The stakes couldn’t be much higher in the final round of fixtures for the regular season. Bottom side London Broncos snatched a late victory away to Hull kr last weekend to leave the bottom four clubs all level on twenty points. One team from Wakefield, Huddersfield, Hull kr or London will be relegated.
Another fascinating twist is that Wakefield play London at Belle Vue with the loser of that game in real trouble. It would also depend on the other results from the matches between Huddersfield v Catalans and Salford v Hull kr.
Salford have their own ambitions to finish as high as possible. Currently in fourth position a victory over the Robins on Friday could see them jump above Warrington and Wigan. Again this would all hinge on Warrington’s visit to Leeds and Wigan’s fixture against Castleford.
Salford have now won seven matches on the trot, it’s a marvellous run of form and even the Headingley hoodoo was put to bed last Friday. The Red Devils won a hard fought encounter over Leeds 12-20. Defence was the key and at times the goal line defending was nothing short of sensational. With this sort of belief and desire anything seems possible for Ian Watson’s side. The addition of Paul Rowley to the coaching staff seems to be another master stroke. Rowley is working well with the team in training, particularly the forwards and this has been evident in the recent matches.
Salford will be hoping Gil Dudson will recover from an injury picked up in the win at Leeds. The Welsh international has been an ever present this season and his all action performances have made him a huge favourite with the supporters.
Hull Kr have already beaten Salford twice this season. At The AJ Bell Stadium in The Challenge cup 18-32 and then a few weeks later at the Magic Weekend at Anfield 22-20. The Red Devil’s won a thrilling encounter at Craven Park in the early rounds of 2019, 22-24.
Super League home record.
Hull Kr 5
2007, Salford 24 Hull kr 30
2009, Salford 10 Hull kr 14
2010, Salford 18 Hull kr 44
2011, Salford 34 Hull kr 18
2012, Salford 10 Hull kr 18
2013, Salford 38 Hull kr 34
2014, Salford 16 Hull kr 16
2015, Salford 31 Hull kr 18
2016, Salford 44 Hull kr 26
2016, Salford 12 Hull kr 29 (Qualifiers)
2018, Salford 36 Hull kr 12
They played for both
Here are a selection of players to have represented The Robins and The Red Devils,
Greg Austin, Colin Dixon, Greg Burke, Chris Charles, Michael Dobson, Sean Gleeson, Darrell Goulding, David Hodgson, Lee Jewitt, Justin Carney, Jordan Walne, Phil Joseph, Tommy Lee, Tyrone McCarthy, Craig Murdock, Cory Paterson, Gareth Price, Scott Taylor, Tony Puletua, Richard Smith, Iain Thornley, Kris Welham and Todd Carney.
Kris Welham, a fantastic servant to both clubs.
A match to remember Saturday 10th May 2014
Salford 16 Hull kr 16.
After a very disappointing season in 2013 Salford finished bottom of Super League. The following season in 2014 some very exciting signings were made which gave the long suffering supporters a renewed optimism. Despite some good results, overall the season wasn’t as successful as perhaps the rugby league public expected. This clash in May however was a real exciting one.
Torrential rain made the conditions poor and handling errors were a plenty.
Salford went in to the match in very mis firing form having lost their previous four matches.
Veteran winger Francis Meli gave the hosts and early lead before the Rovers hit back with two tries. Kevin Larroyer and Kris Welham both touched down to give the Robins a deserved 4-10 lead at half time.
Meli grabbed his second try and Jake Mullaney’s conversion levelled the match at 10-10.
With the weather showing no signs of improvement the greasy conditions made ball handling difficult and both sides became locked in a real arm wrestle.
On the back of a Mullaney mistake Neville Costigan pounced to nudge the visitors back in front. Ironically another mistake led to the games next try. This time Rovers spilled possession allowing Salford centre Martin Gleeson the chance to charge over to score. Mullaney booted his side level once again at 16-16.
Jake Mullaney, a prolific goal kicker.
Costigan tried to force his way through for a second try but the attempt was ruled out despite going over. The two sides traded drop goal attempts with Rangi Chase’s effort rebounding back off the frame of the posts.
Gareth Hock burst through late on but the chance went begging. In the end a draw was probably a fair result.
At the end of the season Salford finished 10th just behind 9th place Hull Kr on points difference. Both sides ended the campaign with 23 points, four points off the playoff places.
The teams that day;
Salford, Mullaney, Williams, Gleeson, Sau, Meli, Chase, Fages, D Griffin, Tomkins, Tasi, Hansen, Hock, Puletua
Subs, Ashurst, Morley, Rapira, Howarth.
Hull Kr, Cockayne, D Hodgson, Welham, Salter, Gardner, Burns, Keating, Netherton, J Hodgson, Weyman, Larroyer, Cox, Costigan
Subs, Langley, Green, Lovegrove, Hall.
Referee, Phil Bentham
Both sides have everything to play for, but for very different reasons at both ends of the table. Salford are the form side in the Super League competition. The winning run over the last seven matches has built a real belief around the whole club. Confidence is flowing through the side, players are raising their game week after week. It’s a marvellous story that would make a very exciting film. However far Ian Watson’s side go in 2019 his side have been a breath of fresh air. Salford have hit the headlines for so many negative stories over the past few seasons but this year the feel good factor around the club has left smiles on everyone’s faces. Attendances are growing and steady progress is being made off the field.
Hull Kr will be a very dangerous opposition given the desperate situation they find themselves in. Disappointing home defeats to Wakefield and London in recent weeks have left The Robins on the brink of relegation. It’s almost three years since the two sides met in The Million Pound game. Ask any die hard Rovers supporter about that day and it must still be quite raw.
Salford prop Daniel Murray is currently on loan with Hull kr and is set to feature against his parent club this Friday. Chris Atkin has signed for the Red Devil’s for the 2020 season and will be wanting to impress.
Veteran half back Danny McGuire has rolled back the years at times this season and will be looking for a huge performance before he hangs up his boots. To add a little more spice Kris Welham, Adam Walker and Ken Sio have all played for The Robins in recent seasons and all three are set to play in this clash. Since returning from injury Sio has been in fine try scoring form and alongside his centre partner Welham, the two of them are becoming quite a dynamic duo.
This match looks an absolutely fascinating prospect with so many permutations possible before the final League table comes to rest after the final hooter at Friday nights matches.
The atmosphere at the last home fixture against Warrington was something special and the travelling away support at Leeds last week certainly lifted the players on the pitch. The momentum is growing every week and the Salford supporters can feel the energy their side is creating. Even the most cautious followers of our great club are starting to believe anything is possible.
The one game at a time philosophy has worked wonders so far and Watson, his staff and players won’t be looking any further than the task in hand. Hull Kr coach Tony Smith has a wealth of experience being one of the most successful coaches of the Super League era. He will have his players fired up for what’s possibly going to be the most nerve wracking eighty minutes of the year so far.
The action gets underway at 7:45pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match everyone.