Perfect conditions awaited the players at kick off. A gentle breeze with dry and fairly mild temperatures made it ideal for fast flowing Rugby League. Although the match didn’t really pan out that way
Wakefield had not managed a point in their three previous matches and started this one in a determined mood. Salford scored the first points when Ryan Brierley sent Matty Costello over for a well taken try. Costello had waited patiently for his chance to start and with Tim Lafai missing through an injury picked up in training he slotted straight in at centre.
Rhys Williams fed Brodie Croft with a real hospital pass right in front of his own try line. The Australian half back was bundled behind the line as Trinity forced a drop out. The visitors immediately capitalised with a neat move down the left, Corey Hall went over and Mason Lino’s conversion levelled the scores at 6-6.
Deon Cross came close to scoring but on the whole Salford’s attacks were pretty scrappy, lacking fluidity and Wakefield could sense this. Trinity continued to defend well and were very organised.
Reece Lynne grabbed a try to silence the home supporters and it was nothing more the Trinity deserved, 6-10.
Salford needed a response and seemed frustrated at times. It needed an injection of pace and two minutes before half time Chris Atkin provided it darting from dummy half to squeeze over. Marc Sneyd converted to edge Salford in front 12-10 at the break.
The second half started quite scrappy with both teams making mistakes and lacking the composure needed to take charge of the match.
Salford came close from a set scrum when the ball fizzed left but Williams couldn’t get the ball down in a very tight situation.
With just over ten minutes remaining Lino levelled the score at 12-12 with a penalty goal. Both teams now seemed nervous and the play became very conservative with neither team wanting to chance their arm, fearing a mistake would cost the match.
With six minutes remaining Trinity full back Liam Kay spilled a high kick to open the door for Salford to attack. The Red Devils got organised and Sneyd made no mistake pinging over a drop goal, 13-12.
Wakefield refused to give in and tried a short kick off. They regained possession and went driving towards the posts with their intention obvious to everyone in the ground. Lino lined up calmly and the scores were again level at 13-13.
As the clock counted down Lino and Sneyd missed two attempts each with drop goals so the match went to golden point extra time.
The tension was no at maximum level. No room for error from anyone. A Wakefield forward pass was roared by the home crowd and Salford went for the finish. Sneyd made it looked easy as he booted the ball between the posts to give Salford a 14-13 victory.
In a match were a draw would of probably been a fair result you had to feel for Wakefield, a massive effort but nothing to show for it.
Salford ground it out and a win is all that matters but coach Paul Rowley knows they will need to be better next Friday when they travel to Wigan.
Salford 14 Wakefield 13.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.