As Ive mentioned so many times before form and confidence in Rugby League can change so fast. Salford made a very solid start to the season with two victories but now after two pretty heavy defeats the mood is changing.
Paul Rowley remained positive and up beat after the defeat to Huddersfield and naturally he defended his players. I don’t think their was a lack of effort in Sunday’s 34-2 defeat but we do seem to be lacking the size and aggression needed. Huddersfield’s forwards looked a stone heavier and a foot taller as they pummelled Salford all afternoon. We never really looked like scoring but you can have the best back line in the world, if you haven’t laid the platform with your pack you won’t get the territory and field position. You’ve got to earn the right to play. I don’t think their is a quick fix for Salford but on the other hand I still don’t think it’s time to panic. The team showed enough in the first two matches. The win at Castleford was so composed and structured. The team ran like clockwork. That seems to have gone right out of the window over the last few weeks.
Salford have sent four players out on loan with Josh Johnson and Jack Wells heading to Cumbria to play for Barrow. Amir Bourouh joining London Broncos and Morgan Escare has linked up with Wakefield Trinity. Tim Lafai missed the trip to Huddersfield through injury but could be back in contention this Friday. Greg Burke will miss out after failing his head assessment.
Super League home record.
Hull Kingston Rovers 5
2007 Salford 24 Hull kr 30
2009 Salford 10 Hull Kr 14
2010 Salford 18 Hull Kr 44
2011 Salford 34 Hull Kr 18
2012 Salford 10 Hull Kr 18
2013 Salford 38 Hull Kr 34
2014 Salford 16 Hull Kr 16
2015 Salford 31 Hull Kr 18
2016 Salford 44 Hull Kr 26
2016 Salford 12 Hull Kr 29 (Qualifiers)
2018 Salford 36 Hull Kr 12
2019 Salford 17 Hull Kr 16
They played for both.
Here are a selection of players to have represented The Robins and The Red Devils,
Greg Austin, Colin Dixon, Greg Burke, Chris Charles, Michael Dobson, Sean Gleeson, Darrell Goulding, David Hodgson, Lee Jewitt, Justin Carney, Jordan Walne, Phil Joseph, Tommy Lee, Tyrone McCarthy, Craig Murdock, Cory Paterson, Gareth Price, Scott Taylor, Tony Puletua, Richard Smith, Iain Thornley, Kris Welham and Todd Carney.
A MATCH TO REMEMBER Sunday 24th February 2013.
Salford 38 Hull Kr 34.
Salford picked up their first win of the season thanks to a Danny Williams try six minutes from time.
Hull KR led 34-14 until the Reds stormed back scoring four converted tries without reply from the Robins.
Defeat was hard to take for Michael Dobson who piled up 18 points with two tries and five goals, but the Reds had the man of the match in Mark Sneyd.
Both sides finished with 12 men after Reds prop Lee Jewitt and Rovers forward Adam Walker were sent off after tempers flared late on.
Salford handed ex-Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson his debut; with prop Darrell Griffin, signed on loan from Leeds, making his bow off the bench.
The Reds suffered a blow when Jodie Broughton pulled out before the kick off through illness with Ashley Gibson deputising; although skipper Stephen Wild returned after a two-match absence.
Salford, watched for the first time by new Director of Rugby Graham Lowe, fell behind after seven minutes when Dobson and Greg Eden combined to send David Hodgson over in the corner against his old club.
Dobson booted the touchline conversion and Rovers would have gone further ahead had Omari Caro not spilled Salter’s pass with the line open.
The Reds joy was shortlived after a Gibson error led to Dobson touching down for a converted try to make it 12-0.
Salford hit back with Sneyd’s long pass allowing Gibson to cut inside for his third try of the season.
Sneyd was involved again with Gibson beating Cari to a neat kick for his second touchdown in four minutes.
But Sneyd was again off target with the conversion attempt to leave the Reds trailing 12-8.
Griffin was introduced after 25 minutes and made an immediate impact with some strong running.
But it took an sublime move by Sneyd to put Salford in front for the first time.
The scrum half stole the ball off Eden to dart over and boot the conversion to make it 14-12.
Eden made amends when he took Cory Paterson’s smart pass to send Dobson streaking over within a minute to restore the Rovers lead at 18-14.
The final delivery looked suspiciously forward but there was no dispute about Eden’s pass to Caro which stretched the advantage to 24-14 three minutes before the break.
Dale Ferguson had a try disallowed for a foul on Jack Murphy from Dobson’s high kick.
Eden took only four minutes of the second half to put Rovers into a more commanding position when he took Dobson’s pass to round Murphy and make it 30-14.
Eden bagged a second before Gleeson had a try disallowed and then Andrew Dixon notched his first since his move from St Helens.
Battling Salford cut the gap to 34-26 through Murphy’s converted try on the hour.
Gleeson and Williams went close for Salford with Rovers under the real pressure and it was no surprise when Wayne Godwin burrowed over.
Sneyd’s conversion made it 34-32 with eight minutes left before Salford regained the lead when Ryan McGoldrick’s kick bounced nicely for Williams to score the decisive try.
The teams that night;
Jack Murphy, Danny Williams, Martin Gleeson, Rhys Williams, Ashley Gibson, Ryan Mcgoldrick, Marc Sneyd, Lee Jewitt, Wayne Godwin, Shannon McPherson, Matty Ashurst, Andrew Dixon, Stephen Wild.
Subs, Stuart Howarth, Ryan Boyle, Jordan James, Darrell Griffin.
Greg Eden, Omari Caro, Kris Welham, Liam Salter, David Hodgson, Craig Hall, Michael Dobson, Evarn Tuimavave, Josh Hodgson, Adam Walker, Constantine Mika, Cory Paterson, Dale Ferguson.
Subs, Mickey Paea, Graeme Horne, Rhys Lovegrove, Keale Carlisle.
Referee, Thierry Alibert.
After two miserable trips to Yorkshire Salford will be looking for some home comforts back at the AJ Bell Stadium this Friday. Hull Kingston Rovers were tipped by many to do well this season and their recruitment has been impressive. Coach Tony Smith has built a very useful squad on the East side of Hull. The Robins have started the season with one victory over Castleford and three defeats. It’s been a pretty tough start though with two home matches against Wigan and St.Helens as well as a trip to Huddersfield.
Young half back Mikey Lewis has caught the eye already this season and he’ll be one to watch on Friday. Shaun Kenny-Dowell May be in the twilight of his career but still has the power and skill to create problems on the edges. Matt Parcell is a very consistent performer at hooker and Lachlan Coote is a very dangerous attacking threat. Former Swinton forward Frankie Halton has been in superb form for Rovers. His all action displays and phenomenal tackling ability have made him an instant favourite with the supporters.
Salford have made just one change to their twenty one man squad. Sam Luckley has been brought in for the injured Greg Burke.
Looking at the early odds in the week the bookies were struggling to split these two sides as they anticipate a very close contest. Salford will be confident they can get a victory especially in front of their home crowd. You get the feeling that a good start will be vital. For the last two weeks we’ve been chasing the game fairly early on and not been able to recover.
It will be interesting to see Paul Rowley’s starting line up. The big question is will he change things round?
The action gets underway at 7:45pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos