A last minute change of venue, which saw the move of this rearranged fixture from the A J Bell to the 4G astra turf of St Peter’s RC School, did little to enable Salford’s Cat 3 U19s to settle easily and get off to a good start. Against a side which had such vastly superior physique, this would have been absolutely crucial were the younger Red Devils squad to make any impact in this game.
With a number of their more senior players absent through illness or injury, the lighter, depleted, Red Devils team were, therefore, made to struggle for the duration of the game and with little to show for it in terms of points on the board, although they came close to scoring on a number of occasions.
That, however, is not to say that the youngsters succumbed to the physical onslaught of the table-topping Trinity. Far from it, for indeed, despite everything being stacked against them, each and every one of them manfully stood up to everything that the visitors could throw at them, and despite their not gaining any encouragement from a score of their own, thwarted and repulsed many of Wakefield’s attacks which could so easily have brought them further points.
Coach, Danny Barton, was unequivocal in his praise for their efforts.
“This was a far better performance than the scoreline suggests, and also better than in our earlier, away encounter, last October, when we conceded forty-six points, without reply, so this is evidence of the progress the lads have since made.
“Anybody will buckle down and put their body on the line when it is a close game and victory is just a short spell away. To do it in the context of yesterday’s game, though, takes dedication, commitment, and courage.
“With a little more luck, the lads could quite easily have sored a couple of tries of their own, and, had they done so, it would have been no more than they deserved.”