A damp and breezy evening welcomed the players on to the pitch for this televised clash. Once again the East stand was full of school children thanks to the great work Salford Red Devils are doing in the local area and this contributed to a good atmosphere.
Salford coach Paul Rowley was again forced to make changes to his side. King Vuniyayawa is now out for the season and joins a list of injured forwards on the side lines. Morgan Escare came in at full back for Ryan Brierley who picked up a niggle prior to kick off. Tyler Dupree made the bench.
Castleford struck early with a try on their first real attack. Ryan Hampshire got the try after a neat move down the flank.
Salford we’re soon level when Marc Sneyd fooled the Tigers defence with a teasing kick. Tim Lafai touched down and after confirmation from the video referee the try was given.
The Red Devils then seemed to pile pressure on themselves. Mistakes in their own half gave Castleford the possession but Salford defended well to nullify the threat. The Tigers levelled the score when Gareth O’Brien kicked a penalty goal, 6-6.
Joe Burgess then set the match alight for Salford with two super tries. The first one he wrong footed the Tigers defence to step in side to touch down and the second was punishment of a Castleford mistake. Lafai swooped on a loose ball to put Burgess away. Coasting over as elegantly as you like! Salford went in at half time with a well deserved 16-6 lead.
Jason Qaraqare grabbed a try just after the break to reduce Salford’s lead to six points. Joe Burgess was then denied a hat trick by a sensational cover tackle from Tigers fullback Hampshire.
More often than not matches get settled by moments of quick thinking and quality. When Marc Sneyd booted a 20/40 kick the Red Devils were back on the front foot. A penalty was awarded and it seemed a wise decision to kick the goal. 18-10.
The home side then went through the gears. Andy Ackers shot through a gap to start a thrilling break. Escare was tackled but then the ball went wide from Brodie Croft. Kallum Watkins kept ever so calm to find Deon Cross who raced in to wow the home crowd. Sneyd booted off the touch line 24-10.
Castleford got the ball back from the kick off and Qaraqare was in at the corner. The referee gave an on field decision of no try but the video referee over turned it to award the four points.
Salford had done a lot of defending and probably not spent as much time in their opponents half as they’d have liked but it was the line breaks that took them away from the Tigers. This time Croft burst through, it looked like a Salford player was tackled without the ball in a frantic piece of play.
Adam Milner was sin binned for something he said to the referee and moments later Andy Ackers came so close to pinching a try.
Joe Burgess wrapped the match up for Salford with the try of the night. At times the Red Devils were absolutely breathtaking with ball in hand. Lafai put this one on a plate for Burgess with a super pass that nobody saw coming. Sneyd added the conversion and Salford made it two wins on the spin 30-14.
Coach Paul Rowley was staying grounded after the match in his chat. Taking each game at a time and working hard is the right way to go. Salford’s defence is definitely improving and the team look so dangerous with ball in hand.
With no match next weekend due to the Challenge Cup final the next assignment is a tricky away trip to Hull Kingston Rovers on sunday 5th June.
Salford 30 Castleford 14.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.