With one win under their belt already, in their first fixture, against Featherstone on Saturday last, the Black team from the Salford squad travelled to Leigh Centurions in the hope of repeating the victory. A much more experienced and savvy team, however, awaited them, who with pace to spare on the edges, caused a number of problems for their less experienced visitors.
Two early tries in the opening stages put the home side in the driving seat, but the Red Devils galvanised and replied with two of their own, to level the scores.
Centre, Jack Fairbrother, it was once again, who crossed twice to bring his tally of tries, so far this season, to five.
Player Development Manager, Danny Barton found many positives within his charges’ performance to counterbalance the areas on which further work is needed.
“Obviously you always like to win, but although we didn’t on this occasion, there were a number of things the lads produced which were rewarding and gratifying, in themselves,” he assesses.
“They are all coming round to the notion that you don’t always need to win because it is all about their development as players. Leigh were smarter than us, and caught us out because of our naivety, which is something we will need to work upon, as a result.”
The resilience of the defence, after Leigh’s opening two tries, though, was extremely encouraging.
“They had a number of back to back sets on our line which the lads stood up to really well,” he enthuses, “and that provided us with the springboard on which to launch our counter attack and brought our two tries.”
“We also succeeded in putting in some really good sets of our own, which brought us sixty or seventy metres at a time, when we were able to complete them. On other occasions, though, we were turning the ball over part way through a set.”
That, of course, gave the momentum back to Leigh, and led to their running up a 22-8 half time score to which they added a further sixteen points in the second half, as the Red Devils tired after all the tackling they had had to do.
The rematch will be this coming Wednesday evening (KO 7.15 pm), when the Centurians will visit the A J Bell, and take on the Red squad, who wil now have the benefit of foresight from last week’s encounter, and will consequently have more awareness of what to expect, and will therefore be better prepared.
Josh Hayes, Ben Wharton, Cian Rhys, Cameron Smollet, Luke Watson, Callum Watts, Shane Knight, Gabriel Moura, Chad Wriggly, William Pettigrew, Ethan Downan, Duran Watson, Sam Eyres, Sam Nichol, Derryn Harrison, Josh Connolly, Tom Guy, Josh Bentley, Jack Fairbrother, George Glover, Luis Roberts