Ian Watson’s Salford Red Devil’s went from the dark end of the street in 2018 to the bright side of the road come the end of The Qualifiers.
In the close season that momentum and positivity seems to have rubbed off not only on the playing squad but the supporters too. Bridges have been built between the club and its loyal, long suffering fan base. The pundits and opposing fans might be predicting a real struggle for Salford in the coming year, this however is fuelling the desire of everyone associated with this proud club.
A bitterly cold night in West Yorkshire for Watson’s first mission of 2019. Huddersfield Giants a more than useful Super League side. The Red Devils vocal and fanatical supporters travelled in big numbers. Despite the plummeting temperatures the atmosphere at kick off had the crowd buzzing with anticipation.
The first points came after four minutes, a giants penalty from in front of the posts after a Salford drop out failed to go ten meters.
It’s a shaky start from the Red Devils with a few mistakes in the opening ten minutes and a penalty count starting to mount against them.
Despite a lack of possession Salford’s defence looked solid and well organised.
Junior Sau burrowed over for the first try of the match after some good work down the Salford left. Joey Lussick’s conversion is just wide, 2-4.
Salford’s attacks began to come more fluent with some powerful runs from Josh Jones and Lee Mossop.
The Giants continued to ask questions with repeat sets but Salford’s goal line defence was nothing short of outstanding in the first half. This was rewarded when a flowing Red Devils move from right to left saw Ken Sio touch down for a debut try. Lussick off the touch line dragged the conversion wide to send Salford in at half time leading 2-8.
Huddersfield got off to the perfect start in the second half Akuila Uate scoring on there first attack. Izaac Farrell with a pin point touch line conversion to level the scores at 8-8
Joey Lussick with a fantastic booming kick down field holding up in the Giants in goal and the young Australian was there with support to trap the Huddersfield player. Salford received a penalty from the next set and cautiously Lussick took the two points on offer to nudge the visitors ahead again 8-10.
Moments later after a powerful Gil Dudson run Niall Evalds glides through The Giants defence for a super try. This time Lussick’s conversion sails over to the delight of the travelling Devils behind the posts.
In no time at all Evalds is over again, Salford cutting their hosts to shreds with some wonderful support play. 8-20.
The Red Devils put the game to bed on the 70th minute, slick hands once again Hastings to Sau and Sio raced in for his second try.
At times tonight Salford had to be dogged in defence working tremendously hard for each other. On the other hand in the second half there were some classy moves on attack. With just six minutes remaining Evalds completed his hat trick.
Two minutes from time Giants hooker Kruise Leeming scored from close range with Farrell converting.
This was Salford’s night though with a real confidence boosting victory.
The hosts night was summoned with the last kick of the game. Olpherts scoring off a real hash from the Huddersfield man.
Ian Watson was happy with his sides performance singling out Lee Mossop for praise after playing 60 minutes straight at prop. Ian is also expecting big things from star full back Niall Evalds In 2019.
Salford are back in action a week on Sunday when they entertain London Broncos at The AJ Bell Stadium.
Final score Huddersfield 14 Salford 34.