Salford played some tremendous rugby on Monday afternoon. Ken Sio grabbed the headlines with four tries but Chris Atkin was outstanding. Losing big Jack Ormondroyd early in the match put pressure on a young pack of forwards. Ellis Robson and Sam Luckley came of age playing big minutes running their blood to water. All the forwards put a huge shift in and it was great to see Joe Burgess flying down one wing and Ken Sio on the other.
It was a mixed bag last week for Castleford. The Tigers played really well in victory away at Hull to make it four wins on the spin. It was back down to earth on Monday though with a dismal home defeat to Wigan 0-22. They currently sit fifth place in the table but can’t afford to many more slip ups if they are to make the top six Playoffs.
This weekend will see all twelve Super League teams play at St James’ Park the iconic home of Newcastle United Football Club. The Magic Weekend might not be everybody’s cup of tea but one thing it does do is to allow all teams to play on the big stage. For those sides that don’t often make big showpiece finals this is their day to shine. It’s also a great day out for supporters. Newcastle is a very vibrant City with lots going on for those who want to make a weekend of it. It’s also a pretty buzzing place after dark too.
It’s certainly been eight days that kind of some Salford’s season up. Defeat to Leigh, a better performance at home to Catalans losing 14-42 then a short turnaround with some bruised bodies and a thumping 42-14 win over play off chasing Hull.
Magic Weekend record.
2007, Salford 18 Warrington 50 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2009, Salford 16 Harlequins 24 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2010, Salford 16 Warrington 68 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2011, Salford 12 Celtic Crusaders 42 millennium stadium, Cardiff
2012, Salford 38 Huddersfield 34 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2013, Salford 28 Widnes 22 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2014, Salford 24 Widnes 30 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2015, Salford 16 Widnes 38 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2016, Salford 18 Widnes 12 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2017, Salford 36 Leigh 22 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2018, Salford 12 Catalans Dragons 26 St James’Park, Newcastle
2019, Salford 20 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Anfield, Liverpool.
They played for both.
Throughout the Super League era there have been plenty of players who have played for both clubs and quite a few through the 1970s and 80s.
Here is a selection of them.
Paul Fletcher, Paul Orr, Bill Kirkbride, Jonny Ward, Barry Kear, Ron Hill, Ian Bragger, Justin Carney, Chris Charles, Jason Critchley, Luke Dorn, Greg Eden, Jake Emmit, Jason Flowers, Matt Gardner, Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin, Weller Hauraki, Lee Jewitt, Michael Korkidas, Francis Maloney, Mike Platt, Darren Rogers, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd and Gray Viane.
A magic match to remember Sunday 27th May 2012.
Salford 38 Huddersfield 34.
After four straight miserable defeats at Magic this was a day to remember for Salford and their supporters. Long trips to Edinburgh and Cardiff had been huge let downs with heavy defeats. This match in 2012 was played a little closer to home at The Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City.
It was a lovely, warm and sunny afternoon with glorious temperatures, particularly at pitch side.
Salford had gone six matches without a victory and went in to the match as under dogs. The Giants were a big, athletic team with plenty of power and pace in the backs. With talisman Danny Brough guiding them Huddersfield were a tough team to beat.
Salford made the early running and Australian centre Joel Moon made that pressure count when he touched down following Jodie Broughton’s unorthodox palm back of the ball.
Kevin Brown and Luke George responded with tries for The Giants.
Salford then worked the ball from right to left through the halves and Luke Patten slipped the ball to Moon unopposed for his second score.
The Reds extended the lead with a nice try from centre Sean Gleason.
Speedster Broughton squeezed in for another Salford try just before the break to send Phil Veivers side in leading 16-22 at half time.
Leroy Cudjoe had a try chalked off by referee Tim Roby but this only seem to hand the momentum to Huddersfield. Two tries from the enormous Eorl Crabtree edged the Yorkshire side in to the lead.
Salford kept persevering and were rewarded with a try for their honest endeavour when Moon maintained his balance under pressure and offloaded to Broughton who raced in for his second to bring the scores within two as Holdsworth fluffed his conversion attempt.
Adam Sidlow powered over from a neat Stuart Howarth which saw the lead change hands in to Salford’s favour again.
Huddersfield yet again showed their quality when a dummy half break from Jason Chan put Brough in under the posts and he stepped up to convert.
It was end to end nail biting action. The match balanced on a knife edge.
Salford’s seventh try restored the lead yet again. Sidlow, who crossed for a second time to again open up the four-point gap with three minutes to play.
The big forward smashing his way to the line showing tremendous strength.
The Giants spurned late chances with Salford hanging on to win a super match 38-34.
The teams that day;
Huddersfield: Eden, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Wardle, George, Grix, Brough, Mason, Moore, Ferguson, Lawrence, Chan, Brown.
Replacements: Crabtree, Robinson, Fa’alogo, Faiumu.
Salford: Patten, Broughton, Moon, Gleeson, Williams, Holdsworth, Smith, Jewitt, Howarth, Sidlow, Ashurst, Nero, Wild.
Replacements: Owen, Anderson, Paleaaesina, McPherson.
Referee: Tim Roby
One player who will be buzzing to get on the St.James Park pitch this Saturday is Geordie boy Sam Luckley. 2021 has been Sam’s first chance to play at Super League level and he’s taken the opportunity with both hands. Previously he was playing in League one so it was a massive step up. His game is improving week after week and Sam has a willingness to learn along with an infectious enthusiasm. A try at the Gallowgate end this Saturday would be awesome for him so fingers crossed.
Richard Marshall will no doubt have some selection headaches this week. After such an accomplished performance against Hull it will be difficult to change things round.
Former Salford players Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Jordan Turner, George Griffin and Gareth O’Brien will all be hoping to play against their former club.
With Castleford coach Daryl Powell moving on at the end of the season to Warrington he would love another crack at the playoffs to go out on a high. Powell took over as Tigers coach in May 2013 and has done a terrific job reaching the Grand Final, two Challenge Cup Finals and winning the league leaders Shield in 2017 after a special season where his side played a super brand of Rugby League.
The action gets underway at 2pm.
Keep safe and enjoy the match.