After last weeks perfect display in France Salford we’re back in League action at Wheldon Road to take on Castleford.
After the torrential rain of the last week or so the pitch had stayed in decent shape. The rain held off to leave bright and breezy conditions at kick off.
The Salford supporters packed the railway end terrace of the ground for one of our best away followings at Castleford for many a year.
The Tigers made a good solid start to the game and got on the front foot in the opening stages.
Salford looked to have done the hard work in defence before a last tackle kick from Jake Trueman sat up kindly behind the posts for Nathan Massey to touch down. Jordan Rankin added the conversion 6-0.
Things got worse for the visitors when Niall Evalds threw a crazy pass to kris Welham yards from his own line when returning a kick. Welham slipped, the ball went to ground leaving a gift try for the Tigers. Rankin touching down and converting 12-0.
After his two try heroics last weekend Jake Bibby was over again to score. Terrific ball movement from Salford from the opposite side of the pitch before Bibby squeezed in beside the corner flag.
Adam Walker came off the bench for his debut. The forwards first action saw Castleford hooker Paul McShane sin binned. Strangely though the Tigers were awarded the penalty.
Just before the break Niall Evalds came up with a try saving challenge. The full back turned in to a football goalie for a few seconds as he wonderfully stopped a Castleford kick through close to the line saving a certain try.
The Tigers turned the screw at the start of the second half. Three sets of six on the Salford line after forcing Two drop outs eventually broke the resistance. Greg Eden coasted in to extend the advantage 18-4.
Salford roared back showing great character. The all action Jansin Turget scored a well deserved try with Joey Lussick adding the goal.
Moments later Salford attacked again, Hastings sprung in to action before Lussick was tackled without the ball. From the penalty Lussick ran from dummy half with so much determination that he crashed over the line to score. The Salford supporters were delighted behind the sticks as the games momentum seemed to be changing.
Trailing 18-16 Salford were now right back in the match. Ben Nakabuwai knocked on from the kick off to take the pressure off the Tigers. Castleford were over the line shortly after but referee Robert Hicks called no try for obstruction.
It took something special to nudge Castleford further ahead. A real training ground move caught the Salford defence napping. Jesse Sene-Lafao scoring under the sticks. Rankin hit the post from what looked a straight forward conversion. 22-16.
Hicks awarded a contentious penalty five minutes later. From almost the half way line Rankin extended Castleford’s lead to eight points.
Salford though weren’t giving up and kept battling away. Robert Lui’s high kick hung in the air before Greg Minikin spilled it close to his own line. Hastings attacked before producing a fantastic offload for Jake Bibby to reach out superbly for his second try of the match. Lussick’s conversion attempt drifted wide leaving the score at 24-20 with just seven minutes remaining. The Red Devil’s continued to attack with one or two 50/50 calls going against them. Castleford clung on to edge a very entertaining match.
Salford coach Ian Watson was pleased with his sides effort and commitment against one of the league’s front runners.
The Red Devil’s are back in action next Sunday at The AJ Bell Stadium when they host Wigan Warriors.
Castleford 24 Salford 20