Manchester.

“This programme will give schools the opportunity to celebrate and reward students who consistently show the same key character traits and behaviours as our Salford Red Devils players show throughout the season.

“Having a good work ethic, showing a positive attitude, being coachable, showing resilience, working towards goals and being keen to improve are so important to being the best you can be, whether you are a Salford Red Devils player or a student in a school.

“It is a pleasure to work with our School Partners to reward those students throughout the 2023 Super League season. We look forward to welcoming our first ‘Be a Red’ award winners to our first home game of the season against Hull KR.”


Salford Red Devils will face Hull KR at St James’ Park in the 2023 Magic Weekend.

Paul Rowley’s men will kick-off the weekend on June 3rd with a repeat of the 2019 Magic fixture between the two sides. The game at Anfield was a close one, with the Robins winning by a two-point margin and it promises to be another evenly fought contest in 2023.

Salford are scheduled to get underway at 13:30pm UK and will look to make even more Magic Weekend memories at St James’ Park – who are hosting the event for a record seventh time.

Earlier this year, the Red Devils were narrowly beaten by Huddersfield Giants, but the day surely belonged to now ex-Salford prop and Geordie, Sam Luckley, who crashed under the sticks in front of the Gallowgate End and ran off to celebrate by imitating the Alan Shearer celebration.

Tickets for the event will go on sale from October 23rd and more information on how to secure your place will be coming soon.

2023 Magic Weekend Fixtures in full (all live on Sky Sports):

Saturday 3rd June

Salford Red Devils v Hull KR (13:30)

Wigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons (15:45)

Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers (18:00)

Sunday 4th June

Wakefield Trinity v Leigh Centurions (12:30)

St Helens v Huddersfield Giants (14:45)

Hull FC v Warrington Wolves (17:00)


Salford Red Devils 24  Hull KR 4                  Match Report

In less than twelve months from their formation, the Salford Red Devils ladies side have, sensationally, secured a place in the Championship Grand Final, at Odsal Stadium, home of the Bradford Bulls, this coming Sunday afternoon, in what will be a Double Header with the League 1 Grand Final, and in so doing have put themselves in line for the opportunity to take the Championship Treble, consisting of League Cup, League Leaders’ Trophy (both already in the bag), and Grand Final Champions.

With it, of course, goes promotion to Super League 2, which has been their objective throughout the season, and they could not have wished for a tougher match to prepare themselves for Sunday’s contest with Oulton – the one and only team to have taken points from the Red Devils all season – than this home semi-final against Hull KR.

From a team languishing in the bottom pair of the Championship table, and the side against whom Salford had twice ratcheted up over forty points, the Humbersiders had come with a sudden late rush to take fourth spot and thus earned the right to travel to the A J Bell to contest the one place available for the winners.

The side which turned out on Sunday afternoon, however, bore little resemblance to that which had been so heavily beaten, back in mid-July, in the Double Header prior to the men’s fixture with Catalans, resulting from what must have been an really intensive and successful recruitment drive, for which they deserve great credit.

From their sheer size alone, it was obvious that this was going to be an extremely tight, and keenly fought, encounter, with no second chances for the vanquished, and so it proved to be, with the visitors fired up to extract revenge for their pummellings in the league fixtures, and physicality being the means by which they intended to accomplish this.

It certainly appeared to take the home side by surprise, and they were almost immediately put on the back foot through the loss of fullback, Luci McKeown, from injury in one of the first tackles of the game.  That was to set the tenor for the rest of the game, and in the weeks and months to come this game will be remembered more for the number of lengthy stoppages, owing to injuries to players from both sides, than for anything else.

It was the visitors though who sustained the majority of these, but those to the Salford players were possibly the more serious, with Kayleigh Bradshaw having to be taken to hospital by ambulance with a bad knee injury, which will undoubtedly rule her out of the final on Sunday, alongside a number of others, who were forced to retire and take no further part in the action.

It took the Yorkshire side only a few minutes to take control of the game, with an abundance of possession and good field position, which saw their hosts securely penned in their own quarter for well over twenty minutes, and it was in the tenth minute that they opened the scoring with a try in the right-hand corner, from an end-of-set, cross-field kick from the left.

At the time, it looked to be only a matter of time before their four-point lead would be increased, but that was the crucial thing; despite continuing to dominate as they did, they were prevented from making any additions to the scoreboard, close as they came to doing so.

It was the Red Devils’ last ditch, desperate, but thoroughly effective goal line defence, which so thwarted them, and, as each scoring opportunity came to naught, they began to lose a little confidence.  Moreover, the Reds stepped up their own performance in possession, and slowly, at first, a swing in momentum began to emerge, albeit merely redressing to some extent the imbalance of that lengthy first period.

When the swing in dominance eventually did come, however, it came quite suddenly.  A Salford penalty for a Robins’ off-side at a play-the-ball in the 31st minute, led to their first clean break from Sade Rihari, which gave them their first opportunity to attack the Hull line.  It was then an individual run by Alex Simpson, now reverted to fullback, which saw her weave cross-field around several defenders until she ran out of anyone else to beat, crossed the try line and then ran back towards the posts to score between them.  Demi Jones’s conversion put them in front for the first time on 33 mins.

Four tackles on from the restart, and an incredible fifty metre break by dummy-half, Brogan Evans saw her dart through the line and then outpace every pursuing defender to score between the posts, and Jones’s conversion had then doubled the score, all within a mere three minutes.

One can only imagine how demoralising the visitors must have found this turn of events, while for the Salford players, they visibly rose to the opportunity, especially at the resumption for the second half, when they literally camped out in the Robins’ twenty metre area, adding their second sucker punch by means of Lauren Ellison’s 51st minute interception try, which took everyone, possibly even herself,  by surprise, but grounding as she did between the uprights, brought the score, with Jones’s conversion, to 18-4.

Things were looking considerably more comfortable from then on, and Louise Fellingham took the game completely beyond the opposition, seven minutes later, when the ball was moved along the line to the right and she cut through the line to score.  Jones, with her most challenging kick of the afternoon was equal to the task, and incredibly, successfully kicked her fourteenth, consecutive, kick-at-goal, over recent weeks.

It was not in the goalkicking duties alone that she was outstanding, for both she and halfback partner Fellingham had contributed so much to the victory throughout.  The latter had been involved in several crucial try-saving tackles, and had taken the ball up to the line on numerous occasions, before feeding it to her supporting teammates.

Jones had shown some quite remarkable touches, not least trapping an awkwardly bouncing ball from a kick-off, soccer-style, to secure possession for the Reds.  As always, she showed a canny eye for the right person in the line to pass to, and her end-of-set kicks had the opposition constantly rattled in having to deal with them.  Little wonder, therefore, that the pair were named jointly as Players of the Match.  Helena Walker, in the second row, meanwhile, had clearly had her best game of the season, and she too, along with so many others had contributed much to the victory..

So, it is onward to Bradford, this weekend, but with the job thus far, only half done.  Much depends not only on their performances, on Sunday afternoon, but also the efforts of the backroom staff to enable as many of the injured as possible to take the field on the day.  Good Luck to them all.  The deserve efery success, so let us just hope they get it!


Luci McKeown, Lauren Ellison, Sade Rihari, Alex Simpson, Katie Garry, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Abi Collins, Brogan Evans, Megan Condliffe, Helena Walker, Victoria Kini, Sarina Tamou


Hannah Wicks, Laura Bent, Casey Naylor, Gabrielle Chaplin, Eponine Fletcher, Kayleigh Bradshaw


Sean Monks Omaga Photography, for above photograph showing Victoria Kini making a hit-up, supported, from left to right, by Brogan Evans, Louise Fellingham, and Sade Rihari


Not for the first time, a team in a rich vein of form paid the price for a fixture-free weekend, with a loss of momentum and subsequently, a loss of quality in their performance.  That certainly appeared to be the case with Salford, in their outing to East Hull to take on the Robins, following two fine home victories over Leeds and Castleford.

The lapse of seventeen days between the last of those, and yesterday, was enough to take a little of the shine off their performances, as was exemplified by their failure to capitalise on the most clear-cut of try-scoring opportunities, six minutes into the game.

Fine handling from Amir Bourouh, Tim Lafae, Alex Gerrard, and Brodie Croft, virtually on their own try-line, successfully sent Deon Croft, supported by Ken Sio on his inside, sprinting down the right wing.  With only the covering Ethan Ryan to beat, a simple two on one was all that was required, but the pair, who normally have such a great understanding with each other on attack, had too much time to think about it and consequently over-complicated it with two, almost unnecessary, passes.

In fairness, Ryan did extremely well in the situation by not committing himself, totally to any tackle, and the chance petered out as the attacking pair ran out of room along the touch line.  The contrasting effects on the two sides, however, was the most significant outcome, with the home-side growing in confidence, and, soon after, taking a ten-point lead, with back-to-back tries.

Their tally continued to grow throughout the half to nineteen, through two goals, a try, and a drop-goal, but the Red Devils did manage to pull back six points with a converted try of their own, on 27 mins.  Hull had great difficulty in dealing with Harvey Livett’s kick into the in-goal area, with two players fumbling it for Tim Lafae to pounce upon.  Marc Sneyd added the goal-kick.

Singular as that score was, it was sufficient to put the visitors back in contention, and with only thirteen points separating the two sides at half time, confidence still remained that Salford could come back in the second half, just as they had done against much greater odds, at Wakefield.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.  A no-look flip-pass, close to the Robins’ try line, which might have initiated a try for Salford, was intercepted, and quickly led to their hosts extending their lead by a further six points, and, from that point, events turned significantly in their favour.

Most crucial of all were the two, virtually back-to-back, sin-binnings of Tyler Dupree and Livett, which meant that the rest of the team were left facing the buoyant KR with only twelve men for twenty minutes, during which time the home side exploited their numerical advantage, and continued to build up a quite commanding lead.

The Red Devils did however round off the match with a further couple of tries, sandwiching a final six-pointer for Hull, which gave the Salford fans something to cheer about, before their long journey home, Deon Cross latching onto the end of another kick into the in-goal area, and then Joe Burgess benefitting from Lafae’s interception to put him away,

Six weeks ago, the Red Devils most impressively improved their performances in the league game at Wigan.  This Friday will be the ideal opportunity for them to repeat that feat when the Cup holders visit the A J Bell for the return encounter.


Hull KR 4  Salford 42                        Match Report

It does not seem to matter to whom you speak, pretty well any Super League player will attest to the difficulty of going to Hull KR and coming away with a win.  The two and a half hour journey, in itself, can be something of an endurance to be faced ahead of the game, and is certainly long enough for players to have stiffened up and be feeling slightly under par for the game.

That, however, certainly does not seem to have been the case, last Saturday, when Salford’s women’s team visited East Hull.  The team as a whole has been turning heads for the past few weeks, having been undefeated in all of their league games, winners in two out of their three nine-aside matches, and last week progressing to the semi-final of the League Cup.

One or two rather more sceptical of observers, given the reputation of the Sewell Group Craven Park Stadium, as being of a quite intimidating nature, with spectators close enough to the pitch to make their feelings felt to players and match officials alike, might well have been forgiven for expecting the team to struggle far more than in any other match so far.

So for them to take all of that in their stride, and then come out with a thirty-eight point winning margin, is quite incredible, and worthy of every word of praise that can be lavished upon them.  They were somewhat concerned that they made a slow start, with their being kept scoreless for fifteen minutes, but, once loose forward, Meg Condliffe, had fired them up with a tremendous hit on one of their opponents, there was no holding them, with points galore flowing freely, from that point onwards.

Two players, Steph Gray and Luci McKeown, scored hat-tricks, which, while justifiably being of great personal satisfaction to each of them, contributed greatly to the sides overall total.   Skipper, Louise Fellingham, also weighed in with a try, as did new recruit, Serina Tamou, who celebrated her arrival at the club by contributing to their biggest score of the season, so far.

There were five successful conversions, two of which came while Demi Jones was on field to take them, and McKeown proving to be an able deputy slotting over the remaining three.

A fifteen minute period towards the end of the first half virtually brought the game, as a contest, to its conclusion, with three stand out scores to relish.  The first of these came after a Salford interception enabled them to progress upfield, and Tamou showed the strength and power she would bring to the side with a ten metre charge at the home team’s line which no-one was going to stop.

Next name on the scorer’s list was McKeown, who fielded an end-of-set kick on her own twenty metre line, and then promptly went no less than eighty metres down the left flank for her first of the afternoon.  Almost unbelievably, that run heralded not just her own try but an immediate, subsequent one.

Direct from the restart, the ball was received by Fellingham, who set up Gray with a clear run to the line, along the touchline, for what was her second of the afternoon, having opened the team’s account a little earlier.  Coming, as it did, so immediately upon McKeown’s must have surely demoralised the opposing players who, nevertheless, did cross for their own try shortly afterwards.

Having been provider for one score, Fellingham was able to benefit herself from a second-half, clean break, which she backed up, and then, once in possession, ran a clever line to cross for a try of  her own.

Tries only come, however, as a result of tremendous hard work from other players throughout the squad, and it would be most fitting, after such a tremendous victory, to pay due respect to those who have the task of making the hard metres up the field, who take the hard knocks in contact, and who wear down their opponents, and themselves, with their no-stop tackling, when on defence.  Without their efforts, week in, week out, we would never be in a position to score tries, let alone bag eight in one match.

Attention now turns to this coming Sunday, when, once again, the team set off on their travels, this time on the much shorter journey into Yorkshire, to take on Oulton, in a rearranged fixture from the first weekend of the season.  The team now appears to have a winning formula for every game.  All they need to do is to stick with that through thick and thin for their rest of the season, and they can now always be confident that they can come through it with some success, at the end.


Luci McKeown, Lauren Ellison, Steph Gray, Viki Kini, Eponine Fletcher, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Darcey Price, Tamzin Corcoran Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor, Kayleigh Bradshaw, Sarina Tamou, Megan Condliffe


Laura Bent, Katie Garry, Casey Naylor, Abi Collins, Helena Walker, Hanna Wicks



Three months on, from the opening game of the season, in which Salford surprised many by coming away with a convincing 16-26 win, at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle, the Castleford Tigers arrived at the A J Bell, seeking to reverse the outcome of that initial encounter.  The strides which the Tigers had made in the intervening period, had moved them into the top six of Super League.

Salford, in comparison, had left it somewhat later, until the last three fixtures, in fact, before making inroads into their rather unflattering league status at that time, but those three markedly improved performances had been more eye-catching, coming against the three biggest names in rugby league, Wigan, St Helens, and Leeds, the last of which brought them their first win in their last seven matches.

The 30-16 result of last Friday’s return fixture with Cas was of very little difference from that of Round 1, showing that the Red Devils appear to have maintained their lead in the standard of their performances from the first to this latest encounter.

Not that that was evident, on field, during the opening period of either half, with the visitors being the first to settle and open their account, in both.  The first half saw them going four points ahead, after a mere three minutes, while post interval, it took them only five minutes longer than that to register a try.

As any good coach will espouse, however, it does not matter how you start, it is how you finish that matters most, and that certainly proved to be the case, on Friday, as the Reds gradually took control of the game in the first forty, while then turning the second half into a quite enthralling, and most entertaining, contest

The visitors’ opening four pointer was eventually answered by the Red Devils in the seventeenth minute.  Taking advantage of a penalty which put them on the attack, Marc Sneyd  kicked into the in-goal area on the fourth tackle, and  Tim Lafae was the first to get there to ground the ball, which with Sneyd’s conversion put Salford into a lead they never surrendered, thereafter.

The rain, which had fallen steadily for four hours prior to kick-off, had made both the ball and the playing surface most slippery, so conditions were challenging for both sides, both of which were pleased to turn their opponents’ errors to their own advantage.

Playing the game in your opponents’ half was highly desirable and advantageous, something at which Salford proved to be rather the better, during the run up to the interval.  The pressure this put the Tigers under began to take its toll on them, and they began to look quite tired, in that last ten minutes.

Although rugby is predominantly a team game, there are occasions when the individual contribution of one player can have a quite profound effect on the game, and their team.  Joe Burgess was the individual, on this occasion who, as the first half moved closer to its end, completely stamped his authority on the match.

Not only did he latch onto the end of a right to left passing move, on thirty minutes, then wrong footing the defenders for Salford’s second try, six minutes later amid a posse of attacking Tigers, he climbed high to take the ball above his head from and end-of-set kick, and then, outnumbered by four to one he resisted their combined efforts to force  him into touch, thereby both acquiring, and retaining possession for his side.

As if to celebrate all of this, he closed the half with the second try of his eventual hat-trick, by exploiting space on his flank to round the opposition with his pace coupled with a swerve, which kept him completely in the clear, on his way to the line.

It took a full fifteen minutes of an arm-wrestle, at the onset of the second half, during which Castleford appeared to be gaining the ascendency and had narrowed the Reds’ lead to six points, before Sneyd turned the game in Salford’s favour.  Against Leeds it had been a drop-goal which had been so decisive; this time it was a 20-40, the repeat set from which he was to slot over a penalty goal, to restore a two-scores advantage.

That two-scores very quickly became three, after a tremendous break by Andy Ackers was continued by Morgan Escare, and although he was tackled in flight, his quick play-the-ball led to excellent passing along the line via Ackers again, Brodie Croft, and Kallum Watkins, to Deon Croft, who grounded for another Sneyd-converted try.

If the balance of the game had changed with surprising speed, it was about to change again, even more quickly, as the visitors caught their hosts out with a most unusual restart.  The kick went with some force along the ground before bouncing up over the Salford players’ heads , into touch.  Just as the Red Devils had used their unexpected possession from the 20-40 to good effect, so too, now did Castleford, by putting Quareqare in at the corner for his second try of the half.

Salford’s ten-point lead was still sufficient cushioning, however, to keep them comfortable enough to continue playing their fine expansive rugby, and they extended it further with Burgess completing his hat-trick from Lafae’s wonderful final pass.

It is really looking now as though Salford have turned the corner, and rediscovered their early season form, which had, it appeared, deserted them over the intervening month and a half.  Now a free weekend gives them some well-earned respite before an important away trip to take on Hull KR.

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