It’s been another up and down season on the West side of Hull. Brett Hodgson came in as coach to replace Lee Radford and once again the club has invested quite heavily in player personnel. Inconsistent performances have hampered the Airlie Birds and with just four rounds of matches left to play they sit eighth place in the Super League table with eight wins from seventeen matches. After a thrilling Derby victory over cross city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers a defeat at home to Castleford followed. Both Hull clubs and the Tigers are fighting it out for a play off spot in the top six and it’s going to be a very tense finish to the season.
Hull met Salford back in April at the start of the season and ran out comfortable winner’s 4-35.
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Richard Marshall and his Salford side. Defeat to bottom club Leigh was followed by a loss to table toppers Catalans. The latter was a much better performance with the Red Devils playing some exciting and expansive rugby. The Dragons are a big physical side with plenty of experience and were the much better side on Thursday night. That said though Salford battled hard and never gave up. A couple of disallowed tries at crucial points in the match definitely didn’t help the cause.
Steve McNamara’s Dragons look a very good shout to reach their first Grand Final. I personally think that would be great for sport and it would help strengthen the game in the South of France. With Toulouse setting the pace in the Championship the future looks bright across the channel.
Hull seem to start every campaign with a huge weight of expectation on their shoulders. Perhaps it’s the size of the City, or past glories from years gone by. Their is huge potential on both sides of the City of Hull and who knows the Robins and the Airlie Birds could possibly meet in the playoffs if results go their way over the next few weeks.
Super League Home record.
1998 Salford 12 Hull 4
1999 Salford 38 Hull 18
2000 Salford 30 Hull 22
2000 Salford 33 Hull 24
2001 Salford 24 Hull 36
2002 Salford 10 Hull 24
2004 Salford 20 Hull 44
2004 Salford 8 Hull 12
2005 Salford 12 Hull 22
2006 Salford 20 Hull 24
2007 Salford 18 Hull 35
2009 Salford 14 Hull 18
2010 Salford 27 Hull 20
2011 Salford 16 Hull 32
2012 Salford 24 Hull 22
2013 Salford 18 Hull 24
2014 Salford 35 Hull 22
2015 Salford 32 Hull 28
2016 Salford 20 Hull 28
2017 Salford 10 Hull 34
2018 Salford 24 Hull 8
2019 Salford 16 Hull 23
2020 Salford 54 Hull 18 (played behind closed doors at Headingley).
2021 Salford 4 Hull 35 ( played behind closed doors at Langtree Park).
They played for both.
Over the years there’s been quite a few players to represent both clubs, here are a few pre-Super League era as well.
Paul Fletcher, Richie Barnett, Brian Blacker, Jodie Broughton, Craig Coleman, Josh Griffin, Brad Hepi, Mark Johnson, Daniel Holdsworth, Alan Hunte, Stuart Howarth, Warren Jowitt, Tommy Lee, Ryan Mcgoldrick, Craig Murdock, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Tommy Saxton, Scott Taylor, Jordan Turner, Martin Gleeson and Marc Sneyd.
At the start of the digital decade of the 1980s Paul Fletcher made his way in the Salford side becoming a real star player, Paul went on to play for Hull later in the decade.
A match to remember Sunday 19th April 1998.
Salford 12 Hull 4.
After the heroics of the 1997 season Salford coach Andy Gregory had made some exciting signings for the new season. London Broncos had finished 2nd place in the table in 97 and for Salford to sign there star scrum half Josh White, really showed a statement of intent.
A good cup run to the semi final had preceded the start of the league campaign. A close opening Super League defeat at The Willows 14-18 to St Helens was followed by a magnificent display at Wilderspool thumping Warrington 4-37. Hull were the new boys in the top flight after being promoted the previous season with Huddersfield.
Salford had already beaten Hull a month earlier in The Challenge Cup 41-10 but this match was a real close affair.
The late Steve Prescott scored Hull’s only points. Salford’s tries came from Steve Blakeley and the prolific Darren Rogers. Blakeley kicked both conversions. Despite the low score this match was filled with end to end action. Two well drilled defences keeping each other at bay.
Game star, Steve Blakeley.
After a real promising start to 1998 the season fizzled out. The heart break of the Challenge Cup Semi Final defeat to Sheffield Eagles hung over the club like a huge black cloud.
The teams that day:
Broadbent, Mcavoy, Martin, Hassan, Rogers, Blakeley, White, Savelio, Edwards,
E Faimalo, J Faimalo, Bradbury, Hulme.
Subs, Lee, Southern, Forber, Platt.
Prescott, Smith, Hunte, Hallas, Johnson, Seru, Tomlinson, Okesene, Stephenson, Ireland, Booth, Campbell, Hepi.
Subs, Nolan, Leatham, Temu, Schultz.
Referee, Colin Morris
Salford’s halfback combination changed again for Thursday’s match. Coach Richard Marshall went with Ata Hingano and Kevin Brown for the Leigh match then opted for Chris Atkin and Tui Lolohea last time out. I like Atkin and think he should stay in the side. He’s been one of Salford’s most creative players this season and his work rate is always commendable.
Lolohea has spent time at fullback this season and looked very dangerous at times. Morgan Escare started at the back on Thursday and looked threatening all night on attack scooping up the man of the match award. I would still question his defence at times after Sam Tomkins picked his pocket from a high kick that led to a try along with some questionable positional play. Morgan is so exciting to watch though and for that reason I’d have him in the team.
I can’t write this preview without mentioning Krisnan Inu’s American football pass on Thursday night! The man is always cool under pressure and does some amazing things on the pitch. I wonder what Marshall made of that?
Once again Salford will have a strong squad to pick from. Jack Wells remains sidelined with a dislocated knee. It’s such a shame for Jack as he was making his mark this season, I am sure he will be raring to get back as soon as he’s fit and ready. Andy Ackers has dropped out of the squad but Joe Burgess returns.
Hull have plenty of players to watch out for. Jake Connor is a proven match winner and on his day Marc Sneyd can make the side tick.
Hull FC Academy trio Jude Ferreira, Aidan Burrell, and Marcus Walker are all called into the squad, in place of Carlos Tuimavave, Jack Brown, and Jamie Shaul who are all unavailable due to injury.
Josh Griffin, Joe Cator, and Josh Reynolds remain unavailable with their longer-term injuries.
The weather looks good for Bank Holiday Monday afternoon for what should be another interesting match.
The action gets underway at 2pm.
Keep safe and enjoy the match.