After a week off for the Cup Semi finals last weekend Richard Marshall’s Salford side arrived in East Hull looking to put a few things right. The coach, players and supporters were after a positive response after a dismal performance against Warrington a fortnight ago.
Hull Kingston Rovers have been in good form of late playing to their strengths and springing a few surprises along the way. Head coach Tony Smith has got his side playing with confidence. Their maybe one or two question marks around the Robins defence but with ball in hand they are more than capable of scoring plenty of points.
Salford have been hit hard by injuries so far this season with Kallum Watkins, Danny Addy and Kevin Brown all needing operations. The trio will be out for the next few months which is tough on the squad.
Marshall was again forced to make changes to his side with Joe Burgess and Ben Davies making their debuts. Davies is the grandson of former Salford player Doug Davies who won the Championship with the club in the 1970s. Ken Sio moved to the centres to replace Harvey Livett who started in the second row and Andy Ackers returned to the side at hooker. After an impressive debut against Warrington Sam Luckley kept his place in the team starting on the bench. Pauli Pauli also returned with Lee Mossop to add some size to the pack.
It was a warm sunny evening on the East Coast. The ground sits in an industrial pocket of the City with the Docks in the background. An electric atmosphere met the players and the expectant home supporters certainly added to that.
Salford got off to the perfect start with Ken Sio scoring off a measured Tui Lolohea kick.
The Red Devils enjoyed a fair amount of possession and territory in the first quarter but Rovers got back into the match when Chris Atkin was sin binned for a ball steal. It looked like a one on one tackle but referee Chris Kendall adjudged the tackle to be complete. On the next set the extra man counted when Dean Hadley’s smart offload put George Lawler in to level the scores. Jordan Abdull converted.
Moments later the lead increased when Ben Crooks squeezed in at the corner, this time Abdull pulled the kick wide.
Salford managed to avoid any further damage before Atkin returned to the field.
Some static Salford defending contributed to Rovers third try. Brad Takairangi followed his own kick up to score a very neat try after some real quick thinking. Abdull converted to increase the lead to 16-4.
As the second half got underway Salford make a complete porridge of the kick off failing to gather possession. Then the drop out sailed out on the full gifting Rovers a penalty under the posts which Abdull slotted over 18-4.
Sam Luckley came almighty close to scoring but grounded the ball just short. After that tackle Rovers fullback Adam Quinlan was sin binned for interference.
Salford were like a tired boxer clinging on, desperately trying to avoid that knock out punch. Shaun Kenny-Dowell landed the blow eighteen minutes from time reaching out to score on the back of a Ryan Hall break. Jordan Abdull converted to give Rovers a twenty point lead.
Matt Parcell scored the home sides fifth try of the night and things went from bad to worse when Declan Patton kicked the restart out on the full.
Salford were starting to unravel now and couldn’t get any sort of foot hold in the match.
Ryan Hall took a loose pass to intercept and race away to score as the match entered the final ten minutes. The final try went to hard working second row man Kane Linnett who stormed through to score on the final hooter and Salford’s night was topped off when the referee showed Pauli Pauli a red card for a late shot on Abdull in the build up. Rowan Milnes rounded of the scoring with a successful conversion to condemn Salford to a real thumping.
Hull Kingston Rovers 40 Salford 4.