Salford v Wakefield.
It’s been a miserable start to the season for Wakefield Trinity and their supporters. Four straight defeats and the last three matches they’ve failed to score a point. Trinity are a famous and proud club, the Dreadnoughts were top dogs in the 1960s but success has been hard to come by in recent years. Wakefield were last at Wembley in 1979 when they were beaten in the Challenge cup final 12-3 by Widnes. Trinity’s last major trophy came in 1992 when they beat Featherstone in the Yorkshire cup final. Over the last few decades you’ve needed a pretty thick skin to watch support Wakefield a bit like Salford in a way really. Since their promotion to Super League at the end of the 1998 season Wakefield have survived quite a few relegation battles. The club has a real togetherness and fighting spirit, Salford will need to be wary of this on Sunday.
I don’t think any matches can be taken for granted in Super League this season. If you turn up half cooked your going to get turned over. Whatever happened the week before is now history and Salford will have to work as hard as ever to get the two points. Last week at Hull was outstanding. The rugby league on show was a delight to watch and the supporters will be expecting the same this week. Sometimes though passes don’t stick and things don’t always come off the way you’d like. I am expecting a very tough game on Sunday.
One thing that surprised me in the Hull victory was that out of the ten tries Salford scored neither winger got one. I suppose this just shows how dangerous we are all over the pitch.
Super League home record.
1999 Salford 28 Wakefield 14
2000 Salford 14 Wakefield 22
2001 Salford 26 Wakefield 16
2001 Salford 24 Wakefield 32
2002 Salford 42 Wakefield 18
2002 Salford 22 Wakefield 22
2004 Salford 20 Wakefield 27
2005 Salford 16 Wakefield 14
2005 Salford 37 Wakefield 0
2006 Salford 48 Wakefield 10
2006 Salford 26 Wakefield 12
2007 Salford 18 Wakefield 35
2009 Salford 24 Wakefield 30
2010 Salford 16 Wakefield 12
2011 Salford 34 Wakefield 12
2012 Salford 34 Wakefield 42 (played at Leigh)
2013 Salford 10 Wakefield 46
2014 Salford 18 Wakefield 14
2015 Salford 24 Wakefield 18
2015 Salford 34 Wakefield 26 (middle eights)
2016 Salford 38 Wakefield 8
2017 Salford 24 Wakefield 34
2017 Salford 18 Wakefield 43 (Super 8s)
2018 Salford 38 Wakefield 4
2019 Salford 44 Wakefield 20
2020 Salford 12 Wakefield 22
2021 Salford 24 Wakefield 14 (played At Halliwell Jones Stadium)
2022 Salford 74 Wakefield 10
They played for both.
Here are a few players who represented both clubs:
Ben Jones Bishop, Mason Caton Brown, Tim Smith, Kevin Locke, Matty Ashurst, Ged Byrne, Garen Casey, Shane Kenward, Jason Critchley, Ashley Gibson, Sean Gleeson, Bobbie Goulding, Josh Griffin, George Griffin, Darrell Griffin, Phil Hassan, James Hasson, Stuart Howarth, Alan Hunte, Greg Johnson, Warren Jowitt, Andy Kirk, Tommy Lee, Francis Maloney, Martin Moana, Kris Tassell, Jason Walton, Josh Wood, Liam Hood, Jeremy Smith, Lee Gaskell and Craig Kopzack.
A match to remember Saturday 11th March 2006.
Salford 48 Wakefield 10.
Wakefield were helpless to stop Salford’s first half masterclass. Their passing was slick, the support play was superb and their defence was tenacious at times.
Incredibly, Salford, who led 36-0 at the break, missed only one tackle in the first 40 minutes. With inspirational skipper Malc Alker failing to appear for the second half, the Reds let their standards slip but that was immaterial as their fourth win in five games was already in the bag.
Besides, with their feet firmly off the gas Salford still looked the better team.
The half back pairing of Andrew Dunemann and Luke Robinson worked wonders.
They carved open Wakefield’s defence time after time.
Loose forward Simon Finnigan was the main beneficiary, becoming only the second Salford forward ever to score a Super League hat-trick.
Finnigan’s finishing was different class but it was his all round game that was a joy to watch.
With Finnigan keeping Chris Charles out of the team, Salford were missing a regular goal kicker. David Hodgson was proving a good stand in though with a fine kick display.
He set a Salford Super League goal kicking record I think match converting all eight of the Reds’ tries.
It had been a fantastic start to the 2006 season for Salford with early wins against Warrington, Catalan and Wigan.
This certainly was a memorable night at The Willows. One of those games where almost everything came off and went right.
The team line ups that night were ;
SALFORD REDS: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Moule, Littler, Wilshere; Dunemann, Robinson; Baldwin, Alker, Highton, Coley, Brocklehurst, Finnigan. Subs used: Clough, Haggerty, Clayton, Langi. Tries: Highton (2), Finnigan (3), Fitzpatrick, Brocklehurst, Robinson. Goals: Hodgson (8).
WAKEFIELD: Halpenny; White, Demetriou, Henderson, Tadulala; Obst, Jeffries; MacGillivray, Betham, Elima, Solomona, Field, Applegarth. Subs used: Griffin, Korkidas, March, Saxton. Tries: Field, Demetriou. Goal: March.
Referee, Phil Bentham.
After a disappointing result last time out at home against Hull Kingston Rovers, Salford will be hoping to impress the supporters and get the two points.
Wakefield are a side low on confidence but sometimes that can make for a dangerous opponent.
Trinity have already lost star winger Lewis Murphy to a serious injury and that list has started to grow too. Head coach Mark Applegarth has swooped to sign Huddersfield forward Sam Hewitt on a short term loan deal and is also on the look out for more loan signings in the near future.
Despite recent results Wakefield still have player to watch out for. Jay Pitts and Matty Ashurst are a very experienced back row partnership and Liam Hood is quick around the ruck at hooker. Mason Lino is a tricky half back and Wakefield have plenty of pace out wide on both sides of the pitch.
Paul Rowley’s Salford side looked so well balanced and organised last Saturday at Hull. It was great to see Shane Wright running wide out and Tyler Dupree was at his blockbusting best. Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft found a terrific blend in the halves and with Chris Atkin, Ryan and Andy Ackers playing off the back of that Salford had threats everywhere.
Rowley and his assistant Kurt Haggerty won’t be underestimating their opposition. I am sure they’ll have a game plan for Sunday.
The action gets under way at 3pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.
Photo credit Wakefield Trinity heritage.