With just four matches remaining the race for the top five is more exciting than ever. St. Helens are clear at the top but the next four places are up for grabs with the current sides up their so close on the league ladder. A good run of form in the closing weeks of the regular season could put Hull or Salford in the top three.
Salford’s record in the Super League era on the west side of Hull is pretty desperate, just one victory from twenty one fixtures.
The Red Devil’s were without one of their top performers of 2018, Gil Dudson who had pulled out with an injury earlier in the day and not made the journey.
Ken Sio returned to the side in place of Derrell Olpherts.
After the poor weather during in the week lovely sunny conditions returned leaving an immaculate playing surface.
A fantastic atmosphere met the players as they walked out for kick in what was a huge match for both side.
Good early Salford pressure forced a Hull knock on in their first set of six.
Tui Lolohea with a superb cut out pass provided the chance and Ken Sio squeezed in at the corner. Krisnan Inu continued his fantastic goal kicking form with a peach off the touch line.
Hull’s response was immediate, on the back of a Salford error Scott Taylor powered over to score. Marc Sneyd levelled matters with the boot. 6-6.
In the opening quarter both defences looked shaky and from Danny Houghton’s short pass Mickey Paea scores an easy try.
Kris Welham gambled on the interception but Hull extend the lead as Bureta Faraimo glided over.
At 16-6 down Salford were feeling the heat but Ian Watson’s men are made of stern stuff and came up with the perfect response.
Lee Mossop smashed his way over the try line from close range before arguably the try of the half. Jackson Hastings and Tui Lolohea combined brilliantly to spread the ball stretching the home side to maximum capacity. Ken Sio was on hand to finish superbly. 16-16 half time.
Salford made a perfect start to the second half, Niall Evalds super tip on pass put Jake Bibby in for another well crafted try. Five minutes later from another Hull knock on the Red Devils made the pressure count with Lee Mossop bagging his second try off Mark Flanagan’s neat offload. 16-28.
Kris Welham and Niall Evalds combined well with some terrific defending to stop Josh Griffin scoring.
The points kept coming though it what was turning in to a pulsating match.
On the hour Hull second row man Jordan Lane scored to bring the scores back to 22-28. From the kick off Inu kicked out on the full to heap more pressure on the Red Devil’s. This time the defence held firm and Inu made up for his dodgy kick off with a special try. Hastings high kick looked to long but Inu leapt like basketball playing salmon to score a try that looked impossible from the stands.
With ten minutes remaining and a twelve point deficit Hull needed a try. Sneyd went for broke with a desperate looping pass Welham pouched the interception. He didn’t quite have the legs but on the very next play Hastings went over to thrill the travelling Salford supporters. 22-38. Hull had no answer to Salford’s attacking rugby league. The Red Devils looked unstoppable at times playing with freedom and flair that under lines their fantastic and well deserved position on the League table.
Inu scored again from close range and converted to add to another impressive points haul.
Complete jubilation in the away end met the final hooter. Salford’s incredible 2019 journey keeps going.
Ian Watson remained calm and humble speaking after the match, “it’s a great performance by the boys. You’ve just seen two half backs playing their, opening a very good team up. They’ve been first class today.”
Watson agrees his side now have the belief coming away from home to the top sides, “I think we’ve made strides throughout the season”.
Salford are back in action against Cup finalists Warrington Wolves the Thursday after the Challenge Cup final. Another exciting night awaits.
Hull 22 Salford 44.