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Victory is Bitter Sweet For Salford

Toronto Wolfpack were something of a Juggernaut in the Championship this season. In the qualifiers though they’ve found it much tougher.

Salford are now a team full of confidence, it was again a fine start for The Red Devil’s with early pressure forcing a mistake from Gareth O Brien. Toronto were made to pay on the next set with Ed Chamberlain scoring out wide. Chamberlain with a super conversion gave the hosts a 6-0 lead.

Robert Lui’s towering kick was allowed to bounce with Salford’s pressing forcing a drop out. On the next play a really neat move saw Niall Evalds glide over. The video referee however ruled the try out for obstruction.

This game was always going to be a feisty encounter and 14 minutes in Lama Tasi was shown the yellow card by referee Robert Hicks.

This didn’t seem to deter Salford though and on the very next play Lui squeezed over from close range for a real opportunist try. Jackson Hastings seemed to get flattened off the ball in back play.

The ever reliable Chamberlain nailed the touch line conversion 12-0.

Kris Welham crunched former Salford star O Brien with a great tackle. Welham and Chamberlain have formed a solid defensive partnership as well as being a very exciting attacking threat going forward.

Young Australian Joey Lussick continued his impressive form with a thrilling break only to be held down. From the resulting penalty Salford cautiously kicked the two points on offer.

Leading 14-0 then came a piece of magic and possibly Salford’s best try of the season. From a nothing last tackle play, the ball was kept alive as the Red Devil’s went swashbuckling down the pitch with some swagger tearing the Wolfpack to pieces. Wonderful support play was finished off with Hastings diving under the posts.

Trailing 20-0 at half time Paul Rowley obviously gave his Toronto side an ear bashing. The visitors were out very early awaiting the kick off. They started with a much quicker tempo with another ex Salford player Adam Sidlow powering over to score. Matty Russell made it back to back tries on the next set to half the deficit 20-10 and when Luke Burgess was shown the red card on the 53 minute for a high tackle you could sense the tension amongst the home supporters.

Another silly penalty put Salford on a team warning, with there confidence imploding Andy Ackers scored Toronto’s third try from close range 20-16.

Just before the hour mark Chase Stanley was sin binned for a high tackle to give the home side some slight relief. The Red Devil’s took full advantage with Ryan Lannon showing some neat footwork to touch down to regain the ten point cushion.

Salford were defending for there lives now as The Wolfpack threw everything they had on attack particularly down there left edge. Welham and Chamberlain came to the rescue on a number of occasions with some terrific defensive reads.

With six minutes to go Chamberlain kicked a penalty from almost on the half way line. A perfect 6/6 in the goal kicking department edged Salford in to a 28-16 lead. Jackson Hastings failed with a drop goal attempt in the closing stages but there was still time for a last gasp drama.

A high kick went up with seconds remaining O Brien took the kick but was hit by Hastings as he landed. Both teams were involved in an altercation with the two touch judges and referee splitting the sides. Hastings was then shown the red card to really dampen a good result for Salford.

It’s four wins from four matches that keeps The Red Devil’s top of the qualifiers table but there will be an anxious wait this week to see what action the disciplinary take.

Salford travel to Headingly next Friday to face Leeds Rhinos.

Salford 28 Toronto 16.

Paul Whiteside.


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