Both sides enjoyed fantastic victories in round one. Salford’s win at Huddersfield there first opening round victory since 2014. London who were 6-18 down at one stage in the first half in Sunday’s match against a much fancied Wakefield Trinity side roared back to lead at the break. The Broncos out scored there Yorkshire opponents in the second half to run out 42-24 winners.
It’s been an incredible journey for London in there 39 year history. Starting out as Fulham at Craven Cottage back in 1980. There have been ground moves and name changes. Who could forget there 2nd place finish in Super League back in 1997. A Challenge cup final appearance in 1999 in the last final at the old Wembley capping off probably the most successful period in there short history.
London began life as Fulham back in 1980.
Since being relegated to the championship the club began to rebuild under former coach Andrew Henderson and his work has been carried on by current boss Danny Ward. Yorkshireman Ward a former Leeds Rhinos player has rugby league running through his veins. His father David Ward a real stalwart for the Leeds club won the very first Man of Steel award back in 1977. David went on to play almost 500 matches for the Loiners between 1971 and 1986. Danny is proving to be one of the brightest young coaches on the scene with his sharp sense of humour he’s a very likeable guy.
London’s Head Coach Danny Ward.
The team spirit and togetherness he installed in his side last season saw them finish in the top four in the championship and do tremendously well in the Qualifiers to make the Million pound game. It was a monumental effort to beat Toronto Wolfpack in there own backyard to gain promotion. A battling display to win away at Widnes in the Qualifiers and who could forget there tight victory over Salford 11-8 last September out lining there potential to compete in the top flight once again.
Talisman Jarrod Sammutt has left to join Wigan in one of the surprises of the close season. Captain Jay Pitts is a very versatile player and can fill in a number of positions. Close season additions include Jordan Abdul from Hull, Ryan Morgan St. Helens, Luke Yates Newcastle Knights and Morgan Smith Warrington.
Super League home record
Salford won 12
London won 8
1997 Salford 16 London 27
1998 Salford 23 London 20
1999 Salford 31 London 14
2000 Salford 42 London 26
2001 Salford 12 London 14
2001 Salford 12 London 50
2002 Salford 18 London 42
2004 Salford 30 London 12
2005 Salford 20 London 16
2005 Salford 26 London 18
2006 Salford 28 Harlequins 29
2006 Salford 34 Harlequins 0
2007 Salford 5 Harlequins 2
2009 Salford 18 Harlequins 48
2010 Salford 17 Harlequins 14
2011 Salford 26 Harlequins 18
2012 Salford 44 London 12
2013 Salford 4 London 38
2014 Salford 58 London 26
2016 Salford 16 London 19 (qualifiers)
They played for both
Here are a selection of players who have played for both clubs;
Steven Bannister, Radney Bowker, Andrew Brocklehurst, Luke Burgess, Mason Caton Brown, David Cruikshank, Luke Dorn, David Driver, Carl Forster, Matt Gardner, Matty Gee, Tony Gourley, George Griffin, Gareth Haggerty, Tim Hartley, David Highton, Andy Johnson, Ben Jones Bishop, Olsi Krasniqi, Tommy Lee, Ian Maccorquodale, Martin Offiah, Rob Parker, Gareth Price, Jon Roper, Darren Shaw, Andy Smith, Anthony Stewart, Trevor Stockley and Josh White.
A match to remember
Salford 5 Harlequins 2 15th June 2007.
After the highs of 2006 and our 5th place finish in Super League. 2007 was a real story of disappointment. Karl Harrison’s Reds failed to kick on and make progress despite some exciting signings boosting the squad. After a string of poor results the final straw for Karl was a dismal display against Catalans in Perpignan. In the pouring rain Salford were battered 66-6. Harrison was sacked . Steve Simms took over as caretaker coach before the appointment of Australian Shaun McRae.
McRae took charge for the first time for Salford’s home clash with Harlequins. A very strange game with two sides struggling to find there creative spark. The scores were locked a 2-2 going in to the final quarter. Luke Robinson dropped a goal to edge the Reds in to a 3-2 lead with 14 minutes remaining.
Salford had been hit by injuries but with Malcolm Alker and Aaron Moule returning looked a lot more solid.
John Wilshere kicked the final points of the match late on to clinch the match 5-2.
Salford had a further ten matches to play after this one but managed just one victory at home to Bradford. Relegation was confirmed after newly promoted Hull Kr thumped City rivals Hull.
The teams that day were;
Wilshere, Hodgson, McGuinness, Moule, Littler, Dorn, Robinson, Korkidas, Alker, Highton, Coley, Edmondson, Finnigan.
Subs, Brocklehurst, Gower, Turner, Jewitt.
Melling, Wells, Sykes, Smith, Gafa, McLinden, Orr, Temata, Randall, Mills, Hopkins, Worrincy, Paul.
Subs, Rinaldi, Grayshon, Mbu, Bannister.
Action from our clash in 2007 at The Willows.
After last Friday’s result at Huddersfield Salford will be looking to build on what was a very solid start to the season. Over the past few seasons all the Top Flight clubs have strengthened leaving every two points vital and wins harder than ever to come buy. Salford coach Ian Watson knows there are no easy games and will certainly not be taking London Broncos lightly. Many pundits have predicted London and Salford to finish in the bottom two. Both sides results last weekend perhaps weren’t shocks but they might have made one or two people sit up and think.
Junior Sau picked up a knock last Friday and looks likely to miss Sunday’s match. With Ed Chamberlain still out injured this could hand a chance to Jake Bibby. I would expect the majority of the side to remain the same.
London will arrive full of confidence after scoring eight tries in there win against Wakefield. Rhys Williams and Kieran Dixon will provide the pace out wide. There is also plenty of aggression in there pack with Eddie Battye, captain Jay Pitts and Greg Richards.
The Salford club and there supporters are working over time with a big social media presence and plenty of posters to try and entice people to what promises to be another thrilling afternoon of rugby league.
Everyone has there own opinion on there preferred game day. For some it’s Friday nights, Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon.
This week being a Sunday, hopefully some dry weather and the chance for people to make a real day of it.
Enjoy the match everyone.