Castleford were the stand out side last season charging to the League Leaders shield with some breath taking rugby league. Another very solid season this year sees them third in the table.
St. Helens are still top of the table and have more points than Castleford had at this stage last season so it just shows how good The Saints have been this term. This fixture last season was an epic contest Salford edging a super match 13-12. Ben Murdoch Masila with two tries and Gareth O Brien’s drop goal winning the match.
Perhaps Salford’s struggles in 2018 are no coincidence that Ben and Gareth have moved on to Warrington and Toronto respectively. Games between the two sides at the AJ Bell Stadium have been close affairs. Who could forget the first meeting there on the opening round of the 2012 season in the snow.
With The Tigers without Luke Gale, Jamie Ellis and young Jake Trueman have formed a good partnership in the halves. A big mobile pack consisting of Liam Watts, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Junior Moors and Grant Millington amongst other will prove a stern test for Salford. Paul McShane is always a real live wire at hooker.
Super League home record
1997 Salford 4 Castleford 0
1998 Salford 8 Castleford 18
1999 Salford 17 Castleford 29
2000 Salford 16 Castleford 22
2001 Salford 18 Castleford 26
2002 Salford 16 Castleford 74
2002 Salford 10 Castleford 20
2004 Salford 30 Castleford 14
2006 Salford 26 Castleford 16
2009 Salford 12 Castleford 18
2010 Salford 22 Castleford 28
2011 Salford 8 Castleford 15
2012 Salford 10 Castleford 24
2013 Salford 34 Castleford 30
2014 Salford 23 Castleford 16
2015 Salford 20 Castleford 22
2016 Salford 22 Castleford 18
2017 Salford 13 Castleford 12
2017 Salford 4 Castleford 23 ( super eights)
Gareth O Brien dropped the vital one pointer in last season’s encounter
They played for both.
Throughout the Super League era there have been plenty of players who have played for both clubs and quite a few through the 1970s and 80s.
Here is a selection of them ;
Paul Orr, Bill Kirkbride, Jonny Ward, Barry Kear, Ron Hill, Ian Bragger, Justin Carney, Chris Charles, Jason Critchley, Luke Dorn, Greg Eden, Jake Emmit, Jason Flowers, Matt Gardner, Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin, Weller Hauraki, Lee Jewitt, Michael Korkidas, Francis Maloney, Mike Platt, Darren Rogers, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd and Gray Viane.
Darren Rogers a prolific try scorer for both clubs
A match to remember Sunday March 16th 1997
Salford Reds 4 Castleford Tigers 0
After two excellent seasons outside the top flight, a day Salford supporters will remember for ever in the cup against Wigan and a Divisional premiership victory at Old Trafford 1997 saw our first step in to the glamorous new world of The European Super League.
Salford Reds had started 1997 in good form with a resounding victory away at Castleford in The Challenge cup. Progress was made to the cup semi finals with a 8-4 win over Paris and a 10-29 win at Warrington. It’s fair to say The Reds went in to this league encounter in top form.
It was a very nervous affair with both side defending well not giving much away. The Tigers were led by power house forwards Lee Crooks, Nathan Sykes and Dean Sampson came up against Salford’s formidable pack which was big and mobile. The vast experience of Peter Edwards, Andy Platt and Paul Forber along with the tough as teak David Hulme lined up for The Reds.
The match was Settled by local winger Phil Coussons try in the corner.
A late kick and chase from Castleford three quarter Simon Middleton had the Salford Faithful’s nerves jangling. The ball ran dead at the Variety club end of the ground as the hooter sounded.
Things got even better for Andy Gregory’s side with four more consecutive league victories to make 1997 a season to remember.
Salford’s 1997 squad
The Tigers come in to this weeks clash on the back of an excellent home performance sweeping Leeds Rhinos aside 42-10 last Sunday. They currently sit third in the Super League Table 3 points behind 2nd place Wigan.
In contrast Salford’s form is poor, a 52-22 drubbing at Hull KR last time out means Ian Watson’s side have just one win in their last 9 matches.
Injuries have started to take there toll on a thin squad of players and recruiting new players seems very difficult at this point in the season for one reason or another. With just three games left in the regular season Salford now look odds on for the bottom four and the daunting prospect of the Qualifying Eights. Currently the Red Devils are 5 points behind 8th place Huddersfield with just 6 points to play for.
Safe travels and enjoy the match, Paul Whiteside.