Salford v Hull.
How are you feeling with three games to go? Excited? Nervous? Either way it’s a great time to be a Salford supporter and ten games into the season I don’t think I saw these performances coming!
I don’t think it’s just the winning games but the manner of the victories that have taken many by surprise. Last Saturday Catalans Dragons we’re completely dismantled on their own ground by a Salford side playing the best rugby in the country! Once again the tries were sensational and however poor Dragons coach Steve McNamara thought his side played perhaps it’s because Salford didn’t let them play! I didn’t see that score line coming either!
Anything seems possible now this season but with three matches to play Paul Rowley and his team won’t be looking past this weeks opponents Hull.
The Airlie Birds always seem to be fancied by the the pundits at the start of every season. They seem to spend big and have high expectations on the East Coast but this year after a solid start they have fell apart dramatically conceding points by the sack load! That said though Hull are only just behind Salford in the league table so a victory is a must this Thursday.
With the Ladies team playing Hull at 5:15pm it promises to be a special night of rugby league action. It would be great to see a big crowd turn up. It’s still the school holidays and the weather looks good for Thursday night too.
Super League Home record.
1998 Salford 12 Hull 4
1999 Salford 38 Hull 18
2000 Salford 30 Hull 22
2000 Salford 33 Hull 24
2001 Salford 24 Hull 36
2002 Salford 10 Hull 24
2004 Salford 20 Hull 44
2004 Salford 8 Hull 12
2005 Salford 12 Hull 22
2006 Salford 20 Hull 24
2007 Salford 18 Hull 35
2009 Salford 14 Hull 18
2010 Salford 27 Hull 20
2011 Salford 16 Hull 32
2012 Salford 24 Hull 22
2013 Salford 18 Hull 24
2014 Salford 35 Hull 22
2015 Salford 32 Hull 28
2016 Salford 20 Hull 28
2017 Salford 10 Hull 34
2018 Salford 24 Hull 8
2019 Salford 16 Hull 23
2020 Salford 54 Hull 18 (played behind closed doors at Headingley).
2021 Salford 4 Hull 35 ( played behind closed doors at Langtree Park).
2021 Salford 42 Hull 14
They played for both.
Over the years there’s been quite a few players to represent both clubs, here are a few pre-Super League era as well.
Paul Fletcher, Richie Barnett, Brian Blacker, Jodie Broughton, Craig Coleman, Josh Griffin, Brad Hepi, Mark Johnson, Daniel Holdsworth, Alan Hunte, Stuart Howarth, Warren Jowitt, Tommy Lee, Ryan Mcgoldrick, Craig Murdock, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Tommy Saxton, Scott Taylor, Jordan Turner, Martin Gleeson and Marc Sneyd.
A MATCH TO REMEMBER – SUNDAY 30TH MAY 1999
SALFORD 38 HULL 18
The Reds revival since the sacking of Andy Gregory had gathered pace nicely with five points from the previous three games and in this match Hull only briefly threatened to halt that little run.
Darren Brown handled no less than three times in the move that saw Gary Broadbent go in for Salford’s first try after 11 minutes, although two of Hull’s youngsters combined for an equaliser, Paul Cooke putting in a precise high kick for Craig Poucher to leap and score.
Crompton’s interception and smart handling from Brown and Bobby Thompson sent Joe Faimalo over to restore Salford’s lead and Malcolm Alker’s strength took him in for another before half-time.
A try from Mark Johnson, who could not get a game under Gregory, was followed by two from Brown. There was some brilliant handling involved in all three, especially when David Hulme and Paul Southern got marvellous passes away to set up Brown’s first.
Hull’s teenage half-backs linked up for Richard Horne to send Cooke in and Fili Seru went 80 yards after picking up a loose pass.
But it all ended happily enough with Smith rampaging down the wing and Brown arriving in time to complete his first hat-trick since 1991. It was a much needed victory at the time for Salford who were struggling in the league table after some really poor league form.
Darren Brown was a key player in that Salford side and his return from injury had been a major factor behind the change in Reds fortunes, Brown also paid tribute to the work of John Foran who was temporarily in charge as caretaker coach following the sacking of Andy Gregory.
The teams that day,
Salford Reds: Thompson; Johnson, Littler, Broadbent, Carige; Blakeley, Crompton; Makin, Alker, Southern, H Smith, Brown, Hulme. Substitutes used: Casey, J Faimalo, E Faimalo, Highton.
Hull Sharks: Prescott; Poucher, J Smith, Campbell, Seru; Cooke, Horne; Harrison, King, Craven, Booth, Schultz, Purcell. Substitutes used: Lee, Barrow, Fletcher, Jackson.
Referee: Robert Connolly.
Looking at the bookies odds for this match one in particular that caught my eye is giving Hull a twenty four point start. I am confident of a victory but I don’t know what it is when it comes to Salford I always remain fairly cautious. I think every Salford Supporter would take a dull 4-0 win right now. The two points now are so precious especially with Leeds playing Huddersfield twenty four hours earlier. Castleford face Warrington and who knows how that one will turn out. Warrington seem to be the biggest enigma of 2022 and the Tigers have blown hot and cold recently.
I’ve been singing the praises of certain players on a weekly basis and this week is no different. At this moment in time Brodie Croft and Marc Sneyd have formed a formidable partnership in the halves. This had a significant impact last Saturday in France. Both players scored thrilling tries and made the side tick throughout the eighty minutes.
Alex Gerrard again worked his socks of and the impact Chris Atkin makes off the bench is absolutely vital. I really hope Chris remains at Salford. He’s such a clever and useful player to have in the squad. His creative attributes along with his terrific work ethic and fitness are so valuable to the teams success.
Kallum Watkins scored two more tries last week and once again teams are finding it so difficult to defend against him.
Hull have plenty of quality in their side to be wary of. The team may be low on confidence at this moment in time but that can change very quickly.
Luke Gale is a very experienced half back. He broke Salford hearts at Wembley in the 2020 Challenge Cup final. With Leeds and Salford level at 16-16 Gale dropped the match winning one point to win the cup.
Scott Taylor has played for both Hull teams in his career and also had a spell with Salford. Veteran hooker Danny Houghton is always top of the tackle charts and he knows the game inside out too.
The Red Devils have been excellent at home this season and seem to love playing in front of a ferocious home crowd. Eight wins from eleven home games is a great return.
The action gets under way at 7:45pm.
Best wishes and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.