Salford Red Devils returned to winning ways on Thursday evening with a crucial victory over Widnes Vikings at the The Salford Stadium and we take a look at three talking points from the game.
Ian Watson’s men went into half-time trailing 8-12 however managed to comeback in the second half and go on to win the game 26-12. Watson and Assistant Head Coach Willie Poching both pointed to the side ‘overcoming adversity’ and ‘showing real character’ to come from behind to seal two points in the Betfred Super League.
Thursday’s game was the first time this season that the Red Devils have won a game when being behind at the interval. In fact, Salford’s last victory in which they overcame the odds in the second half came against Hull Kingston Rovers in last year’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on May 12th.
The fightback was made even more impressive when you consider the Red Devils had just two interchanges for the majority of the game with both Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Shorrocks leaving due to injury. In addition, new recruit Ed Chamberlain didn’t enter the field until the 79th minute meaning the hosts did a large period with just one interchange.
Heading into the business end of the season the side will be looking to build on this resilience shown to push for a position in the Betfred Super League Super 8s.
Movement in the backs
Thursday’s game saw some positional changes in the back line however these seemed to prove dividend for the Red Devils.
Jack Littlejohn – who moved to fullback last weekend against Hull FC in the absence of injured Niall Evalds – occupied the role at the back once again this week and was a standout performer. Littlejohn was safe under the high ball and caused the Vikings issues when he came into the attacking line particularly when executing a delayed pass to put Jake Bibby over in the second half.
Jake Shorrocks and Rob Lui paired in the halves and Shorrocks continued to improve for Salford until he was forced to leave the field due to a facial injury. However, Josh Wood moved into the halfback role and excelled as he has for the majority of the season with Logan Tomkins then doing long minutes at hooker.
While Evalds being out is a blow for Salford, Thursday’s game displayed the versality and options the red Devils still have in the backs.
Centre Kris Welham was voted as Salford’s Man of the Match by Match Sponsor Turner Parkinson and the veteran was exceptional on Thursday evening.
Welham was quickest to react to a loose ball in the first half before racing 60m to cross for the Red Devils first try of the evening before then pulling off a magnificent weaving finish for his second just minutes later.
The second was Welham’s 150th of his career so far and the centre has been a fantastic signing since arriving back in 2017. The centre has missed just one game so far in 2018 and the Red Devils will be looking to him to maintain this kind of try-scoring form in some massive upcoming Betfred Super League games.