The way results turned out in the last round of Super League matches the pressure has cranked up another notch for Richard Marshall’s Salford side. Wakefield and Hull Kingston Rovers both recorded big victories over Huddersfield and Leigh respectively leaving Salford and the Centurions stuck in the bottom two positions on the League ladder. Leigh have yet to record a victory in their opening eight matches and Salford have only one win to their name. Both sides have by far the poorest defences in the League and with the sides directly above starting to pick points up the danger of being cut adrift is a fairly serious one.
Salford now face two sides from outside the top six in their next two matches however both are away from home. First up Hull Kingston Rovers then follows a trip to Huddersfield to face Ian Watson’s Giants side.
In my opinion I don’t think it’s a time to panic. Salford have enough experience and quality in the squad to survive in Super League. The trick is getting a settled side on the pitch week in week out. Think back to 2019 and that amazing winning run to the Grand Final. The team hardly changed and more or less picked its self every week. Injuries have scuppered the season so far along with suspensions caused by ill discipline. This is one thing that needs tidying up.
Hull Kingston Rovers have made a solid start to the season with four wins already. Many tipped them to struggle but Tony Smith has moulded a side that is tough to beat and has plenty of character. Rovers have been involved in three real knife edge matches already. They were beaten by Catalans 29-28 in round one after a fantastic comeback. A 32-33 golden point extra time defeat against Castleford in the Challenge Cup was hard to swallow but the following week they beat Huddersfield 25-24 in another cracking match. Comprehensive victories over Leeds and Leigh as well as a surprise win at Castleford sees Rovers sit comfortably in sixth position in the league table. Going into Friday’s match they will start as favourites against a Salford side that has now lost five games on the spin.
Super League away record.
Hull KR 9
2007 Hull KR 24 Salford 28
2009 Hull KR 48 Salford 12
2010 Hull KR 30 Salford 12
2011 Hull KR 21 Salford 8
2012 Hull KR 22 Salford 24
2013 Hull KR 28 Salford 18
2014 Hull KR 18 Salford 38
2015 Hull KR 34 Salford 28
2015 Hull KR 46 Salford 22 (Middle Eights)
2016 Hull KR 44 Salford 30
2016 Hull KR 18 Salford 19 (million pound game)
2018 Hull KR 52 Salford 22
2018 Hull KR 10 Salford 28 (Middle Eights)
2019 Hull KR 22 Salford 24
2020 Hull KR 24 Salford 22 (played behind closed doors at Headingley)
They played for both.
Here are a selection of players to have represented The Robins and The Red Devils,
Greg Austin, Greg Burke, Chris Charles, Michael Dobson, Sean Gleeson, Darrell Goulding, David Hodgson, Lee Jewitt,
Michael Dobson, a terrific halfback for both clubs.
Justin Carney, Jordan Walne, Phil Joseph, Tommy Lee, Tyrone McCarthy, Craig Murdock, Cory Paterson, Gareth Price, Scott Taylor, Tony Puletua, Richard Smith, Iain Thornley and Kris Welham.
Chris Charles, a fantastic servant to both clubs.
A match to remember Sunday 20th July 2014.
After two excellent victories over Huddersfield and Hull Fc, Salford made it three on the spin on a memorable afternoon at Craven Park. Glorious sunshine greeted the two sides at kick and a shirt sleeve, bumper crowd of over 8,000 witnessed a tight low scoring first half. Rovers led 12-4 at half time but what ever Salford coach Iestyn Harris said to his players at the break certainly transformed them in the second half.
The Reds we’re rampant tearing there hosts to pieces with some fabulous attacking Rugby. The Robins had no answer to Salford’s punishing attacks.
Josh Griffin grabbed a brace of tries, with Mason Caton Brown, Niall Evalds, Junior Sau, Greg Johnson and Theo Fages all crossing for tries. It was a very pleasant drive back over the Pennines for Salford’s travelling supporters who were in good voice as the final hooter sounded.
Josh Griffin scored two tries in 2014.
The teams that day were;
Hull Kr: Craig Hall, Omari Caro, Kris Welham, Liam Salter, David Hodgson, Travis Burns, Kris Keating, Jason Netherton, Josh Hodgson, Michael Weyman, Kevin Larroyer, Graeme Horne, Neville Costigan.
Subs, James Green, Adam Walker, Aaron Ollet, Jason Chan.
Salford: Niall Evalds, Greg Johnson, Junior Sau, Mason Caton Brown, Josh Griffin, Rangi Chase, Theo Fages, Adrian Morley, Tommy Lee, Darrell Griffin, Matt Ashurst, Harrison Hansen, Tony Puletua.
Subs, Steve Rapira, Jordan Walne, Jason Walton, Francis Meli.
Referee James Child.
In my lifetime watching Salford their have been many more seasons of struggle compared to successful ones. The last couple of years reaching the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final are something I and many other supporters could of only dreamed of as youngsters growing up.
Times are difficult at the moment for the coach, players and the club. A lot of things have changed in a short space of time. To me this is when your faith gets tested. It’s great watching the team on winning runs, playing exciting rugby but it’s not always like that. This is when the club needs its supporters behind them more than ever. We all get disappointed after defeats. We all have our opinions on who played well and who could of done better. It’s easy to be a Head Coach on the other side of the touch line. Get through the difficult times though and you will savour the good times when they come along that little bit more.
Humberside is always a tough place to go if it’s either the East side or the West. Friday nights trip to Hull Kingston Rovers is another pivotal match in Salford’s season. A lot has been said recently about our tough start to the season with fixture against sides from the top six. The Robins don’t fall into that category and neither do next weeks opponents Huddersfield, so after these two matches we should get a better understanding of how Salford’s season is likely to pan out. Confidence is a huge factor in the sport and that’s one thing the Robins seem high on at the moment. Former Leeds winger Ryan Hall is in terrific try scoring form and when Rovers attack they look a very threatening side and have proved already this season that they can score points from anywhere on the pitch. Jordan Abdull guides the team around the pitch superbly at times and second rower Kane Linnett is playing some of the best rugby of his career.
Salford supporters will have had a keen eye on this weeks squad announcements. Losing Kallum Watkins to a long term injury just recently is another blow for coach Richard Marshall. Both Kevin Brown and Danny Addy have also had operations on their respective injuries. Joe Burgess could be in line to make his long awaited debut on Friday night. The former Wigan winger is a prolific try scorer with plenty of pace and big match experience. Richard Marshall moved quickly this week to secure the services of young St.Helens centre Ben Davies and he is also set to feature.
Harvey Livett has become a real favourite with the Salford supporters.
In the pack Lee Mossop and Andy Ackers return. Despite picking up a knock against Warrington, Harvey Livett has made the twenty one man squad and after some terrific performances recently it will be a huge boost if he’s fit to play.
The action gets underway at 7:45pm.
Keep safe and enjoy the match.