Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust

The voice of Salford Red Devils fans

Paul Whiteside 0 Comments

Salford v St.Helens-Match Preview.

Salford v St.Helens.

Well it’s been quite a few weeks for Salford Rugby League Club. A marvellous win over Catalans was followed up by an equally impressive display in France against Toulouse. Paul Rowley’s team now sit in sixth place on the Super League table and a playoff spot is a very realistic target. Every game in Super League is a mission in its own right and the Red Devils have some tricky fixtures coming up in the run in. This Sunday St.Helens are the visitors. The Saints have been the most consistent team so far in 2022 with seventeen wins from their twenty matches played. Salford have more or less matched Saints for points scored this season but it’s the defence of Kristian Woolf’s side that sets them apart from the rest of the league. They are such a difficult team to score against. Perhaps this match has come along at just the right time for Salford. Confidence is flowing and the attack in recent weeks has been outstanding. Brodie Croft is fast becoming the most talked about half back in the country.

Brodie Croft, a joy to watch. 

One player who will miss this week is Ryan Brierley after failing a head assessment last Saturday. That’s a blow for Salford and will give Rowley a selection headache to choose another full back. Danny Addy who has worked his socks off in recent weeks will also be missing and looks set to miss the rest of the season.

Ryan Brierley will be a big miss this Sunday. 

Saints left it late to win at Wakefield last Sunday. They trailed 12-0 with twenty four minutes remaining but clawed their way back level with tries from Regan Grace and Jon Bennison. Jack Welsby nailed a golden point extra time drop goal to clinch the victory 12-13. One thing you can rely on with St.Helens is an eighty minute performance. They will keep going to the final hooter and never stop working.

One player who’s impressed me in the Saints pack this year is Joe Batchelor. Joe was a prolific try scorer with York City Knights and now the back rower is making great strides in the Super League. Johnny Lomax continues to pull the strings and in Jack Welsby Saints have one of the hottest talents around.

Super League Home record.

Salford 8

Draws 0

St.Helens 16

1997 Salford 39 St. Helens 26

1998 Salford 14 St. Helens 18

1999 Salford 10 St. Helens 23

2000 Salford 4 St. Helens 58

2001 Salford 16 St. Helens 56

2002 Salford 24 St. Helens 28

2004 Salford 30 St. Helens 20

2005 Salford 22 St. Helens 33

2006 Salford 10 St. Helens 12

2007 Salford 20 St. Helens 32

2009 Salford 20 St. Helens 10

2010 Salford 42 St. Helens 34

2011 Salford 22 St. Helens 56

2012 Salford 10 St. Helens 32

2013 Salford 10 St. Helens 52

2014 Salford 0 St. Helens 38

2015 Salford 6 St. Helens 52

2016 Salford 44 St. Helens 10

2017 Salford 22 St. Helens 14

2017 Salford 4 St. Helens 30 (Super 8s)

2018 Salford 10 St. Helens 60

2019 Salford 4 St. Helens 26

2020 Salford 12 St.Helens 10 (behind closed doors at Headingley).

2021 Salford 26 St.Helens 14

They played for both.

Over the years there has been so much player movement between the two clubs. The town of St Helens is a real hot bed of the game with some fantastic amateur set ups including Thatto Heath, Blackbrook and Clock Face. In the Super League era Matty Smith, Jordan Turner, Lama Tasi, Matty Costello, Tommy Lee, Theo Fages, Mark Edmondson, Mark Flanagan, Willie Talu, Tony Puletua, Francis Meli, Matty Ashurst, Paul Forber, Lee Gaskell, Bobbie Goulding, Andrew Dixon, Danny Arnold, Karle Hammond, Joey Hayes, Alan Hunte, Tim Jonkers, Joey Lussick, Mark Lee, Dean McGillvary, Andy Platt, Gareth Price, Steve Tyrer, Adam Walker, Chris Morley, Josh Jones and Anthony Stewart to name a few.

Paul Forber gave great service to both clubs. 

Paul Groves, Paul Brownbill, Clive Griffiths, Frank Wilson, Paul Grimes, John Mantle, John Knighton, Steve Rule, Ken Gwilliam, George Nicholls, Darren Bloor and Eric Prescott played for both clubs in the pre super League era. Alex Murphy and Shaun McRae have coached both sides.

Frank Wilson a really classy player for both clubs. 


Salford 10 St Helens 12.

Jason Hooper put Saints ahead on six minutes with the help of the video referee although David Hodgson replied for the Reds on 10 minutes.

Ian Hardman collected Sean Long’s kick to make the score 10-4 and Jamie Lyon added two points after the break.

Salford gave everything to try and win the game and Simon Finnigan’s late try gave some hope but Saints just hung on.

In what was a pulsating evening at The Willows Karl Harrison’s Salford side came mighty close to a famous win against a Saints side who were by far the best team in the country at the time.

Salford went into the game with seven wins from their opening 10 league games but two first-half tries effectively sealed their fate.

Hooper scored the first after Leon Pryce found him with a neat offload although Hodgson replied soon after when he jinked his way through the sleepy Saints defence.

Try scorer David Hodgson. 

John Wilshere failed to convert and Saints increased their lead on 19 minutes when scrum-half Long’s deft cross-field kick was caught by Hardman, who raced in untouched to score.

Jamie Lyon’s penalty increased the lead to 12-4 but Salford responded superbly, pouring forward at every opportunity.

Game star Jamie Lyon. 

Their pressure finally told when Malcolm Alker teed up Finnigan 14 minutes from time and although Saints had a few scares, they were able to preserve their slim lead.

The world class Jamie Lyon in breath taking form was probably the difference between the two sides that night. But the 2006 Salford side was certainly one to be proud.

Finishing the regular season in 5th place, our highest league finish since 1979/80 season when we led the table for quite a chunk of the season before finishing 4th.

The team line ups that day were;

Salford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Wilshere, Dunemann, Robinson, Baldwin, Alker, Highton, Coley, Brocklehurst, Finnigan.

Replacements: Haggerty, Charles, Clayton, Myler.

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Hardman, Pryce, Long, P Anderson, Cunningham, Fozzard, Sculthorpe, Gilmour, Hooper.

Replacements: Cayless, Roby, V Anderson, Graham.

Att: 7,234

Sunday’s match.

Games don’t come much bigger than this and it should be an electric atmosphere at kick off on Sunday. Paul Rowley often talks about the journey that his side is on and who knows where that journey will go to in 2022. You only have to glance at the League table to see how tight it is in the race for the the top six. On their day any team can beat any other team in the Super League.

Paul Rowley is getting the best out of his players. 

When the two sides met earlier in the season a patched up Salford side came so close to pulling off an unthinkable victory. With the current injury situation the Red Devils will once again be struggling for numbers but Sam Luckley and Sitaleki Akauola both return from suspension to boost the pack. Salford have won six from nine at home so far this season and the supporters have certainly been entertained along the way. Sunday’s match has all the ingredients to be a real thrilling encounter.

The action gets under way at 3pm.

Safe travels and enjoy the match.

Paul Whiteside.

Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos and the Salford match day programme.


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