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Leeds shut out Salford as Headingley hoodoo continues – Match review

Salford’s Headingley hoodoo continued on a miserable day in West Yorkshire.

Ian Watson made quite a few changes from Friday’s team with Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Craig Kopczak missing. Daniel Murray and Ryan Lannon got there first appearances of the season as George Griffin also came back in to the side. Jack Littlejohn was again on the bench.

It was quite a damp, soggy afternoon when the game got under way with Leeds adapting to the conditions a little better. Salford came up with early handling errors which allowed the Rhinos to get a foot hold in the match. Tom Briscoe with a neat finish to squeeze in the corner for the opening score on 7 minutes.

Ash Handley doubled the hosts lead after Joel Moon’s high kick was taken by Salford’s Niall Evalds who tried to escape from being trapped in goal but lost the ball to gift Leeds a try. This time Kallum Watkins converted 10-0.

Salford’s best chance of the first half came after some neat work from Littlejohn created an opening for Jake Bibby. An excellent cover tackle bundled the wingman in touch.

Niall Evalds picked up a nasty head injury and left the field and didn’t return. Robert Lui switched to fullback to cover with Josh Wood and Littlejohn partnering up in the halves.

Watkins added a penalty goal to edge Leeds 12-0 up at the break.

Both sides defended really well for long periods, particularly The Rhinos in the second half when Salford laid siege to there line with plenty of consecutive sets but The Red Devils just couldn’t find a way through much to the frustrations of the travelling away supporters. Junior Sau came very close and George Griffin spilled a bullet Littlejohn pass. Logan Tomkins was also held up just short of the line.

Josh Walters broke a tired Salford defence two minutes from time with Watkins converting.

Another disappointing attacking display from Salford, Ian Watson was pleased with the effort of his side despite the poor attacking options. The Niall Evalds injury was certainly a big concern and he looks certain to miss Saturday’s match with Warrington.

Final score Leeds 20 Salford 0.

Paul Whiteside.

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