The Airlie Birds of Hull may have missed out on a trip to Wembley but Lee Radford and his side are very much in the Super League race.
Coming in to Saturday’s fixture both sides are in good form. Salford have won their last four matches. Hull have won three out of their last four with a 14-15 home defeat to Wigan being a slight disappointment.
The two sides have met twice this season already. Hull won on both occasions with the match at The KCOM back in June being a particularly exciting game. Salford roared back scoring three tries in the final ten minutes coming up just short in a 35-32 defeat.
With just four matches of the regular season remaining so much could still happen to the Super League Table. St. Helens have already guaranteed themselves top spot and The League Leaders shield. Warrington and Hull have 32 points, Wigan sit fourth on 28 with Salford fifth on 26. Just outside the playoff spots ready to pounce are Castleford and Catalans.
The picture could change again this weekend at both ends of the table with the relegation battle equally as compelling.
Hull’s unpredictability has let them down at times this season but their is no doubting the quality of their squad. Marc Sneyd, Jake Connor and Albert Kelly provide the craft, Danny Houghton is one of the most reliable hookers in the country and the danger in the three quarter line provides a real threat.
Veteran forward Gareth Ellis continues to impress at the age of 38 since coming out of retirement. With twenty seasons behind him and over 400 career appearances. Ellis is a modern day great having earned so much respect from supporters, players, coaches and the media both in England and Australia. Captaining Hull to Challenge Cup wins in 2016 and 2017 has made him a hero and fans favourite in Humberside.
Gareth Ellis, a modern day great still playing at 38.
Historically Salford’s record on the West Side of Hull is nothing to shout about.
Since Hull’s move from the Boulevard to the KCOM Salford have managed just one victory with twenty defeats in the league. Two very thrilling cup ties have been won by Salford though a very late try in 2009 and a thrilling golden point drop goal a few years later. Some of those league defeats have been very heavy and made painful viewing for the supporters. The one victory we did get was most certainly a memorable one 18-54 in 2017. A fantastic performance and a Watson coaching Masterclass!
Super League away record.
1998 Hull 32 Salford 0
1999 Hull 18 Salford 12
2000 Hull 26 Salford 22
2001 Hull 40 Salford 8
2002 Hull 28 Salford 8
2002 Hull 60 Salford 16
2004 Hull 82 Salford 6
2005 Hull 20 Salford 6
2006 Hull 11 Salford 10
2007 Hull 48 Salford 26
2009 Hull 14 Salford 12
2010 Hull 34 Salford 12
2011 Hull 52 Salford 16
2012 Hull 34 Salford 26
2013 Hull 18 Salford 13
2014 Hull 30 Salford 8
2015 Hull 24 Salford 20
2016 Hull 42 Salford 20
2017 Hull 18 Salford 54
2017 Hull 32 Salford 18 (Super Eights)
2018 Hull 45 Salford 14
2019 Hull 35 Salford 32
They played for both
Paul Fletcher, Richie Barnett, Brian Blacker, Jodie Broughton, Craig Coleman, Josh Griffin, Brad Hepi, Mark Johnson, Daniel Holdsworth, Alan Hunte, Stuart Howarth, Warren Jowitt, Tommy Lee, Ryan Mcgoldrick, Craig Murdock, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Tommy Saxton, Scott Taylor, Jordan Turner, Martin Gleeson and Marc Sneyd.
South African winger Mark Johnson played for Hull and Salford.
A match to remember Friday 7th April 2017.
Hull 18 Salford 54.
Sometimes in sport everything clicks, everything comes off and everything falls into place. On this special night two seasons ago Salford and their supporters at the KCOM stadium were in absolute dreamland. On a ground that had dished out so much pain to Salford and many heavy defeats.
Hull took the lead through winger Shaun Michaels before The Red Devils ran riot. Seven first half tries blew the hosts apart. Every time Salford we’re in possession anything seemed possible. Michael Dobson and Robert Lui worked their magic and a magnificent effort from the pack got the rampaging Red Devils well on the front foot.
Greg Johnson and Craig Kopczak both crossed twice, while Robert Lui, Junior Sa’u and Justin Carney also went over before the break.
Whatever Hull coach Lee Radford said to his players at half time seemed to fire them up for a fight. The home side threatened a comeback with a couple of quick tries but Salford clicked back into gear. Michael Dobson and George Griffin touched down before Ben Murdoch Masila went on a swashbuckling charge to crash over right in front of the delighted travelling Salford supporters.
One or two ghosts were laid to rest that night. Ian Watson remained grounded and humble speaking after the match but had a slight twinkle in his eye!
Hull FC: Shaul; Michaels, Fonua, Griffin, Talanoa; Connor, Sneyd; Bowden, Washbrook, Watts, Manu, Minichiello, Thompson.
Replacements: Green, Turgut, Fash, Litten.
Sin-Bin: Sneyd (35), Shaul (67).
Salford Red Devils : O’Brien; Carney, Sa’u, Welham, Johnson; Lui, Dobson; Mossop, Tomkins, Tasi, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Flanagan.
Replacements: Kopczak, Griffin, Walne, Carney.
Sin-Bin: Carney (59).
Referee: Gareth Hewer.
Ian Watson and his Salford side have defied the odds all season. Written off most weeks by certain sections of the media and rugby league pundits seems to fuel the desire of Watson and his players.
With such a small squad and limited resources to be sitting in fifth place with four matches remaining is nothing short of remarkable.
The Red Devil’s have signed players over the last 12 months that have been cast aside by other clubs. Chances have been taken and faith has been restored, Watson has a habit of improving players not only on the pitch but as people off the pitch as well.
With a fantastic togetherness and team spirit perhaps their are still some exciting times ahead for everyone at Salford this season. 2019 has been one heck of an adventure so far.
Both Hull and Salford play an entertaining brand of Rugby League. Salford are the second highest point scorers in Super League behind St. Helens which again is an unbelievable statistic.
With Jackson Hastings right up their in The Albert Goldthorpe medal and Man of steel ratings and not to forget Niall Evalds Super League’s leading try scorer the wider Rugby League community are beginning to take note.
Niall Evalds, top of the try charts in 2019.
Saturday’s match has all the hallmarks of a classic match. Two sides going flat out for the top five with just four points between them in the table.
The action gets under way at 5pm.
Safe journey everyone and enjoy the game.