Leigh 28  Salford 10                         Match Report

In what was undoubtedly the most keenly contested of the four encounters between the ladies of the Salford Red Devils and their near neighbours, the Leigh Leopards, the home side were made to battle for every point before eventually progressing through to the final of Super League 2’s end of season play-offs.

Indeed, it was a considerable achievement for the Salford players to have been making an appearance in this stage of the competition in their very first season in Super League, when many a side would, in such circumstances, have more than likely been battling to avoid relegation.  Not so, the Red Devils, who had finished a most creditable fourth to travel to third place Leigh, in this, the semi-final.

Each of the three previous encounters had seen a noticeable narrowing in the differential between the two sides, and although the scoreline failed to reflect this, the outcome, this time, was in the balance right through to the final fifteen minutes, when the home side managed to find a couple of holes in what had been a magnificent defensive effort by the visitors.

Just how tight the game was going to be was evident from the outset, with both sides locked in an arm wrestle – in which neither side could gain dominance – the like of which had not existed in either the pre-season friendly or the two, home and away league fixtures.

It was, however, Leigh who opened the scoring in the 15th minute, as a result of their gaining a penalty near their own line, followed by a set-restart inside the Salford half, before working an overlap on the left flank with an unconverted try in the corner.

Unfazed by this setback, the Reds continued to muscle up in defence, repelling every Leigh onslaught and setting up line-testing attacks of their own.  One magnificent tackle by centre, Alex Simpson, prevented a near certain try, on 23 mins, and six minutes later she was most unfortunate to be denied a try of her own, when a prior tackle on her winger, Lauren Ellison, was adjudged to have been completed.

As so often seems to happen these days, a disallowed try at one end of the field led to a recognised try at the other, once again coming after another set-restart, with the successful goal-kick giving the Leopards a 10-0 lead, on 32mins.

Once again, the Salford defence was called into action with one of the biggest hits of the afternoon being affected jointly by Player of the Year, Brogan Evans, and fullback, Sage Bannister, on 36mins.  It was that both were able to combine timing and targeted body areas with such precision that made this so impressive.

Efforts such as this can certainly give a team an uplift, and this proved to be the case on this occasion.  A high, end-of-set kick by Demi Jones was dropped, thus gaining the visitors further possession with which they set up, second rower, Viki Kini to force her way over, on 39 mins, enabling Jones to narrow the half time margin to 10-6.

The inspiration that the score had brought the Red Devils was carried through into the second half, and a Leigh error in their own half, early in the tackle count, gave away possession, which Salford were able to use to set up captain, Louise Fellingham, for a try on 43 mins, not only to level the score, but to rattle the home side at the loss of their lead.

The arm wrestle, which had been so tightly fought in the opening period, reappeared as both teams sought once again to gain dominance, but this time the Salford players had developed a confidence which continued to force the Leopards into uncharacteristic errors, by their defensive efforts.  Left winger, Ellison, was prominent in this, in the way she made excellent decisions when faced on a number of occasions with an overlap, which, each time, she unerringly snuffed out.

The introduction from the bench of Becki Davies, who had had to spend the whole of the season recovering from surgery on a serious leg injury, added a new dimension to the side in both attack and defence, as she performed most promisingly, throughout the rest of the match.

A Leigh penalty, on 55 mins, however, was to prove the turning point in the game, as a change of direction from a strike player got her through the consequential space to score by the post to re-establish the Leopards’ six-point lead.

The Salford defence, nevertheless, continued to work overtime as their hosts rediscovered their composure.  Another try-saving tackle, this time from hooker, Taz Corcoran, on 61 mins, temporarily, saved the day, but the Red Devils were beginning to show signs of tiredness, and a handling error gave the home side the opportunity to secure the win with another try under the posts.

A well-earned, goal-line drop-out to Salford, on 70 mins, was unfortunately mis-fielded, and, direct from the resultant scrum, the ball was collected by one of the Leigh speedsters, who sprinted the seventy metres to the other end of the field to give the score-line a somewhat one-sided impression of what had been a tough, and most enthralling encounter.


Sage Bannister, Katie Garry, Sam Evans, Alex Simpson, Lauren Ellison, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Megan Condliffe, Tamzin Corcoran, Summer Harris, Helena Walker, Victoria Kini, Brogan Evans


Sarina Tamou, Abi Collins, Hannah Wicks, Becki Davies


Leigh 28  Salford 20               Match Report

In what was their third encounter since both teams were promoted into Super League 2, the Red Devils showed noticeable improvement upon both their pre-season friendly and their earlier home league fixture, against Leigh Leopards back in May, as a result of this being the strongest side they had managed to muster for any of the three matches.

Things certainly got off to a great start, when the opening kick-off completely fooled the receiving Leopards to bounce into dead, thus providing Salford with possession from the resultant goal-line drop-out.  From this, the visitors were able to mount an attack which saw the ball being moved to right giving winger, Liana Leota, with room to go over in the corner, to open the scoring.

Having been stung into action, Leigh sought to speed up the game, and, from quick play-the-balls, opened up the Reds’ defence with half-breaks the most serious of which saw loose forward, Brogan Evans, pull off a try-saving tackle after chasing back.

Nevertheless, the Leopards continued to mount an onslaught of attacks for a full five minutes, before crossing for a somewhat soft try under the posts, on 10 mins, which was doubly disappointing after all their prior, valiant defensive efforts, and surrendering the lead.

Not for long, though, as a grand end-of-set kick from Demi Jones was collected by the chasing Alex Simpson to go over in the same corner giving the two-point lead now back to the Reds.

The speed of the Leigh strike players was such, though that they were always a threat, and another break, through the visitors’ line, saw them race on to score under the posts to bring the score to 12-8, on 19 mins.

The fact that the Salford players were able to prevent any further tries up to half time, was, nevertheless, testament to their magnificent defence, thereafter, the highlight of which came in the 35th minute, when Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor, came from absolutely nowhere to crash-tackle a Leigh player in full flight, to deny them another score.

It was a dour start to the second half, for the Red Devils, however, for having, just like Leigh in the first half, scotched the kick-off, they had to face the full force of the Leigh attack on their line, for five full minutes, over four back-to-back sets, before eventually succumbing, out of sheer fatigue, to a converted try under the posts. 18-8

When, on 52 mins, Leigh added yet another try, this time in the right hand corner, they appeared to be moving out-of-sight, at 22-8, but, with full credit to them, Salford had other ideas, and with rather more possession got close enough to the Leopards’ line for dummy-half, Taz Corcoran to force her way over from a play-the-ball, close to the posts, thus giving Jones her first kickable conversion and reduce the deficit to eight points, at the mid-point of the half.

Seven minutes later, Corcoran went from hero to villain, when she was duly sin-binned for her part in a spear-tackle, and, with the extra player, Leigh were able to take the score to 28-14.  Her return, on 77mins, coincided with a couple of back-to-back Salford sets, courtesy, a goal-line drop-out, and having caught out the Leopards’ defence once from a play-the-ball, she proceeded to rebalance her contributions more positively, by the most blatant and daring scoot from dummy half to complete both her brace of tries, and the scoring.

So, with the team showing week on week improvement, and with two final away fixtures at Barrow and Featherstone, thoughts will soon be turning to the play-offs, which, with the tightest of contests between the three sides mentioned herein, could see the Red Devils returning quickly to whichever one of those sides they end up being paired against.


Sage Bannister, Liana Leota, Alex Simpson, Steph Gray, Lauren Ellison, Louise Fellingham, Demi Jones, Megan Condliffe, Tamzin Corcoran, Emerald Hickey, Victoria Kini, Helena Walker, Brogan Evans


Abi Collins, Yasmin Parton-Sotomayor, Jessica Panayiotou, Hannah Wickes

18th Player – Darcey Price


Salford Red Devils suffered another late defeat at the Salford Stadium, with Ben Reynolds 73rd minute penalty-goal the difference between the two sides.

Sam Stone was back in the Red Devils side, with Chris Atkin operating at loose forward in the absence of the suspended Ollie Partington.

Both sides started strong in D and exchanged sets around the halfway line. Lachlan Lam forcing a drop-out was the only notable highlight of the first ten minutes, but Marc Sneyd’s return kick was even better and bobbled out of touch.

The same source forced a knock-on with his grubber on the last and the Red Devils pounced to open the scoring.

On the second tackle, we spread the ball right and Chris Atkin’s loose pass sat up favourably for Ken Sio to slide over for Super League try number 99.

The Leopards hit straight back on 16-minutes, with John Asiata throwing a dummy and teeing up Ed Chamberlain to slide over on the left.

One quickly became two for the visitors, with Ricky Leutele managing to ground the ball in the left corner, despite the best efforts of Croft.

Paul Rowley rang the changes and the interchanges injected a bit of life into Salford with ball in hand.

Perhaps a moment of genius from Sneyd was the moment momentum swung back in our favour; pulling off a stunning 40-20 to hand his side a huge chance to capitalise.

Adam Sidlow almost scurried over on our first play, but King Vuniyayawa made no mistake on our second probe of the Leigh line – crashing over to get us back into the contest.

The Salford Stadium was rocking and we almost had another when Joe Burgess ran 80 metres to touch down.

Tim Lafai had forced a knock-on when he crashed into the charging Gaz O’Brien, but despite the ball ricocheting Burgess’ way, the referee chose not to play advantage and instead decided pulled it back for the Leigh knock-on.

No time was wasted from the restart and we made good metres towards the Leopards line.

In typical Andy Ackers style, our number nine darted out of dummy-half and into a gap under the sticks to hand us a half-time lead.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 16-10 Leigh Leopards

We needed the same intensity after the break and continued to find joy down the left edge.

Lafai made a stunning break on 47-minutes, and despite being dragged down by O’Brien, a quick play-the-ball and some clever play from Croft sent the charging Ben Hellewell onto the end of a neat grubber kick.

It felt like – with Sneyd’s conversion – we were really in the ascendancy, but things soon changed for the worse.

Tom Amone stepped inside his man and flicked a pass to Lam, who slide over to half the deficit.

Next it was Zak Hardaker who took advantage of a mix-up on the Salford line to gather the ball and slide over in the right corner.

And then, just like last week against Leeds Rhinos, it was the discipline that cost Rowley’s side in the end.

Sneyd sent a drop-goal wide down one end, and a penalty down the other allowed Reynolds to stick over the two points which earned the Leopards two crucial points.

FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 22-24 Leigh Leopards

Photo credit: Steve McCormick


It’s a massive afternoon for Salford Red Devils, as they look to maintain their spot in the top six.

Round 19 of the Betfred Super League sees the Leigh Leopards role into town, and Paul Rowley’s side will be looking for a third consecutive victory over their local rivals.

All the way back in Round 1, Ryan Brierley inspired Salford to an opening day victory, with Tyler Dupree the star of the show in our return to Leigh Sports Village in Rivals Round.

This meeting is just as significant, with the high-flying Leopards sitting pretty in second place after a stunning winning run.

After three defeats on the bounce, the Red Devils will be looking to get back to winning ways and keep tabs with the leading pack.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this one:


A few changes to the squad who were narrowly beaten by Leeds Rhinos last Sunday.

One big returnee is Sam Stone. The Aussie has been missing with a calf issue, but will be a welcome boost to a seriously depleted back-row.

Ellis Longstaff has recovered from his head knock and James Greenwood – after 75 minutes with the Reserves last weekend – is in the 21-man squad for the first time this season.

Unfortunately, despite his promising display last weekend, Alex Gerrard misses out on this one with his reoccurring knee issue.

Ollie Partington will serve his one-match suspension.


Assistant Coach, Krisnan Inu was back on media duties this week and was keen to stress the importance of taking every game as they come, despite a recent dip in form.

He said: “It’s a long season, so you can’t really dwell on games for too long because you have to focus on the next one – and the next one for us is a big one.

“The form team in the league. They (Leigh) are probably – in my eyes – one of the best teams in the comp at the moment, so that’s our main focus.”


There’s still time to join us at the Salford Stadium for a day of family fun!

General match tickets can be bought HERE.

As usual, our ticket office will also be open pre-match for purchase and collections.


We would like to extend a huge thank you to this Sunday’s match day and match ball sponsors, Identity Consult and Hurlstones Northern LTD.

A tasty local derby awaits, with the whole match day experience an opportunity to recognise the excellent work of St Ann’s Hospice.

It’s a double-header at the Salford Stadium. Our Women’s team also taking to the field at 12:15pm, as they face Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Women’s Super League 2.

Highlighting our match day sponsors, Identity Consult!

They are an award winning, independent development and construction consultancy who deliver innovation to the built environment.

Through a hands-on bespoke service from the most experienced people, there is guaranteed excellence in project management, cost consultancy, employer’s agent and digital construction services across the UK.

Click HERE to head to their website.

Highlighting our match ball sponsor, Hurlstones Northern LTD!

They offer a high level of technical service and support to clients in the heating and air conditioning industry throughout the North of England, North Wales and Scotland.

Their experience, expertise and enthusiasm have enabled us to develop long term sales associations with our principals whose high quality products are respected within the industry.

Click HERE to head to their website.


There is a double feast of rugby league inside the Salford Stadium this Sunday!

As we celebrate the incredible work of St Ann’s Hospice with their ‘takeover day’, there is plenty to do, in and around the stadium for all the family.

From live music to a fairground, it’s set to be a fantastic occasion – and it’s now got even better!

After a promising start to their inaugural Super League 2 campaign, our Women’s team will be looking to kick-on with a crucial victory against Castleford Tigers.

They will be kicking-off at 12:15pm on the main stadium bowl.

That, of course, proceeds our crucial Betfred Super League clash with Leigh Leopards at 3pm, with Paul Rowley’s side looking to get back to winning ways.

What’s not to enjoy? Get yourselves and your family down to the Salford Stadium and back both teams in some big games of rugby league.

Tickets for our double-header are ON SALE NOW – click HERE to secure your tickets!


In the build-up to our St Ann’s Hospice ‘takeover day’ against Leigh Leopards, we wanted to highlight how we are raising money for the charity and how YOU can get involved.

As revealed earlier this season, this local derby will not be like any usual game, with the hospice playing a major role in the planning and delivery of activities in and around the ground.

If you want to find out more about what the day entails, or how you can get involved, click HERE.

First of all, we have now included an option for supporters to make their own donation upon purchase of every match ticket.

As shown below, there are different donation bands of £2, £5 and £20, should supporters wish to support the incredible work of the hospice.

People can donate online, over the phone or in person!

Two members of our Women’s team, Phoebe Partington and Megan Condliffe will also be representing the Red Devils at the St Ann’s Hospice, Barton Square Abseil.

It takes place on Friday 23rd June and you can support our girls by clicking HERE to donate!


St Ann’s Hospice are having a ‘takeover day’ at Salford Red Devils on Sunday 16th July when we play against our local rivals, Leigh Leopards.

This local derby will not be like any usual game, with the hospice playing a major role in the planning and delivery of activities in and around the ground.

It’s certain to be an extraordinary day for supporters to get involved and raise funds for the charity.

Many of the staff are long-time supporters of the Salford Reds, with season ticket holders and volunteers among them.

St Ann’s Hospice are delighted to be working in partnership with Salford Red Devils again, after the team met some of the staff earlier last year, giving out Christmas dinner and meeting some of the residents at the Little Hulton hospice.

This day will mark the next phase in our relationship and will raise money for the ongoing care that is provided by the hospice to the local community.

The takeover day will include lots of fun for families and spectators to get involved in to show their support, with more exciting plans to be announced soon!

Heather Bennett, In-Memory and Legacy Fundraiser, at St Ann’s Hospice says: “We are so excited to be officially partnering with Salford Red Devils.

“We’ve been connected to the club over the last few years with some of the team coming to serve us Christmas dinner in December.

“This was a brilliant way to meet some of the lads who really care about the hospice and saw first-hand the importance of our services for the people in their community.

“We can’t wait for the takeover day on Sunday 16th July to meet supporters of Salford Red Devils to talk about the work we do, especially in the Little Hulton area where many fans are from.

“Make sure you come along to the game for some family fun and to raise money for an amazing cause!”

Celebrating our 150th anniversary across 2023, the Red Devils have started the Betfred Super League season full of optimism under Head Coach, Paul Rowley and are looking to improve on their run to the semi-final in 2022.

Marcelle Lock, Events Manager at Salford Red Devils, has added: “The St Ann’s Hospice takeover day is yet another example of the great work by Salford Red Devils in the community.

“To support such a worthy cause makes it even better and I can’t wait to see how our fanbase come together and make the day a huge success!”

Make sure you don’t miss out on tickets for the takeover day by keeping an eye on our website HERE!

For more information on the excellent care that is delivered across Greater Manchester by St Ann’s Hospice, you can find their website HERE.


Having gained the coveted promotion they so much desired to Super League 2, the Red Devils will get their much deserved opportunity to open their season at this new elevated level, with a trip across the Pennines to Castleford, this coming Sunday.

Not that this will be the first time that they will be facing Super League opponents, having already had a taster of this in two pre-season friendlies, against Wigan Warriors and Leigh Leopards.  The more relevant of these, probably, was the more recent, against the Leopards, since Wigan, as might be expected, occupy a place in Super League 1, while Leigh will be one of the teams our players will be facing during the course of the season.

For a variety of reasons, one should never read too much into the outcomes of friendly games, as the context to these are, by definition, completely different to league encounters, with coaches keen to suss out new combinations and introduce new additions to the squad, while the players have the opportunity to try executing new moves.

It was, however, a totally different context altogether for the Red Devils when they took on the Leopards, with the playing squad considerably reduced to the basic seventeen, by a combination of work, personal, and family commitments to several players alongside a number of injuries, unlike their opponents who had reserves in abundance.

This, therefore, gave head coach, Chris Bates, the opportunity to blood many of his new signings, alongside the remainder of his squad from 2022.  Ideally, this would have taken place with just one or two at a time, taking the field just to get the feel of things, with the experienced players providing the stiffening needed to overcome the opposition.

On this occasion, the majority of them were playing alongside one another, throughout, which set them a much greater challenge than would normally be the case.  The situation was further compounded by the fact that each of the newcomers was also new to rugby league, with their playing either their first or second, only, game of rugby league.

 They did, nevertheless, individually, acquit themselves very well, and every one of them showed considerable promise with talent and skills that will undoubtedly become invaluable to the squad, as they integrate themselves into the side over the coming weeks.

Sam Evans, coming in at such a pivotal position as half back on her rugby league debut, grew confidently throughout the game into the role.  Sage Bannister, at fullback, had already shown her considerable defensive abilities in the match with Wigan, and she, once again, showed these, when, on 25 mins, she combined with loose forward, Brogan Evans, to pull off yet another try saving tackle when the visitors were only six points ahead.

For sheer commitment to the Salford cause, however, prop, Summer Harris  deserves accolades for having been prepared to occupy a berth on the wing, of all places, while substitute Emerald Hickey was called into action as early as the second minute, as a result of the temporary loss of Sarina Tamou injured in one of the first tackles of the game.

An unsurprising 4-26 reversal was therefore the final result, with Salford’s try coming from left winger, Lauren Ellison, after 52 minutes to narrow Leigh’s 0-10, half time, lead.  Indeed, having had time to take stock of the situation during the interval, the first fifteen-minute spell of the second half proved to be the Red Devils’ strongest period during which they dominated possession and were able to keep play in the visitors’ thirty metre area and launch several attacks on their line, leading up to their try.

Sheer fatigue, owing to the shortage of bodies on the bench to enable further interchanges, however, eventually caught up with the Salford players, and the comparatively fresh-legged Leopards were able to take control in the later stages to run in three further tries.


Sage Bannister, Lauren Ellison, Alex Simpson, Victoria Kini, Summer Harris, Louise Fellingham, Sam Evans, Megan Condliffe, Tamzin Corcoran, Sarina Tamou, Helena Walker, Abi Collins, Brogan Evans


Darcey Price, Laura Bent, Hannah Wicks, Emerald Hickey, Katie Garry


Even with a fully fit squad from which to select, it would have been regarded as a considerable achievement for the Salford Red Devils to have gone to the Leigh Sports Village for the second time in only two months, and come back with a victory, for, in the meantime, their hosts have been busily building up quite a reputation for themselves throughout Super League, with impressive victories over a number of sides including current Super League, and World Club, Champions, St Helens.

That, however, was far from the case, since the Red Devils’ squad had been so decimated over the interim period that, to an extent, the team had virtually picked itself, primarily on grounds of availability, thus making this Rivals Round success all the more impressive, and the sweeter.

Even the manner in which the game unfolded presented a number of significant adversities for them, not least the sin-binning of fullback, Ryan Brierley, on 48 mins, and it could not have come at a worse time with the Leopards having returned to the fray, following the half time interval, refreshed and ready to take the game to the Reds, at full steam.

So, as Brierly reluctantly trekked his way across the width of the field, there must have been many hearts in mouths, among the Salford Faithful, many of whom must have been expecting the very worst.  Damage limitation was about as much as one could expect, with the home side’s job having been made all the simpler, with the Reds, as a result, having to hold out for as long as possible against the numerical superiority facing them.

Yet, when the Salford fullback eventually returned to contest it was to an actually increased lead of two extra points, at 10-22, having eradicated Briscoe’s 53rd minute try, and expanded upon it with a Tyler Dupree special under the posts on 58 mins, from Marc Sneyd’s shrewd short pass, which he then converted.

Indeed, apart from hitting the post with his first, touchline attempt, Sneyd’s goalkicking was to prove crucial in the final result, and had they chosen to do so, they could have made their winning margin somewhat greater, with them deciding to run the ball on two late penalties close to the posts, rather than electing to take the kicks.

As might have been expected the Leigh side to took the field, most determined in manner, and although the Red Devils matched them in the opening arm wrestle, a misunderstanding between Danny Addy and King Vuniyayawa presented Leigh with their first attacking opportunity, which they clinically took by opening up an overlap on the left flank for Charnley to cross in the corner for a try, which was eventually increased to six points, five minutes later, with a penalty goal.

As was later to happen on a number of occasions, however, the game began to swing to the opposition, this time towards the Reds with their gaining three back-to-back sets from a combination of a Leigh handling error, penalty, and set restart giving them great field position and ample possession to attack the home line, culminating with a try from Ken Sio, from a typical Brierley kick into the corner.

That proved to herald one of those attacking purple patches which Salford fans had come to enjoy so frequently at the climax to last season, with the Red Devils enjoying plenty more possession to tease Leigh’s line-defence, before some fabulous footwork from second rower, Sam Stone, put him through to score his first points for Salford, against his former club. 

So often, in those halcyon days of summer 2022, it was the back-to-back tries, which sorely hurt opponents back then, and that is just what they served up on this occasion, with what certainly many Salford fans will have thought to be the try of the match.  

It started with man-of-the-match, Chris Atkin, not for the first time this season filling in at three separate positions over his time on field, dummying his way through a gap before handing on to the supporting Shane Wright, who went thirty metres up the field to set up Brodie Croft to sprint the remaining twenty to the posts, with his outpacing all despairing attempts to overhaul him.

Leigh’s second half recovery did narrow their deficit first to 10-16, and later 14-22, and kept them in the game, but the ascendency was, in the main, with the Red Devils, who, with a two-score winning margin could afford to keep their calm, run the clock down and keep the pressure on the Leopards.

Leigh’s final, last minute try, came far too late for it to make any difference to the outcome, with a mere eleven seconds left, at the final restart.  They had, nevertheless, contributed to an enthralling contest, which had ebbed and flowed from one to the other, and there is clearly little between the two sides, as the results of both encounters show. This is all to the good for both clubs and their fans, engendering a greater interest, and degree of competitiveness, in the locality, which will be continued once more, as the intensity of the competition for top six places hots up, just in time for their visit to the Salford Stadium, in mid-July.

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