It’s been a tough week for Salford and their supporters. Robert Lui’s transfer to Leeds was a huge blow and a disappointing performance away at Wigan saw the Red Devil’s drop down to seventh place. Victory on Thursday night though would see us climb back to fourth place even if it’s only for twenty four hours or so.
Lui’s departure has seen the arrival of Tongan international Tui Lolohea. After showing some nice touches last Friday and a solid defensive display he will be looking to impress on his home debut. It can’t of been easy for him the way he left Leeds and their is no doubt Tui now has a point to prove for the remainder of this season.
At the time of me writing this it looks highly likely Jackson Hastings will be leaving to join Wigan at the end of the season. This is yet to be confirmed by both clubs. Hastings has become a huge hero at Salford both on and off the field and to say the supporters are disappointed is a massive understatement.
Players come and go though in Rugby League and I am sure Ian Watson will continue to get the best out of his squad for the rest of the season. Their is still so much to play for in 2019. The League table changes week by week and now only six points separate Castleford Tigers in fourth place and London Broncos who are bottom.
Huddersfield are on a very poor run of form. The Giants will be glad to see the back of June with four straight defeats in the month. Their last win was at the Magic Weekend against Hull, a 55-2 victory which shows they can play some good stuff on their day.
Super League home record.
1998 Salford 40 Huddersfield 6
1999 Salford 14 Huddersfield 15
2000 Salford 18 Huddersfield/Sheffield 8
2001 Salford 28 Huddersfield 14
2004 Salford 18 Huddersfield 25
2005 Salford 24 Huddersfield 16
2006 Salford 36 Huddersfield 18
2007 Salford 14 Huddersfield 12
2009 Salford 10 Huddersfield 34
2010 Salford 30 Huddersfield 18
2011 Salford 24 Huddersfield 18
2012 Salford 20 Huddersfield 30
2013 Salford 21 Huddersfield 20
2014 Salford 22 Huddersfield 42
2015 Salford 0 Huddersfield 19
2016 Salford 30 Huddersfield 31
2016 Salford 34 Huddersfield 12 (Qualifiers)
2017 Salford 36 Huddersfield 20
2017 Salford 52 Huddersfield 14 (Super Eights)
2018 Salford 16 Huddersfield 24
They played for both
Here are a selection of players who have played for both clubs;
Steve Kerry, Danny Arnold, Greg Austin, David Bradbury, Jodie Broughton, Ryan Clayton, Gavin Clinch, Greg Eden, Simon Finnigan, Matt Gardner, Lee Gaskell, Martin Gleeson, Bobbie Goulding, Darrel Griffin, Josh Griffin, Neil Harmon, David Hodgson, Graham Holroyd, Andy Johnson, Phil Joseph, Craig Kopzack, Michael korkidas, Tommy Lee, Martin Moana, Chris Nero, Robbie Paul, Luke Robinson, Jordan Turner, Adam Walne, Paul White and Stephen Wild.
Stephen Wild, a good servant to both clubs.
A match to remember Friday 29th March 2013.
Salford 21 Huddersfield 20.
A miserable start too the 2013 season saw three straight defeats conceding forty points in each of them. Going in to this match Salford had won just one win in their opening eight matches with a draw at Wakefield giving us just three league points.
Alan Hunte was in charge as Salford’s interim coach after Phil Veivers had been sacked a few weeks earlier. Hunte had over seen the 23-23 draw at Wakefield and 14-10 defeat at St. Helens in atrocious weather conditions.
Huddersfield were flying high in the Super League coming in to this encounter while Salford were rock bottom.
First-half ties from Lee Gaskell, Jodie Broughton and Ashley Gibson gave the Reds a winning platform, supplemented by Jordan James’ early second-half try. The Giants fought their way back superbly with tries Craig Kopczak and Danny Brough to add to first-half tries from Shaun Lunt and Jermaine McGillvary.
It was Easter rugby league at its best in this Good Friday encounter which was full of incident and excitement.
Hunte had worked wonders with the Salford youth system nurturing the young talent at the club. Niall Evalds, Theo Fages, Gareth Owen and Marc Sneyd were all making their way in the first team. It was that man Sneyd that won the match though with a cool, calm drop goal six minutes from time. From an early age you could see the way Sneyd thought about the game with his clever kicking game and fantastic organisational play.
Huddersfield went on to finish top of the league in 2013 winning the League Leaders Shield. After a season of turmoil Salford ended bottom with just six wins from twenty seven matches.
Salford: Sneyd; Murphy, Gibson, Gaskell, Broughton; Fages, Foran; Griffin, Godwin, Neal, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild.
Replacements: James, Boyle, Owen, Nero.
Huddersfield: Grix; McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy; Brough, Robinson; Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Aspinall, Ferguson.
Replacements: Fairbank, Faiumu, Mullally, Fielden.
Referee: Rob Hicks (Oldham).
Salford will be looking to make it four successive home league wins on Thursday night. Huddersfield are low on confidence from recent results but head coach Simon Woolford knows a win for his side would kick start their season. The Australian took The Giants to a fifth place finish last year on the back of a tremendous run in the final months of the season.
Former Salford players Lee Gaskell and Jordan Turner are likely to be in the Huddersfield squad. Gaskell has being featuring at stand off with the much travelled Turner in the centre.
Twins Louis and Innes Senior have impressed this year having both progressed through the Giants youth system. They both stand at 6ft 4 inches tall and both played against Wakefield last weekend on the left and right wing respectively.
Another dangerous player is Kruise Leeming. Working predominantly off the bench, his work at hooker around the ruck has caused Salford problems in the past.
Giants captain Leroy Cudjoe enjoyed a well deserved testimonial last year and is now in his eleventh season with the West Yorkshire club. Leroy is closing in on 300 career appearances and has been a regular international for the England side.
Leroy Cudjoe, Huddersfield’s international star.
Salford supporters will have a keen eye on Tui Lolohea on his home debut.
The New Zealand born player has a good pedigree in The NRL having played for New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers. Another week training with his new club is bound to have a positive effect on the 24 year old who will be looking to form an exciting partnership with Jackson Hastings for the remainder of the season.
Adam Walker will miss the match through suspension but one forward who has been on top form just recently is Welshman Gil Dudson.
It will certainly be interesting to see what changes if any Ian Watson makes to his seventeen man squad. After a disappointing display at Wigan Salford’s head coach has threatened to make changes to the side.
It promises to be another exciting night at The AJ Bell Stadium. As mentioned before, a chance to go in to fourth place will add to the occasion.
Thursday night is also going to be Martin Gleeson’s last game as Salford’s assistant coach. Watson and Gleeson have formed a formidable partnership over the past few seasons. Punching well above their weight and getting the best out of players that other clubs had lost faith in. The duos attention to detail is quite remarkable and the hours they put in off the training pitch commendable. Two real students of Rugby League who along with the rest of Salford’s coaching staff have masterminded some terrific victories in The Super League. Rugby Union and in particular Wasps are gaining a very talented coach.
Martin Gleeson, is moving on to Rugby Union.
Gleeson will work alongside another former Salford favourite at Wasps. Their head coach Dai Young played at Salford in the 1990s and was part of the team in our famous cup win over Wigan in 1996.
The action gets under way at 7:45pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the game everyone.