Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust

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Paul Whiteside 0 Comments

Brilliant Brierley Gets Salford Mobile.

It was quite a return to Rugby League’s top flight for the town of Leigh. The newly branded Leopards put on quite a show prior to kick off. Live music, dancers, flame jugglers and a spectacular firework show set the match up perfectly.

A packed crowd waited for the two teams to emerge and Salford ran out in their stunning centenary kit.

This Leigh team was packed with house hold names and plenty of players with Super League experience. Zak Hardacker started at fullback and former Salford stars Ed Chamberlain and Gareth O’Brien were in the starting thirteen.

Salford kept the spine of the side that did so well last season. New signings Sam Stone and Oliver Partington were in the starting line up.

After the razzmatazz before the match it was down to business and the Rugby League purists were in for a treat. Both sides traded sets early on with defences on top and no real clear cut chances. Leigh enjoyed the majority of the possession and attacking territory but Salford defended stoutly. Paul Rowley’s side had a steel about them, a dogged determination and toughness.

Defences were on top in the early stages.

After forcing a drop out Leigh moved the ball wide and Josh Charnley scored in the corner. The conversion was missed 4-0

The Red Devils had to weather Leigh’s attacking raids and on the whole they muscled up well.

Salford were patient and when the chance came they took it. A slick move on the right with Brodie Croft’s lovely short pass sending Kallum Watkins in to level the scores. Marc Sneyd reliable as ever edged Salford in front with the conversion.

Kallum Watkins touches down.

The visitors began to turn the screw, cranking up the pressure and the Leopards struggled to live with the pace. After forcing a drop out Jack Ormondroyd stormed forward to create a platform for hooker Andy Ackers who darted over. Sneyd knew the half time hooter was on the way and he used the time wisely to wind the clock down before booting Salford into a 4-12 half time lead.

Andy Ackers with a big try.

Leigh came out firing in the second half desperate for points but it was Salford who struck first with another fine move. Croft again the architect this time feeding Ryan Brierley with a pass. The former Leigh star has a habit of being in the right place at the right time with his wonderful support play. Brierley dived over in front of the jubilant Salford following that had filled the stand behind the sticks. 4-18.

Man of the match Ryan Brierley.

Leigh kept on fighting and that man Charnley showed his pace to burst down the left flank. A super cover tackle from Brierley saved a certain try but Sneyd was sin binned in the incident for a professional foul.

Lachlan Lam breeched the Salford line and once again but the brilliant Brierley saved the day with another brave tackle.

Leigh were awarded a penalty try when Jack Hughes was adjudged to of been taken off the ball by Watkins in the Salford in goal area. At 10-18 Leigh were clinging on to Salford’s coat tails again. The Leopards had their tales up and consecutive sets of six saw them hammer the Salford try line. The Red Devils were superb in defence all night and they stood firm.

The final act came from the boot of Sneyd who kicked a penalty goal on the final hooter.

Once again Salford’s momentum is slowly building. A magnificent travelling away support roared the players to victory in what was a thoroughly professional performance from the team. Paul Rowley and Kurt Haggerty got their tactics spot on to give Salford a promising start to 2023. Salford are a club that go about their business quietly and I think that’s the way Rowley likes it.

The Red Devils are back in action at home to Hull Kingston Rovers on Thursday night.

Leigh 10 Salford 20.

Paul Whiteside.


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