As the world seems to get more unpredictable it will be nice to have Rugby League back and the day to day challenge of being a supporter. Following your team can be a great comfort even if they aren’t doing so well. As a Salford supporter I must admit I tend to count the days in the off season. As soon as the fixtures are released and then warm up games are announced it’s not to long before it all starts again. A clean slate and a fresh start, teams and supporters alike are filled with optimism. Salford’s loyal band of supporters have plenty to be excited about with some excellent recruitment in the off season and a really strong looking squad. It’s probably not the biggest squad in the Super League but their is definitely plenty of flair in it and with Marc Sneyd joining, he has the ability to win matches. Brodie Croft is another player who arrives from Australia with a good reputation and reports from training suggest this lad is going to be a thrill to watch.
Personally speaking I was taken by surprise when Richard Marshall left at the end of the 2021 season. Paul Rowley takes over and he seemed the natural choice having been around the club for the past few years.
Ryan Brierley could turn out to be a very clever signing and Australian forward Shane Wright looks like he will get through plenty of work. One player who really impressed me last season was Elijah Taylor. Although he suffered with his fair share of injuries and lost quite a bit of weight through illness if he can stay fit and healthy in 2022 he can have a huge influence on Salford’s season.
Super League away record.
1997 Castleford 12 Salford 10
1998 Castleford 30 Salford 12
1999 Castleford 38 Salford 10
2000 Castleford 30 Salford 4
2001 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2002 Castleford 24 Salford 2
2004 Castleford 32 Salford 36
2004 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2006 Castleford 28 Salford 26
2009 Castleford 52 Salford 16
2010 Castleford 30 Salford 12
2011 Castleford 52 Salford 20
2012 Castleford 34 Salford 30
2013 Castleford 44 Salford 30
2014 Castleford 14 Salford 10
2015 Castleford 30 Salford 16
2016 Castleford 16 Salford 32
2017 Castleford 38 Salford 14
2018 Castleford 22 Salford 8
2019 Castleford 24 Salford 20
2020 Castleford 37 Salford 30 ( behind closed doors Headingley)
2021 Castleford 18 Salford 70
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, Gray Viane, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, Jordan Turner and Gareth O’Brien.
A match to remember, Sunday 5th September 2004.
Castleford 22 Salford 24.
Sunday 5th September 2004; a crucial match for both sides. Salford had been promoted at the end of the 2003 season and were desperate to survive making really strong progress under the leadership of coach Karl Harrison.
Having already won at Wheldon Road earlier in the season victory here would have a big say in the race for survival. A real thrilling contest saw Castleford winger Paul Mellor grab a hat trick of tries. Andy Coley, Malcolm Alker and a brace from Karl Fitzpatrick along with four goals from the ever reliable Chris Charles were just enough as Salford edged to victory 22-24. There were terrific scenes of celebration on the terraces at the final hooter from the travelling Salford supporters.
Despite a nail biting 6-7 victory at fellow strugglers Widnes a week later Castleford lost there final match to Wakefield and were relegated on 12 points.
Salford had done enough finishing the season on 16 points in 9th place.
The teams that day:
Castleford: Gibson, Pryce, Saxton, Rogers, Mellor, Davis, Maloney, Greenhill, Godwin, Lynch, Harland, Crouch, Hudson.
Replacements: Sykes, Tookey, Hepworth, Jackson.
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Caine, Littler, Beverley, Stewart, McGuinness, Clinch, Baynes, Alker, Highton, Coley, Rutgerson, Charles.
Replacements: Haggerty, Johnson, Shipway, Baldwin.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).
Their may have been quite a few changes at Salford since the team last played a Super League fixture but the same can be said for the Castleford Tigers. Long serving coach Daryl Powell has moved over the Pennies to take the job at Warrington and former Hull coach Lee Radford has stepped into the hot seat at Wheldon Road to be his successor. A very tough forward in his playing career Radford served Hull and Bradford playing well over three hundred matches.
On 18 September 2013, Radford was unveiled as the new head coach at Hull Fc where he had been the assistant coach under Peter Gentle. Success didn’t come immediately but patience was rewarded with back to back Challenge Cup final victories in 2016 and 2017. Many felt Radford’s sacking at Hull lacked class when chairman Adam Pearson decided to do it live on Skysports in March 2020 after a defeat to Warrington. The forty two year old still has plenty to offer and his passion I am sure will shine through in Castleford’s performances this season.
The Tigers were beaten at Wembley last year in the Challenge Cup final. Former Salford star Niall Evalds won the Lance Todd Trophy after a superb effort playing at fullback despite being on the losing side. Salford supporters know all about the threat Evalds possesses from the back and he will be one to keep an eye out for this Friday.
The Tigers like Salford have brought in a host of new signings with Bureta Faraimo and Mahe Fonua joining from Hull. Jake Mamo has signed from Warrington and Kenny Edwards comes in alongside Suaia Matagi from Huddersfield Giants. Alex Sutcliffe is a big signing from Leeds and Joe Westerman returns to Castleford after ten years away where his career has seen plenty of action with other clubs.
Castleford have five former Salford players in their squad, Derrell Olpherts, Gareth O’Brien, George Griffin, Niall Evalds and Jordan Turner. Greg Eden also spent time on loan at the AJ Bell Stadium a number of years ago.
This will be a stern test for Paul Rowley and his new look Salford side but perhaps the majority of pressure will be on the home side. After Daryl Powell’s era came to an end the expectation will still remain. This promises to be a fascinating match under the lights at Wheldon Road and I reckon you might be advised to bring a big coat. West Yorkshire in February can be a little chilly.
The action gets underway at 7:45pm.
Keep safe and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photographs.