Castleford v Salford.
Over the years these two sides have met in big cup matches on a number of occasions. Castleford have had the upper hand with a Wembley win in 1969, the following seasons of 1970 and 71 they put a stop to Salford’s cup run at Wheldon Road. The Tigers won a cup Quarter final between the two sides in 1999 and who could forget the golden point match at Headingley in 2021 which Cas agonisingly edged over the Red Devils. I know this match isn’t technically a Cup tie but it’s got that feel to it. The winner of this will take a place off spot leaving the losing side relying on Leeds to drop points in their final two matches. Castleford, Salford and Leeds can all make the playoffs in any combination. One of the three will miss out though and Monday should be a fever pitch atmosphere.
Salford had to work hard on Thursday night to beat Hull. The Airlie Birds came with a solid game plan and mindset which almost paid off. Salford though dug deep and found a way to get the win, once again they scored some fantastic tries along the way.
The Tigers were also in action on Thursday away at Warrington. At one stage they trailed 12-0 but fought back to win the match 19-18.
Alex Gerrard was outstanding again in the pack for Salford playing big minutes and Elijah Taylor gets through so much work every week. Sam Luckley is another forward who has become very reliable this year. He runs hard and has the ability to spot an offload. Shane Wright returned on Thursday and made a brief appearance from the bench but will be expected to feature on Monday with the short turnaround. Tyler Dupree impressed again in a man of the match performance from the young, talented forward. Tyler is becoming an enforcer in the pack and is looking to be a very astute signing by the club.
All the players seem to be enjoying their rugby at the moment and let’s hope this good form can continue for the next few weeks.
One player who will of been delighted with the win over Hull is Marc Sneyd. Marc had a very successful spell with Hull between 2015 and 2021 winning the Lance Todd Trophy two years running in 2016 and 2017 as well as the Challenge Cup on both occasions too. Sneyd is also a former Castleford player to add to the match on Monday.
Super League Away record.
1997 Castleford 12 Salford 10
1998 Castleford 30 Salford 12
1999 Castleford 38 Salford 10
2000 Castleford 30 Salford 4
2001 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2002 Castleford 24 Salford 2
2004 Castleford 32 Salford 36
2004 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2006 Castleford 28 Salford 26
2009 Castleford 52 Salford 16
2010 Castleford 30 Salford 12
2011 Castleford 52 Salford 20
2012 Castleford 34 Salford 30
2013 Castleford 44 Salford 30
2014 Castleford 14 Salford 10
2015 Castleford 30 Salford 16
2016 Castleford 16 Salford 32
2017 Castleford 38 Salford 14
2018 Castleford 22 Salford 8
2019 Castleford 24 Salford 20
2020 Castleford 37 Salford 30 ( behind closed doors Headingley)
2021 Castleford 18 Salford 70
2022 Castleford 16 Salford 26
They played for both.
Throughout the Super League era there have been plenty of players who have played for both clubs and quite a few through the 1970s and 80s.
Here is a selection of them.
Paul Fletcher, Paul Orr, Bill Kirkbride, Jonny Ward, Barry Kear, Ron Hill, Ian Bragger, Justin Carney, Chris Charles, Jason Critchley, Luke Dorn, Greg Eden, Jake Emmit, Jason Flowers, Matt Gardner, Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin, Weller Hauraki, Lee Jewitt, Michael Korkidas, Francis Maloney, Mike Platt, Darren Rogers, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd, Gray Viane, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, Jordan Turner and Gareth O’Brien.
A MATCH TO REMEMBER –Sunday 5th September 2004.
Castleford 22 Salford 24.
A crucial match for both sides. Salford had been promoted at the end of the 2003 season and were desperate to survive making really strong progress under the leadership of coach Karl Harrison.
Having already won at Wheldon Road earlier in the season victory here would have a big say in the race for survival. A real thrilling contest saw Castleford winger Paul Mellor grab a hat trick of tries. Andy Coley, Malcolm Alker and a brace from Karl Fitzpatrick along with four goals from the ever reliable Chris Charles were just enough as Salford edged to victory 22-24. There were terrific scenes of celebration on the terraces at the final hooter from the travelling Salford supporters.
Despite a nail biting 6-7 victory at fellow strugglers Widnes a week later Castleford lost there final match to Wakefield and were relegated on 12 points.
Salford had done enough finishing the season on 16 points in 9th place.
The teams that day:
Castleford, Gibson, Pryce, Rogers, Saxton, Mellor, Davis, Maloney, Greenhill, Godwin, Lynch, Crouch, Harland, Hudson.
Subs, Hepworth, Jackson, Tookey, Sykes.
Salford, Fitzpatrick, Caine, Littler, Beverley, Stewart, McGuinness, Clinch, Baynes, Alker, Highton, Coley, Rutgerson, Charles.
Subs, Johnson, Shipway, Baldwin, Haggerty.
Referee, Steve Ganson.
When these two sides met on the opening night of the season the atmosphere at Wheldon Road was electric. It was hostile and hectic for Salford but they managed the game superbly beating the Tigers comfortably with a very professional performance. The Red Devils will once again have their backs against the wall knowing that Castleford will throw everything at them. If Salford can weather that storm and get the attacking opportunities they’ve shown recently they can score plenty of tries.
The Tigers are tough to beat on their home ground and it’s a small tight pitch they play on. Danny Richardson was inspirational in Thursday’s win at Warrington coming up with an important drop goal. Former Salford winger Derrell Olpherts scored two tries in that match and he’s a dangerous player. Gareth O’Brien could partner Richardson in the halves and George Griffin is now in his third season with Castleford having left Salford after the 2019 Grand Final.
Joe Westerman and Paul McShane have bags of big game experience and Liam Watts is always a handful in the pack. Salford have plenty of threats in their back line but can also muscle up in the forwards and the battle between the two packs will be pivotal to how this game pans out. Kallum Watkins has been a revelation in Salford’s back row. Jack Ormondroyd never takes a backward step and as mentioned before Tyler Dupree takes some stopping when he’s on the charge. Chris Atkin coming off the bench has added a new dimension to Salford’s attack and I am delighted to hear he’s under contract for next season.
This match is a tricky one to predict. Paul Rowley and his players have nothing to fear though they’ve got the quality and belief to get this job done.
Rowley and the players have mentioned Salford’s eighteenth man in recent weeks. That eighteenth man being the vocal and fanatical support that follows this famous club home and away. The supporters have a team to be proud of in 2022 and the players and staff in return have a support to be proud of. A support that will drag them up by the boot laces when things aren’t going there way. Personally I can’t wait for Monday morning, the build up and the journey up the M62. The whole day will be full of hope, emotion and with a bit of luck two more points.
The action gets under way at 3:30pm
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos and past Castleford programme