It’s been an eventful few weeks for Salford RLFC and the supporters. Defeat at St.Helens was followed by a very exciting win over Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup. Then there was the Tyler Dupree transfer request and interest from Hull Kingston Rovers. To trump that thought Chris Atkin signed a new contract which was music to the ears. Atkin is a fantastic player, a real top professional that just gets on with his job. Every club needs a player like Atkin and Salford are so lucky to have extended his services. He has a very intelligent rugby league brain, he’s as brave as they come as well as being a skilful player.
On the pitch both Salford and Hull KR are having very exciting seasons. The two clubs will meet in the Challenge Cup quarter finals in just over two weeks time and back in 1981 they met at that stage with the Robins beating Salford before reaching Wembley with a 22-5 victory over St.Helens at Headingley! For the record Widnes lifted the trophy with a 18-9 triumph in the final.
The late 70s and early 80s were a golden time in East Hull and the same can be said for the other side of the City!
The Robins lifted plenty of Silverware back then and were top flight First Division Champions in 1978,84 and 85 as well as beating bitter rivals Hull at Wembley in 1980 to lift the Challenge Cup. A 12-0 victory over Hull in the John Player Trophy final of 1985 was another special day although Hull got their revenge in the Yorkshire cup final beating the Robins 29-12. Both those matches were played in the city at the former home of Hull city football club, Boothferry park. Rugby league in the 80s in Hull was booming. The Robins last major trophy was won in 1986 with a 22-18 win over Castleford in the Yorkshire cup final.
I must admit on a personal note I do miss the County Cups. Salford had so good cup runs reaching the finals in 88 and 90. In my opinion there isn’t enough silverware to challenge for in the sport! I’d love to see the County Cups return!
Magic weekend record.
2007, Salford 18 Warrington 50 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2009, Salford 16 Harlequins 24 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2010, Salford 16 Warrington 68 Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2011, Salford 12 Celtic Crusaders 42 millennium stadium, Cardiff
2012, Salford 38 Huddersfield 34 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2013, Salford 28 Widnes 22 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2014, Salford 24 Widnes 30 Etihad Stadium, Manchester
2015, Salford 16 Widnes 38 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2016, Salford 18 Widnes 12 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2017, Salford 36 Leigh 22 St James’ Park, Newcastle
2018, Salford 12 Catalans Dragons 26 St James’Park, Newcastle
2019, Salford 20 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 Anfield, Liverpool.
2021, Salford 18 Castleford 29, St James’ Park, Newcastle.
2022, Salford 18 Huddersfield 30 St James’ Park, Newcastle.
They played for both
Here are a selection of players to have represented The Robins and The Red Devils,
Greg Austin, Colin Dixon, Greg Burke, Chris Charles, Michael Dobson, Sean Gleeson, Darrell Goulding, David Hodgson, Lee Jewitt, Justin Carney, Jordan Walne, Phil Joseph, Tommy Lee, Tyrone McCarthy, Craig Murdock, Cory Paterson, Gareth Price, Scott Taylor, Tony Puletua, Richard Smith, Iain Thornley, Kris Welham and Todd Carney.
Both teams have been a good form. Salford have won five from there last six matches and over came a big test last Sunday against Hull Fc. Losing Andy Ackers is a blow but every time a player comes into the squad at the moment they seem to impress. That leaves Paul Rowley a good selection headache. Ben Hellewell has been really impressive in Salford’s last two matches. Adam Sidlow had a big game last Sunday on his return from injury.
The Robins have won seven from there last nine games and many believe they can put in a trophy challenge in 2023! They battered rivals Hull FC 0-40 at Easter and have also beaten St.Helens and Huddersfield in eye catching displays.
This match will keep off the Magic Weekend and it has all the ingredients to be the game of the round.
Marc Sneyd was instrumental in Salford’s 29-22 victory over Hull last weekend. Sneyd is a real talisman. His goal kicking and ability to guide Salford round the pitch makes him such a pivotal part of the team.
Saturday might not be a cup final but it’s Rugby League on the big stage at an iconic stadium in front of a big crowd! The whole sport will be watching and both sides will want to impress and land a psychological blow ahead of their huge Cup Quarter Final on the 17th June!
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
The action gets under way at 1:30pm.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos and the Salford match day programme!