0 Commentspaulwhitesiderugbyleague, January 11, 2020
Salford’s Welsh Edge Passes Leigh Test.
Salford Red Devils welcomed local neighbours Leigh to the AJ Bell Stadium for their second pre season match of 2020.
Dry and quite mild at kick off the conditions were quite blustery and both sides came up with early errors. The opening quarter became a fairly stop start affair in a match that was lacking any kind of rhythm. Centurions hooker Liam Hood looked bright with his speed around the ruck and at dummy half. This was just edged by Salford’s number nine Joey Lussick. The ever impressive Australian was held up over the line by some desperate Leigh defence. Not to be denied, on the very next set his dogged persistence paid off to open the scoring with a trademark try. Tui Lolohea added the extras 6-0.
A rare Kris Welham error from the kick off handed Leigh an attacking opportunity. Two penalties followed before Hood crashed over from close range. Ben Reynolds tied the scores at 6-6.
Rhys Williams and Elliot Kear partnered up on the edge for Salford. The two Welsh internationals seemed to have a great understanding of each other having played together at London last season. Williams came up with a try saving tackle to deny Leigh winger Adam Higson a try. Then moments later a delightful Kevin Brown pass put Williams in for a nice try.
The Red Devils began to up the pace against the hard working Centurions. A big tackle on Higson forced the mistake and Salford took full advantage. Brown this time created a try for Ken Sio with a classy offload.
The highlight of the half came on the stroke of half time. Niall Evalds broke clear to send Luke Yates rampaging to the line, the defence caught Yates but his brilliant pass gave James Greenwood an easy touchdown.
Leading 22-6 Salford were quite comfortable now at the start of the second half. Evalds almost put Williams over but the pass just evaded him.
The introduction of Martin Ridyard and Josh Woods in the Leigh halves seemed to spur the visitors on and they enjoyed a purple patch scoring two well worked tries. Young Brad Holroyd finished superbly before former Salford favourite Junior Sau went over.
At 22-14 Leigh’s endeavour had been rewarded.
Williams grabbed his second try with some tremendous footwork to dance round Sau. Both Williams and a Kear played the full eighty minutes sending coach Ian Watson a clear message that they want to feature heavily this season. The Welsh duo were very impressive with a really good work rate.
Josh Johnson’s all action display was rewarded with a try from close range as Salford clicked into gear late on.
As the hooter sounded Leigh forced a pass out wide, unfortunately for the visiting supporters Ed Chamberlain intercepted to dash in for the final try. Krisnan Inu converted to wrap the game up 40-14.
Salford coach Ian Watson was pleased with the overall progress and takes his squad to Spain for a short training camp next week. Speaking after the match Watson said “We made to many errors in the second half and were poor but again we made a lot of changes. Individuals have got to be responsible for their own performances”.
Speaking about Salford’s next assignment at Warrington “were looking at little combinations and trying a few things on how individuals perform as well as the team. Their is always people who push forward and say I am the starter and want to start the season and that’s generally done by performances and will become clearer when we play Warrington”.
Salford travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday 23rd January with a 7:45pm kick off.