Leeds Rhinos again came up with the goods when it mattered in 2017. Castleford set the Super League standard last year with some thrilling rugby thrashing the Rhinos in the regular season home and away. When it came to the crunch in the Grand Final at Old Trafford Leeds stunned the Tigers with an unforgettable performance. Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow finished their glittering careers in style.
In 2018 Leeds have made a solid start looking particularly impressive beating St. Helens at Knowsley just a few weeks ago.
Head coach Brian McDermott has strengthened his side with Richie Myler and hooker Brad Dwyer joining in the close season. Another player to watch out for is young fullback Jack Walker, out injured at the moment he’s been a real star in recent months.
It promises to be a tough afternoon for Salford with Leeds having strike players all over the pitch. The battle of the two packs promises to be very exciting.
Super League Away record
Salford won 1
Leeds won 19
1997 Leeds 34 Salford 18
1998 Leeds 31 Salford 12
1999 Leeds 50 Salford 16
2000 Leeds 42 Salford 16
2001 Leeds 56 Salford 6
2002 Leeds 39 Salford 38
2004 Leeds 34 Salford 6
2005 Leeds 54 Salford 14
2006 Leeds 20 Salford 12
2007 Leeds 52 Salford 14
2009 Leeds 20 Salford 30
2010 Leeds 22 Salford 10
2011 Leeds 46 Salford 12
2012 Leeds 46 Salford 12
2013 Leeds 42 Salford 14
2014 Leeds 32 Salford 4
2015 Leeds 70 Salford 6
2016 Leeds 8 Salford 0
2017 Leeds 20 Salford 14
2017 Leeds 44 Salford 2 (super 8s)
They played for both
Here are a few players to wear the red of Salford and the blue and amber of Leeds.
Luke Burgess, Joel Moon, Mark Brooke-Cowden, Andrew Duneman, Ensene Famailo, Phil Ford, Ashley Gibson, Phil Hassan, Weller Hauraki, Ben Jones Bishop, Andy Kirk, Francis Maloney, Richie Myler and David Young.
A match to remember 26th July 2002
Leeds 39 Salford 38
Salford were struggling at the wrong end of the table and in a real relegation dog fight. The Reds went in to a surprise lead when Australian forward Darren Treacy’s try and two Graham Holroyd goals made the scores 0-8 in the early stages.
Tries to Francis Cummins, Barrie McDermott and Matt Diskin helped the Rhinos into a 28-10 interval lead.
Playing against his former club half back Holroyd crossed to reduce the Reds deficit before Ryan Sheridan looked to have sealed the two points for the home side with his try taking the score to 34-16. Salford though produced a thrilling comeback to warm the hearts of their travelling fans who roared them on.
Alan Hunte, Danny Arnold and Malcolm Alker with tries brought the scoreline to 34-32. Matt Diskin nudged Leeds further in front with another try before Salford winger Arnold grabbed his second try to tie the scores 38-38 in an absolutely pulsating match. The visitors deserved the points, it had been 25 years since Salford’s last win in this fixture and just when it looked like a little piece of history was being created Ryan Sheridan dropped a goal to leave the Reds shattered at 39-38. It’s a game that’s always stuck in my memory, one that just got away. There was a real lump in my throat as I clapped the lads off at the full time hooter.
It was a poor end to 2002, the highlight being a near faultless display away at Warrington on a Friday night in September 2-22. Relegation was confirmed after a final day of the season defeat to Castleford at The Willows 10-20.
Over the years Headingley has been a real grave yard for Salford teams and supporters. If there ever was a bogey team in sport well it’s definitely Leeds for the Red Devils. Out of the 20 super League away meetings Salford have won just the once. That was Easter Monday 2009, with a 20-30 success. You’ve got to go back to the 5th of February 1977 for the last win before that. 13-28, Mike Coulman, Colin Dixon, Kenny Gill, Steve Nash, Chris Hesketh and Maurice Richards with the tries. Keith Fielding kicked five goals. Despite the successful side of the 70s with many international players the Headingley hoodoo struck many times. On one occasion, a Challenge cup tie in 1974 the Salford supporters travelled in there droves taking 56 coaches only to have their hearts broken and dreams crushed once again at the famous flagship Yorkshire ground.
With only three victories in the last 60 years away at Leeds 1959, 1977 and 2009 it really is an away game you dare not miss just in case that elusive victory is pulled off.
Happy Easter to all the Salford supporters and let’s hope we’re all smiling on Monday tea time on the M62 travelling back to Lancashire.
Enjoy the match everyone.