Salford v Huddersfield.
At times during the Super League era following Salford has been pretty tough going. Seasons of struggles and going to matches to keep the score down make it hard to keep your spirit up. However, the 2022 season is becoming so intense and exciting week after week. Salford are challenging and beating the best teams in the league. Sat having your tea and toast on the morning of a match day your mind can’t help but wander. Dreaming of playoff matches and heaven knows even another Grand Final. This weeks visitors Huddersfield are having a terrific season. A very consistent side that a really difficult to beat. The extra spice this week comes with the two clubs player and coach connections and I am expecting a fever pitch atmosphere at the kick off. When ex players and coaches return to their former clubs it all adds to the whole drama of the occasion.
The two sides have met twice already this season. The Giants thumped Salford early in the year and to be fair looked a class above. The magic weekend meeting was a much closer game. The Red Devils came back well in the second half but perhaps lacked a bit of composure. We got caught out on the edges on a number of occasions. Since then Paul Rowley’s side have hit some really good form which has made the rest of the Super League sit up and take note. After three straight wins Salford were beaten at Headingley 34-14 by Leeds last Sunday. The Rhinos are in very good form and look likely to secure a playoff spot. A win against the Giants will put Salford right back in the frame though.
Super League Home record.
1998 Salford 40 Huddersfield 6
1999 Salford 14 Huddersfield 15
2000 Salford 18 Huddersfield/Sheffield 8
2001 Salford 28 Huddersfield 14
2004 Salford 18 Huddersfield 25
2005 Salford 24 Huddersfield 16
2006 Salford 36 Huddersfield 18
2007 Salford 14 Huddersfield 12
2009 Salford 10 Huddersfield 34
2010 Salford 30 Huddersfield 18
2011 Salford 24 Huddersfield 18
2012 Salford 20 Huddersfield 30
2013 Salford 21 Huddersfield 20
2014 Salford 22 Huddersfield 42
2015 Salford 0 Huddersfield 19
2016 Salford 30 Huddersfield 31
2016 Salford 34 Huddersfield 12 (Qualifiers)
2017 Salford 36 Huddersfield 20
2017 Salford 52 Huddersfield 14 (Super Eights)
2018 Salford 16 Huddersfield 24
2019 Salford 18 Huddersfield 36
2019 Salford 32 Huddersfield 12
2020 Salford 10 Huddersfield 12
2021 Salford 18 Huddersfield 12
They played for both.
Here are a selection of players who have played for both clubs;
Steve Kerry, Danny Arnold, Greg Austin, David Bradbury, Jodie Broughton, Ryan Clayton, Gavin Clinch, Greg Eden, Simon Finnigan, Matt Gardner, Lee Gaskell, Martin Gleeson, Bobbie Goulding, Darrel Griffin, Josh Griffin, Neil Harmon, David Hodgson, Graham Holroyd, Andy Johnson, Phil Joseph, Craig Kopzack, Michael korkidas, Tommy Lee, Martin Moana, Chris Nero, Robbie Paul, Luke Robinson, Jordan Turner, Adam Walne, Paul White, Stephen Wild, Tui Lolohea, Luke Yates, Theo Fages and Josh Jones.
A match to remember Friday 7th April 2006.
Salford 36 Huddersfield 18
It doesn’t seem that long ago 2006 but a lot has changed on and off the field for Salford in the last thirteen years. Turn the clock back to this chilly and wet Friday night at The Willows. Karl Harrison’s City Reds had made good progress since promotion back to Super League. With some very astute recruitment 2006 was a very successful campaign.
Two first half tries from star fullback Karl Fitzpatrick were cancelled out by two tries from The Giants. Michael De Vere and Robbie Paul scoring in quick succession to level the scores at 12-12.
Ian Sibbit restored Salford’s lead after Huddersfield fullback Stuart Donlan threw out a long pass near his own line. Second rower Sibbit took full advantage.
Stuart Jones was then sin binned for a late tackle on The City Reds linchpin Andrew Dunemann. The extra man counted and that man Dunemann jinked his way through before setting up a nice try for David Hodgson.
Huddersfield struck first in the second half when Martin Aspinwall scooted over from a Salford mistake. Chris Thorman’s conversion brought The Giants back to within six points at 24-18.
That’s as good as it got for the Yorkshire side though. The 2006 Salford side had a steely determination about them and when Karl Fitzpatrick sliced through to complete his hat trick their was only going to be one winner.
Despite losing Andy Coley to the sin bin Salford put the game to bed seven minutes from time. Scrum half Luke Robinson out foxed the weary Huddersfield defence dancing over to score.
Although Salford scored some excellent tries it was perhaps the defensive resilience that won the game against a much fancied Giants side.
The teams that night;
Salford, Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Wilshere, Dunemann, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Stringer, Brocklehurst, Sibbit, Finnigan.
Subs, McGuinness, Charles, Clayton, Baldwin.
Huddersfield, Donlan, Aspinwall, Nero, de Vere, Gardner, Thorman, Paul, Crabtree, Frew, Jackson, Smith, Jones, Wild.
Subs, Snitch, March, McDonald, Raleigh.
Referee, Steve Ganson
The Super League season is approaching the run in now with just five regular rounds remaining. Three of those five matches are home games and Salford on the whole have been very good at the AJ Bell Stadium.
This Saturday’s match is live on Channel Four television and the perfect opportunity to show the country how we play the game the right way.
The media will no doubt make a thing of the ex Salford players returning with the Giants and of course Ian Watson. For me though the club has moved on. Watson is doing his own thing in West Yorkshire and to be fair he is moulding a good side. Paul Rowley has done a terrific job for Salford along with his young coaching assistant Kurt Haggerty. Let’s not forget the vital role Danny Orr plays at the club too. Yes their will be that bit of added spice with the likes of Luke Yates, Tui Lolohea and Josh Jones in the Giants squad but that should add to the ferociousness of the match. If you look at both squads their are interesting battles across the board in all positions. Like Salford the Giants have a very exciting back line and plenty of experience in the spine of the team too. Theo Fages is another ex Salford player returning and it does seem a long time since he played for the Red Devils.
Sam Luckley failed his HIA at Leeds last Sunday so will miss this week. It’s a shame for the Geordie boy because he’s been in great form recently with his lung busting work rate.
One player who impresses me week after week is Alex Gerrard. Alex has so many tools to his game. He’s powerful going forward and can offload as well as creating chances with his excellent rugby brain. Shane Wright returned from a long injury layoff last weekend and that is a huge boost for the forward pack.
Will Pryce will miss the match for Huddersfield having picked up a two game ban following an incident against Hull last Friday.
The Giants currently sit in third place with fourteen wins from twenty two matches. Salford dropped behind Leeds into seventh place but are breathing down the Rhinos necks just a point behind. For the record Leeds travel to Hull Kingston Rovers on Friday night.
This promises to be another cracking match. Salford have taken Wakefield, Catalans and St.Helens apart in their last three home matches scoring 150 points in the process. Huddersfield will be another huge test and don’t forget it’s a slightly earlier kick off than normal.
The action gets under way at 1pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick and the Salford match day programme for the photos