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Leeds v Salford- Match Preview

Since Salford’s last visit to Headingly on Easter Monday there have been quite a few changes in West Yorkshire. Coach Brian McDermott lost his job with a Kevin Sinfield returning alongside James Lowes. Back in April The Rhinos were riding high and looking to Challenge again for another top four finish. Things haven’t gone to plan though with a poor last few months of the season that saw Leeds lose 9 of there last 11 games in the regular rounds with just a solitary victory over Widnes and a draw against Wakefield Trinity. After last season’s Grand Final glory The Champions have looked anything but recently.

All this said Leeds still have international players in there side and a wealth of talent and experience. At the moment they seem a team feeling the pressure of The Qualifiers, with the threat of relegation and the Million pound game in the background results are a must.

Salford’s victory over Leeds in the final match of the regular season seemed to fire them in to the Qualifiers on a wave of excitement. New signing Jackson Hastings has lifted the club on and off the field. Ed Chamberlain, Greg Burke and Joey Lussick have bolstered Ian Watson’s squad. Salford are now playing with a smile on there face and a renewed belief.

Headingly can be a daunting challenge as Salford supporters know only to well.

One things for sure this match is one not to be missed.

Action from this years regular season fixture.

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 5th February 1977 Leeds 13 Salford 28.

After the Championship glory of the 1975/76 season Salford were unable to replicate it the following year. They did however manage there first win at Headingly since 1959. A cold damp Saturday afternoon and a good away following on the West Terrace were treated to a thrilling Salford performance. Colin Dixon and Mike Coulman were at there tenacious best. Bone crunching in defence and unstoppable going forward. Ken Gill and Steve Nash dictated proceedings at half back, while super fast winger Maurice Richards and Keith Fielding were amongst the points. Richards with a try and Fielding with five goals. Captain courageous Chris Hesketh was as reliable as ever scoring a crucial try. The second half of this match was screened on BBC Grandstand. Hopefully one day to be resurrected from the archives as it would make fascinating viewing. Salford would now have to wait 32 years until Easter Monday 2009 for there next win at Leeds.

Salford’s try scorers that day were, Coulman, Hesketh, Gill, Dixon, Nash and Richards.

The team line ups were

Leeds, Fletcher, A Smith, D Smith, Dyl, Atkinson, Hague, Dick, Dickinson,

Ward (captain), Pitchford, Eccles, Cookson and Fearnley.

Salford, Graham, Fielding, Butler, Hesketh (captain), Richards, Gill, Nash, Coulman, Raistrick, Mantle, Turnbull, Dixon, Prescott. Subs, Knighton, Grice.

Super league Away record at Leeds

Salford won 1

Leeds won 20

Drawn 0

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)

2018 Leeds 20 Salford 0

Happy Easter, Salford celebrate another try Easter Monday 2009.

Friday’s match

On a wet and soggy Easter Monday earlier in the season Salford were beaten 20-0 at Headingly and have failed to score a try on our last two visits.

Going in to round five of the Qualifiers even the most cautious Salford supporter could be forgiven for daring to pull off a rare victory. The Red Devil’s form has been top notch in recent weeks with five wins on the spin. Playing some fantastic attacking Rugby League along with a mean defence.

Leeds ground out a hard fought victory at Widnes last weekend and were beaten at home to Hull Kingston Rovers recently. The Rhinos have stuttered in attack on occasions. Having said all that they can pull wins from anywhere on there home ground.

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.

The last time Salford beat Leeds home and away in the same season was in January 1946. In fact that was the last time The Red Devil’s have beaten Leeds twice in a season, so Ian Watson and his side could create a little bit of history on Friday night.

Safe travels and enjoy the match everyone.

Paul Whiteside.


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