A few weeks ago I said how Rugby League can be a cruel game. You don’t always get what you deserve. Last Sunday though Salford got the rewards for a thoroughly professional performance against Leeds. The Red Devils looked so dangerous with ball in hand scoring some super tries! I think the defence overshadowed that though. Time after time Salford held firm defending their try line. Leeds had plenty of ball in attacking positions and were denied tries on a number of occasions from some text book tackles.
It was also heart warming to see so many players returning from injury to bolster the squad. Salford can now start looking up the table. If the team can maintain the recent intensity levels they’ve performed at we could be in for an exciting summer.
Friday nights visitors Castleford made a slow start in 2022 but Lee Radford is starting to make his mark. The Tigers have won five of their last six matches in the Super league to climb up to sixth in the table.
One player who is missing from Friday nights squad is King Vuniyayawa. He’s been outstanding so far this season in the pack. This however provides an opportunity for someone else to step up. It will be difficult for coach Paul Rowley to make other changes after everyone played so well last Sunday.
Super League Home record.
1997 Salford 4 Castleford 0
1998 Salford 8 Castleford 18
1999 Salford 17 Castleford 29
2000 Salford 16 Castleford 22
2001 Salford 18 Castleford 26
2002 Salford 16 Castleford 74
2002 Salford 10 Castleford 20
2004 Salford 30 Castleford 14
2006 Salford 26 Castleford 16
2009 Salford 12 Castleford 18
2010 Salford 22 Castleford 28
2011 Salford 8 Castleford 15
2012 Salford 10 Castleford 24
2013 Salford 34 Castleford 30
2014 Salford 23 Castleford 16
2015 Salford 20 Castleford 22
2016 Salford 22 Castleford 18
2017 Salford 13 Castleford 12
2017 Salford 4 Castleford 23 ( super eights)
2018 Salford 6 Castleford 24
2019 Salford 26 Castleford 16
2019 Salford 22 Castleford 0 (playoffs)
2020 Salford 30 Castleford 37 (played behind closed doors at Headingley)
2021 Salford 18 Castleford 28
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 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, Jordan Turner, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd, Gray Viane, Derrell Olpherts, George Griffin, Niall Evalds and Gareth O’Brien.
A match to remember Sunday March 16th 1997.
Salford Reds 4 Castleford Tigers 0
After two excellent seasons outside the top flight, a day Salford supporters will remember for ever in the cup against Wigan and a Divisional premiership victory at Old Trafford 1997 saw our first step in to the glamorous new world of The European Super League.
Salford Reds had started 1997 in good form with a resounding victory away at Castleford in The Challenge cup. Progress was made to the cup semi finals with a 8-4 win over Paris and a 10-29 win at Warrington. It’s fair to say The Reds went in to this league encounter in top form.
It was a very nervous affair with both side defending well not giving much away. The Tigers were led by power house forwards Lee Crooks, Nathan Sykes and Dean Sampson came up against Salford’s formidable pack which was big and mobile. The vast experience of Peter Edwards, Andy Platt and Paul Forber along with the tough as teak David Hulme lined up for The Reds.
The match was Settled by local winger Phil Coussons try in the corner.
A late kick and chase from Castleford three quarter Simon Middleton had the Salford faithfuls nerves jangling. The ball ran dead at the Variety club end of the ground as the hooter sounded.
Things got even better for Andy Gregory’s side with four more consecutive league victories to make 1997 a season to remember.
The teams that day,
Salford Reds, Rogers, Sini, Naylor, Mcavoy, Coussons, Blakeley, Lee, Southern, Edwards, Eccles, Forber, Cartwright, Randall.
Subs, Martin, Savelio, Watson, E.Faimalo.
Castleford, Flowers, C.Smith, Gay, Goddard, Middleton, Vowles, Orr, Crooks,
St Hilaire, Sampson, Harland, Richardson, Tuuta.
Subs, T.Smith, Sykes, Smales, Steadman.
Referee, Stuart Cummings.
I know it’s been mentioned before but Castleford have a large contingent of former Salford players in their squad. Derrell Olpherts, George Griffin and Gareth O’Brien have made Lee Radford’s twenty one man squad. Eagle eyed supporters will also remember Greg Eden spending a short period on loan with the Red Devil’s a few years back. The Tigers are without former Salford star Niall Evalds. Pack stalwart Liam Watts also misses out after picking up a two match ban.
New signing Tyler Dupree is once again included in the Salford twenty one man squad along with young hooker Amir Bourouh. Greg Burke, Ryan Lannon and Matty Costello will all be pushing to get back into the team.
When the two sides met at Wheldon Road in the opening game Salford really impressed. Marc Sneyd managed the game superbly and Deon Cross took everyone by surprise with a quality performance. Cross has nailed down a first team place with his no nonsense consistency. The former St. Helens Junior has become a real fans favourite at Salford.
One player who’s impressed me recently is Jack Ormondroyd. Jack is such a powerful lad who’s been improving week after week. Kallum Watkins has been a revelation since his return from a long injury lay off and I am sure these lads along with others in the squad must be in contention for the England Knights and the England World Cup Squad. Especially if players are to be picked on form come the end of the season.
The bookies have struggled to split these two with Salford having a two point start on the coupon.
With lots of school children and community clubs in attendance on Friday night it promises to be a terrific atmosphere and a match not to be missed.
The action gets under way at 8pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.
Also photo credits to the Salford match day programme and Castleford heritage