Ben Murdoch-Masila is named in the 2017 Super League Dream Team

Salford Red Devils back-rower Ben Murdoch-Masila has been named in the 2017 Super League Dream Team.
The Tongan forward has crossed for 14 Super League tries this season and was the form forward in the league in a run which saw Salford win 12 out of 13 games on the run in all competitions.
Murdoch-Masila becomes the first Red Devil to appear in the Super League Dream Team since David Hodgson back in 2006.
Murdoch-Masila said: “It was a massive surprise for me to be selected but I am delighted with being named in the team.
“There’s some really good players been named in this side and to be amongst them means a lot to me.
“We’ve had a real good season this year particularly if you look back to where we were at last season. Of course, we’d have liked to have kicked on and pushed a little more in the Super 8s but we’re heading in the right direction.
“I’ve just done my bit for the side throughout the season and scored a few tries. Now, I’m looking forward to a bit off and spending some time with my family who have been supportive of me since I first arrived at Salford.”
Seven Super League clubs are represented in this year’s team with League Leaders’ Shield winners Castleford Tigers (6) dominating the selection along with Hull FC (2), Huddersfield Giants (1), St Helens (1), Leeds Rhinos (1), Salford Red Devils (1) and Wigan Warriors (1).
The 2017 Dream Team features eight players making their debut, including Huddersfield Giants’ Sebastine Ikahihifo, St Helens’ centre Mark Percival and Leeds Rhinos hooker Matt Parcell, who makes his debut in his first year in Super League.
Wigan Warriors and England Captain Sean O’Loughlin makes his sixth Dream Team appearance – his last appearance was in 2014.
All three players shortlisted for the prestigious Steve Prescott Man of Steel award: Albert Kelly, Zak Hardaker and Luke Gale are included.
Joining Hardaker and Gale from Castleford Tigers, who have the most representatives in the Dream Team, are centre Michael Shenton and debutants Greg Eden, Grant Millington and Mike McMeeken.
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners Hull FC have two representatives in the Dream Team – Albert Kelly, who features for the first time and Mahe Fonua, who appears for the second consecutive year. The Betfred Super League Dream Team is selected by a panel of the sport’s broadcasters and journalists in a secret ballot and represents the form team of the Betfred Super League season.
The 2017 Betfred Super League Dream Team is as follows:

  1. Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2017)
  2. Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  3. Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2017)
  4. Mark Percival (St Helens) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  5. Mahe Fonua (Hull FC) Dream Team appearances: 2 (2016, 2017)
  6. Albert Kelly (Hull FC) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  7. Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 3 (2015, 2016, 2017)
  8. Grant Millington (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  9. Matt Parcell (Leeds Rhinos) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  10. Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield Giants) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  11. Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford Red Devils) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  12. Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers) Dream Team appearances: 1 (2017)
  13. Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors) Dream Team appearances: 6 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)

Salford Red Devils 4-23 Castleford Tigers

The Red Devils fell to their sixth straight defeat at the hands of league leaders Castleford Tigers in their first home game for over a month.
Ian Watson’s side now sit 6th in the Super League Super 8s trailing Wakefield, who currently sit in 4th, by two points. As for Castleford, they have all but confirmed their status as league leaders unless a huge mathematical swing in the upcoming weeks should happen.
Watson had to make a last-minute change to his side as Tyrone McCarthy pulled out with a calf injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Craig Kopczak.
Castleford took the lead early on as some clever play from acting half-back Paul McShane allowed Zak Hardaker to dive over the line from close-range. Luke Gale converted.
But, Salford looked to have hit back through Manu Vatuvei however video referee Ben Thaler disallowed the try after Ryan Lannon was adjudged to have obstructed the Castleford defence in the build-up.
The Red Devils had a lot of pressure on Castleford’s line but couldn’t make it prove dividend and the Tigers soon made Salford pay. Jy Hitchcox’s jinking run from hooker caught the Red Devils off guard and Hardaker was in support to slice through the Salford defence and race 30 metres to extend the visitors lead. Luke Gale converted.
Again, Salford applied pressure to Castleford’s line in the closing stages of the first half but couldn’t manage to get over the line but they did get on the scoreboard two minutes into the second half.
An accurate low kick from Todd Carney got in-behind the Tigers defence and home debutant Manu Vatuvei was on hand to plant the ball down. Unfortunately, Carney couldn’t add the extras.
Ian Watson’s side were on top in the opening 20 minutes of the second half with both Kris Brining and Lannon being held-up over the line before Lannon was denied again by video referee Thaler.
Castleford again made Salford pay when they crossed on the 60th minute mark. McShane, who was instrumental in the Tigers first try, again jumped from acting half-back and jinked his way over from close-range.
And, the Tigers sealed the victory a few minutes later through Hitchcox. Hardaker made an initial break before Robert Lui looked to have tackled Gale however the half-back managed to get the ball back to Hardaker who threw a looping pass to the Australian winger who went over in the corner.
Salford continued to look for another try but it just wasn’t to be for the Red Devils and a late Gale drop-goal finished the scoring for the evening.
Red Devils: Evalds, Johnson, Jones, Bibby, Vatuvei; Lui, Carney; Walne, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, Kopczak.
Interchanges: Griffin, Brining, Krasniqi, Murray.
Castleford: Hardaker, Monaghan, Webster, Minikin, Hitchcox; Roberts, Gale; Millington, McShane, Sene-Lafao, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Milner, Springer, Cook, Foster.
Referee: Chris Kendall. Video referee: Ben Thaler.
Attendance: 2811.

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