It was a chilly clear night in Salford as the two sides walked out of the tunnel. The home supporters were full of optimism after the recent player contract news and last weeks victory at Leigh. Hull Kingston Rovers were missing a couple of key players but themselves were brimming with confidence after a comprehensive win over the much fancied Wigan last Saturday.
The Red Devils were pretty much at full strength and coach Paul Rowley made two changes to his starting thirteen with Joe Burgess replacing Rhys Williams on the wing. Jack Ormondroyd started and King Vuniyayawa was on the bench.
The match started at a blistering pace with Salford moving the ball wide at top speed at every opportunity. It was exciting to watch and you sensed points could be on the way. Rovers were solid in defence and very well organised with Jordan Abdull and Mikey Lewis working together well in the halves.
Salford scored the first try after cracking up the pressure with repeat sets. The ball went right and Ken Sio finished well in the corner against his former club.
The Red Devils were a constant threat but had a tendency to over play the situation at times. To add to that Rovers edge defence was superb and continued to snuff Salford out.
The visitors got over the line seven minutes before the break but the video referee made the decision of no try.
In a match that had threatened so many points Salford had a slender 4-0 lead at half time.
Rovers made a positive start to the second half and attacked with a flow of confidence. The video referee was called upon when Ethan Ryan went over and the try was given. Will Dagger converted to give his side a 4-6 lead.
Another try soon followed when a measured kick found Frankie Halton who dived over with Dagger again converting to extend the Rovers lead to 4-12.
Salford needed a response and from the kick off a big defensive set forced a Rovers mistake deep in their own half. The crowd lifted and a slick Salford move got Deon Cross over for a nice try. From the kick off Sam Stone came up with a huge error which gifted the visitors a big chance. Shaun Kenny-Dowell found Sam Wood with a super pass to score another well worked try. Rovers deserved their lead and once again Dagger booted the conversion 10-18.
Ken Sio was denied a try by the video referee as Salford desperately tried to claw their way back. The Red Devils were making too many errors and were second best in every department.
The night was summed up for Salford when the ever reliable Ryan Brierley spilled a high kick. Wood pounced to grab his second try and the travelling Rovers fans went wild behind the sticks. Dagger made it four from four with another super conversion.
Salford travel to Warrington next Thursday evening.
Salford 10 Warrington 24.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.