Summer rugby seemed a long way off as the rain poured down over the AJ Bell Stadium. A swirling wind made the conditions pretty tricky as the match kicked off.
Salford were quick out of the blocks and after some rip roaring defence Toulouse were forced into a mistake deep in their own half. The ball was like a bar of soap in the early stages and a knock on from the visitors provided Salford a perfect attacking opportunity. Marc Sneyd who’s kicking game last week was sensational popped up a lovely weighted kick that seemed to sit in a puddle just inside the in goal area. Ken Sio finished well to give Salford an early lead. Sneyd’s conversion drifted wide but with the windy conditions I think the Salford supporters will let him off that one!
A blistering break from stand off Brodie Croft set up the next try. Sio this time used the greasy pitch to his advantage as he swooped on a loose off load to slide over.
Toulouse were struggling to hold the Red Devils and Joe Burgess went scorching down the left wing, Ryan Brierley backed up superbly to score Salford’s third try in the eighteenth minute.
Sneyd continued to boss the game for Salford as he directed operations but it was his kicking game that continued to catch the eye. He kicked early for Burgess then on the back of that momentum forced a drop out. The Toulouse players needed some respite and field position to try and stem the tide. Sneyd backed himself with a clever run to the try line slicing through the jaded French resistance his successful conversion put Salford 20-0 up.
Former Wigan and Swinton player Chris Hankinson scored a try just before the break which he also converted and the teams trudged off with Salford leading 20-6.
Toulouse battled well at the start of the second half and seemed to find some energy. Another teasing kick into the in goal saw a try scored by Joseph Paulo. Hankinson converted, 20-12.
Salford seemed to have taken their eye of the ball and another try for Toulouse would have put them right back in the match. They threatened briefly before Tim Lafai scored for the Red Devils off a Sneyd high kick that caused real panic in the weather conditions.
Salford put the game to bed with a hat trick from Sio. Croft with another fine kick to set it up.
Toulouse attacked late on looking for a try and when a kick went sailing out wide Sio pouched it and raced the full length of the field to score his fourth try.
Salford played some tremendous attacking rugby in the dreadful conditions and also muscled up in defence when they had to.
Two wins from two matches is a perfect start for new coach Paul Rowley.
The Red Devils travel to Hull next Saturday in what will be another big test and one the supporters will be looking forward to.
Salford 38 Toulouse 12.
Thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.