Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust

The voice of Salford Red Devils fans

Paul Whiteside 0 Comments

Leeds v Salford-Match Preview!

Leeds v Salford.

Well if you thought the last two matches against Catalans and Toulouse were good Sundays win was at another level. In two consecutive home games Salford have took apart both Grand Finalists from last season and arguably two of the best sides in the Super League.

On Sunday Salford were breath taking scoring eight tries against the champions. The rugby league they played was some of the best I’ve seen in my time watching the club. How about the tries!!! Tim Lafai and Joe Burgess were absolutely lethal on the left edge. The final try of the match which Brodie Croft scored you won’t see one better than that this season. Defence into attack, sheer quality and pace.

Salford’s Rolls Royce winger Joe Burgess! 

I am not really a stat man but I’d say our completion rate would of been very high and add to the a real solid defence it’s a perfect combination.

The race for the top six is really exciting and this weeks fixture against Leeds I suppose in a way is a four pointer at the right end of the table. Salford are now just two points behind fifth place Castleford but the league table picture could change dramatically again by Sunday tea time.

If you’ve been watching Salford for maybe twenty years or more you sort of become used to being let down and you tend to take big defeats in your stride. When you get a performance like that one on Sunday though it makes all the hard days and suffering worthwhile. I heard people applauding St.Helens and their away following. Yes it was great to see the stand packed but if you can’t turn up to watch a champion team in the sunshine then it’s a pretty poor look out. If you’ve watched Saints through the Super League era then you’ve been treated to royal performances and cup finals on a very regular basis.

How far can this Salford team go? I spoke to a few people before Sunday’s match and I’ll be honest we doubted the team really against Saints. I don’t think anyone saw that result coming. Even at half time my dad and the people around us were still really nervous and we were 26-0 up! My only fear at the moment is the injuries and size of our squad. I hope to god we don’t run out of players. Hopefully in the next few weeks Shane Wright and Harvey Livett will return and this Sunday Ryan Brierley should be back in the side. Credit to Dan Sarginson for his performance last weekend. After a long injury lay off he came back and put in a really solid effort and scored a fine try.

Headingley has always been a bit of a graveyard for Salford. Even in the 1970s we struggled to get victories there and in the big matches Leeds always seemed to have the edge. Salford have won this fixture three times in the last sixty years, 1977, 2009 and 2019.

Flash back to 1977! 

Sunday should be a terrific atmosphere on the West terrace behind the sticks. I know their are quite a few supporters coaches going. Enjoy the day and bring back the two points.

Super League Away record.

Leeds 23

Draws 0

Salford 2

1997 Leeds 34 Salford 18

1998 Leeds 31 Salford 12

1999 Leeds 50 Salford 16

2000 Leeds 42 Salford 16

2001 Leeds 56 Salford 6

2002 Leeds 39 Salford 38

2004 Leeds 34 Salford 6

2005 Leeds 54 Salford 14

2006 Leeds 20 Salford 12

2007 Leeds 52 Salford 14

2009 Leeds 20 Salford 30

2010 Leeds 22 Salford 10

2011 Leeds 46 Salford 12

2012 Leeds 46 Salford 12

2013 Leeds 42 Salford 14

2014 Leeds 32 Salford 4

2015 Leeds 70 Salford 6

2016 Leeds 8 Salford 0

2017 Leeds 20 Salford 14

2017 Leeds 44 Salford 2 (super 8s)

2018 Leeds 20 Salford 0

2018 Leeds 18 Salford 16 (the qualifiers)

2019 Leeds 12 Salford 20

2020 Leeds 50 Salford 12 (behind closed doors at Warrington)

2021 Leeds 38 Salford 16

They played for both.

Here are a few players to wear the red of Salford and the blue and amber of Leeds.

A real star for both clubs, Andrew Duneman. 

Luke Burgess, Joel Moon, Mark Brooke-Cowden, Andrew Duneman, Ensene Famailo, Phil Ford, Ashley Gibson, Phil Hassan, Weller Hauraki, Ben Jones Bishop, Andy Kirk, Francis Maloney, Richie Myler, David Young and Robert Lui.

A match to remember Friday 6th September 2019.

Leeds 12 Salford 20.

In a season that saw some wonderful results for Salford, this one has to be one of the most satisfying for many of our long suffering supporters.

The Red Devils arrived at Headingley for the penultimate match of the regular season in terrific form having won their previous six matches.

The team had a real togetherness and a fantastic team spirit. Confidence was flowing with momentum building week on week. Every player knew his job and what was expected from coach Ian Watson.

This match would be a huge test. A ground where victories were so rare. 2009, 1977 and 1959 were Salford’s last three wins in the fixture.

Arriving at the ground myself as a supporter I felt a strange excitement and anticipation.

Robert Lui had joined Leeds from Salford in a surprise move just a few months earlier with Tongan star Tui Lolohea moving in the opposite direction.

Having briefly spoken to Tui after a thumping Salford win at Hull just two games previously I could see the hunger in his eyes to do well and prove people wrong. I felt he had been made somewhat of a scapegoat at Leeds and in my opinion their problems ran a lot deeper.

Logan Tomkins came close early on to opening the scoring but was held up over the line. Niall Evalds opened the scoring finishing off a thrilling break from Jackson Hastings. Shortly after youngster Jake Bibby showed some neat footwork to step over to double Salford’s lead 0-12.

Game star in 2019 Krisnan Inu. 

Despite dominating the first half Salford were pegged back just before the break when Richie Myler darted over. Rhyse Martin converted to make it 6-12.

A Krisnan Inu penalty extended the advantage to 6-14.

At the start of the second half Salford’s desire and commitment in defence was outstanding. They resisted a series of back to back Leeds attacks with some terrific tackling. In the 54th minute Leeds finally cracked the water tight defence with veteran forward Jamie Jones Buchanan crashing over on a Brad Dwyer grubber kick. Martin’s conversion made it 12-14.

Salford’s defence was again severely tested in the final quarter but their fantastic effort was finally rewarded at the other end when Joey Lussick burrowed over with seven minutes remaining. Salford’s travelling faithful erupted on the western terrace behind the sticks.

After so much heartache at Headingley it was a pleasure to witness so much joy on our supporters faces.

Inu nailed the conversion to give Salford a famous victory and a very important one. An extra time win over Hull Kingston Rovers the following week gave Salford a third place league finish our highest since 1980.

The teams that night,

Leeds: J Walker, Hurrell, Handley, Myler, Merrin, Sutcliffe, Oledzki, Briscoe, Newman, Seumanufagai, Lunt, Lui, Martin.

Subs: Ward, Dwyer, Jones-Buchanan, Smith.

Salford: Evalds, Sio, Welham, Bibby, Inu, Lolohea, Hastings, Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, McCarthy.

Subs: Flanagan, Lussick, Walker, Burke.

Attendance: 12,436

Referee: Liam Moore.

Sunday’s match.

Looking at the league table mid week it’s quite difficult to say who the top six teams will be come the end of the regular season. St.Helens and Wigan both look like they will fight it out for top spot then you have Huddersfield and Catalans. After that just four points separate Castleford in fifth place and Hull Kingston Rovers in ninth. Warrington Wolves are the surprise team with just fourteen points they are flirting with relegation only two points above Wakefield and four off bottom club Toulouse.

Leeds have showed a real improvement under coach Rohan Smith and this was underlined by a fantastic comeback win away against Catalans last weekend. The Rhinos trailed 30-6 after 55 minutes and then Matt Prior was sent off for a dangerous tackle. Four tries in the remaining twenty minutes including a hat trick from Richie Myler sent the match to Golden point extra time. Aidan Sezer grabbed the winning try two minutes in to the first period of extra time to snatch an epic 32-36 win. A day later Salford took St.Helens to the cleaners with a 44-12 trouncing. It’s fair to say both clubs had remarkable weekends and going off current form Leeds and Salford are the two hot teams in the Super League. Both clubs have won four from the last five and both have scored a sack full of points in the process. Surely this game on Sunday will see plenty of tries. Salford’s back line has been sensational. Two partnerships in the three quarters that dovetail so neatly. Deon Cross and Ken Sio work so well and the understanding Tim Lafai and Joe Burgess have is simply incredible. Salford have scored 515 points this season in the Super League. Only Wigan have scored more.

Super Tim Lafai! 

The Rhinos have lots of attacking threats of their own. Myler who we’ve just mentioned is a real talisman. Ash Handley has an excellent try record with 15 so far and Aidan Sezer is finally making his mark with Leeds.

Ken Sio has scored 21 tries this season!

Salford have a thrilling run of games left this season. This is how it looks after Sunday’s match at Headingley.

Huddersfield at home Saturday 13th August

Catalans away Saturday 20th August

Hull at home Thursday 25th August

Castleford away Monday 29th August

Warrington at home Saturday 3rd September

It’s certainly been a memorable season and maybe their are a few more twists and turns still to come.

The action gets under way at 3pm.

Safe travels and enjoy the match.

Paul Whiteside.

Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.

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