Hull Kingston Rovers v Salford.
After a great day of Rugby League in the capital last weekend it’s back to the weekly cut and thrust of League action. Two Northwest sides were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last Saturday. Just five miles separate the two Rugby League towns of Leigh and Wigan. The Centurions came up with a fantastic display to beat Featherstone Rovers and in the Challenge Cup final Wigan came back to beat Huddersfield late on with a super try from Liam Marshall. Across both games their was a good sprinkling of former Salford players.
Salford have won two matches on the trot and will feel confident of extending that run. Hull Kingston Rovers have hit some choppy waters in recent weeks. Coach Tony Smith announced he will be leaving the club at the end of the season and they were comfortably beaten in the Challenge Cup Semi final by Huddersfield. Add to that a miserable run of defeats in the Super League leaving the Robins desperately searching for a win. It’s four loses in a row and in two of those Rovers failed to score a point being nilled at Castleford 32-0 and Leeds 12-0 respectively.
It’s never an easy game in Hull no matter which side of the City you play at and Salford coach Paul Rowley will have his side fired up with a good game plan to nullify their opposition.
Like Salford the Robins have been hit hard by injuries this season and it can decimate your squad. Both sides though are in striking distance of the playoffs with Hull Kingston Rovers behind sixth placed Castleford on points difference and Salford are now just two points off in ninth place. The picture could change again dramatically this weekend.
Salford have played some really exciting rugby in recent matches. Everything has gone hand in hand. The pack have laid the foundations for the half backs to create the chances. The three quarter line looks a real threat. Both the right and left edges look really settled now with two partnerships blossoming. Ken Sio and Deon Cross work really well together and how much did Joe Burgess owe Tim Lafai for his hat trick against Castleford! That Lafai pass out the back door was worth the entrance fee alone. Tim has been a really astute signing, he brings a real touch of quality to the side and I personally hope he extends his stay beyond 2022. As for Burgess he’s a very down to earth lad. When he gets in open space he’s a wonder to watch gliding across the pitch.
I think I’ve mentioned it before but Brodie Croft seems to be improving each week. Opposition defences struggle to work out what he’s going to do with the ball. Let’s hope the lads get it right again this Sunday.
Super League Away record.
Hull Kingston Rovers 10
2007 Hull KR 24 Salford 28
2009 Hull KR 48 Salford 12
2010 Hull KR 30 Salford 12
2011 Hull KR 21 Salford 8
2012 Hull KR 22 Salford 24
2013 Hull KR 28 Salford 18
2014 Hull KR 18 Salford 38
2015 Hull KR 34 Salford 28
2015 Hull KR 46 Salford 22 (Middle Eights)
2016 Hull KR 44 Salford 30
2016 Hull KR 18 Salford 19 (million pound game)
2018 Hull KR 52 Salford 22
2018 Hull KR 10 Salford 28 (Middle Eights)
2019 Hull KR 22 Salford 24
2020 Hull KR 24 Salford 22 (played behind closed doors at Headingley)
2021 Hull KR 40 Salford 4
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, Chris Atkin, Ken Sio, Adam Walker and Ryan Lannon.
A match to remember Sunday 22nd April 2007.
Hull Kr 24 Salford 28
After Karl Harrison’s sides heroics of 2006 there was a bit of expectation ahead of the 2007 season. Experience and quality was added to the squad with Luke Dorn, Mark Edmonson and Michael Korkidas coming in to name a few.
For one reason or another things didn’t seem to click. A poor start to the season with just two victories out of the opening ten games left Salford struggling for form going to Craven Park on the 22nd of April.
Hull Kr were in there debut season in The Super League after being promoted at the end of the 2006 season. There coach Justin Morgan had built a really durable side that were tough to beat.
Salford came in to the match bottom of the table and desperate for a win.
Salford made a good start with tries from John Wilshere, Luke Dorn and Aaron Moule within the first seven minutes.
But Hull KR hit back through Jim Gannon, Mark O’Neill and debutant Mark Lennon before Luke Robinson eased Salford’s fears with another try.
Although Jon Goddard cut Salford’s lead, David Hodgson responded before Andreas Bauer’s late consolation try.
Sadly this match would turn out to be Harrison’s final victory as Salford coach.
Three heavy defeats followed against Wigan, Warrington and a 66-6 disaster in the south of France against Catalan. Harrison was sacked a few days later with James Lowes taking temporary charge.
The teams that day;
Hull Kingston Rovers Cockayne; Bauer, Goddard, Morton, Hardman; Chester, Webster; Ward, Fisher, Vella, Hill, Netherton, O’Neill. Interchange Gene, Gannon, Aizue, Lennon.
Salford City Reds Hodgson; Viane, McGuinness, Moule, Wilshere; Dorn, Robinson; Coley, Berthezene, Korkidas, Littler, Sibbit, Finnigan. Interchange Turner, Adamson, Haggerty, Edmondson.
Referee G Hewer.
Another road trip up the M62 awaits us this Sunday. I always enjoy the trip to the East side of Hull. One match that always sticks in my mind (apart from that match in October 2016) is a Challenge Cup tie there in 2003. In a real mud batch Salford in their white away kit won 2-12 on a freezing cold night as the mist drifted over from the North Sea.
Despite Rovers poor form their coach Tony Smith knows only to well how to motivate his players. Smith is a master tactician and always strikes me as a really top man manager. Someone who the players will run through walls for.
The Robins have plenty of quality in the side. Lachlan Coote is a real threat at fullback. Shaun Kenny-Dowell can be a real handful also. It will be interesting to see the twenty one man squad that Smith names. As I mentioned earlier the Robins have been without some key men in recent matches.
Salford coach Paul Rowley will no doubt have selection headaches of his own. Ryan Brierley and Morgan Escare are sure to contest the fullback spot. Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft played very well together last time out and they have Chris Atkin right behind them ready to impress. Atkin is another clever player who’s a valuable addition to the squad.
Kallum Watkins and Jack Ormondroyd have made a huge mark recently in the forward pack. Both lads are strong and powerful and they take some stopping.
Harvey Livett’s return has been a big boost and hopefully one or two more forwards will be ready for a return to action this weekend.
The action gets under way at 3pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.
Photo credits to the Salford match day magazine.