Castleford v Salford
Both teams and their supporters will have enjoyed the Magic Weekend. Salford won a thrilling match against Hull Kingston Roves and Castleford put in a hard working display to topple West Yorkshire rivals Leeds.
Salford currently sit fifth in the League table but it’s so tight. Just two points separate the top five clubs with St. Helens and Hull Kr just four points off.
It’s going to be a fascinating second half to the season.
The Tigers have struggled in 2023 and been on the end of some big defeats. New coach Andy Last has had a tough start to his coaching journey at Wheldon Road.
Salford have won seven from there last eight games and another win on Friday night would really consolidate there place in the top six. Anything seems possible this season and it’s refreshing to see Leigh doing so well after gaining promotion from the Championship.
The Red Devils have had some good success in this fixture in recent years and have won the last three meetings at Castleford.
I don’t think you can take any teams for granted in Super League and Friday will be another tough test.
Saturday’s clash at the Magic Weekend was a real bruising encounter with Hull KR. Salford’s spine was slightly disrupted losing Andy Ackers the previous week. Chris Atkin slotted in perfectly and Amir Bourouh was solid off the bench. Brodie Croft and Marc Sneyd complimented each other so well. If the opposition targets one the other takes control and that’s the beauty of there partnership. Add to that the brilliance of full back Ryan Brierley it’s a golden attacking recipe.
The spine is completed by the hard graft and skill of loose forward Oliver Partington. In his first season with the club Partington has settled in and bought into the ethos that coach Paul Rowley thrives on.
It’s an exciting time to be a Salford supporter but we all now in sport things can change so fast. Make sure you enjoy every minute
Super League away Record.
1997 Castleford 12 Salford 10
1998 Castleford 30 Salford 12
1999 Castleford 38 Salford 10
2000 Castleford 30 Salford 4
2001 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2002 Castleford 24 Salford 2
2004 Castleford 32 Salford 36
2004 Castleford 22 Salford 24
2006 Castleford 28 Salford 26
2009 Castleford 52 Salford 16
2010 Castleford 30 Salford 12
2011 Castleford 52 Salford 20
2012 Castleford 34 Salford 30
2013 Castleford 44 Salford 30
2014 Castleford 14 Salford 10
2015 Castleford 30 Salford 16
2016 Castleford 16 Salford 32
2017 Castleford 38 Salford 14
2018 Castleford 22 Salford 8
2019 Castleford 24 Salford 20
2020 Castleford 37 Salford 30 ( behind closed doors Headingley)
2021 Castleford 18 Salford 70
2022 Castleford 16 Salford 26
2022 Castleford 10 Salford 50
They played for both.
Throughout the Super League era there have been plenty of players who have played for both clubs and quite a few through the 1970s and 80s.
Here is a selection of them.
Paul Fletcher, Paul Orr, Bill Kirkbride, Jonny Ward, Barry Kear, Ron Hill, Ian Bragger, Justin Carney, Chris Charles, Jason Critchley, Luke Dorn, Greg Eden, Jake Emmit, Jason Flowers, Matt Gardner, Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin, Weller Hauraki, Lee Jewitt, Michael Korkidas, Francis Maloney, Mike Platt, Darren Rogers, Darren Shaw, Mark Sneyd, Gray Viane, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, Jordan Turner and Gareth O’Brien.
A match to remember Sunday 18th May 1997.
Castleford 12 Salford 10.
The reverse fixture between the two sides had ended 4-0 to Salford and this match was to be another tense low scoring affair with a dramatic finish.
Salford were playing well and made an excellent start to the 97 season. The Tigers we’re struggling at the foot of the table desperately searching for a victory after losing there first ten matches. The Reds had already won six matches and arrived at Wheldon Road in confident mood.
Cas winger Jason Roach bagged two tries for the home side with young half back Danny Orr converting one score. Salford’s tries came from Steve Blakeley and Darren Rogers with Blakeley converting one also. The sides were locked a 10-10 at half time.
The Tigers were hanging on going in to the final frantic stages of the match. Salford were pushing to land the knockout blow as they trailed 12-10.
A last gasp high kick out wide landed in Scott Martin’s arms and he was over. Salford’s travelling away fans at the old railway end of the ground were celebrating only for referee John Connolly to disallow it. The hooter sounded leaving Salford to contemplate what might have been.
Ironically just four days later Salford would beat League and Challenge cup winners St Helens 39-26 on an unforgettable night at The Willows.
As we all know and love The Red Devil’s have tended to be a shade unpredictable over the years.
The teams that day were;
Castleford, Flowers, Roach, Critchley, Vowles, Middleton, Orr, Ford, Sampson, Russell, Sykes, Tonks, Harland, Tuuta. Subs, Crooks, Steadman, St Hilaire, Anderson.
Salford, Broadbent, Sini, Martin, Mcavoy, Rogers, Blakeley, Watson, Platt, Edwards, Eccles, Forber, Faimalo, Hulme. Subs, Randall, Lee, Savelio, Southern.
Referee, John Connolly.
In recent weeks I’ve seen a lot of criticism for Castleford’s Wheldon Road ground. We all now it’s not a shiny new stadium and it’s probably not changed much in the last fifty years. In my opinion though it’s about the product on the pitch. I enjoy going to all grounds. It would be pretty boring if every club played in an all seater stadium. I suppose what hurts a lot of Salford supporters is the way we had to leave the Willows. I know it’s all if’s, buts and ,maybe’s now but wouldn’t it have been amazing if we’d have stayed and redeveloped the old place. We’ve got memories that will last a life time though and that is some comfort.
On the pitch the Tigers have Jacob Miller and Jack Broadbent pulling the strings at half back. Gareth Widdop played fullback last time out and Paul McShane is always a threat at hooker. In the pack Liam Watts is in his sixth season with the club and former Salford forward George Griffin is a popular player with the fans.
After the win over Hull Kingston Rovers on Saturday Salford coach Paul Rowley brought his star fullback Ryan Brierley into the press conference with him. Rowley was full of praise for Brierley who is in the form of his career. He’s a wonderful support player, links up really well in attack as well as being an accomplished defender. I’ve noticed his confidence under high balls too.
If your looking at form players for international recognition there’s a fair few in Salford’s squad that could be in with a shout. Tyler Dupree continues to play with a smile on his face and he looked pretty happy after recent victories over both Hull clubs. Speculation will always float around in sport but wouldn’t it be great if Dupree put his faith in Salford and stayed at a club that really is in with a chance of doing something special.
I am expecting a really tough game on Friday night. It should be a cracking atmosphere on the terrace at the old railway end of the ground where the majority of the Salford supporters will be. I think the supporters response to the clubs community share offer has been heart warming. Our club has such a fanatical fan base that move heaven and earth to help the club. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that I am so proud to be part of Salford RLFC.
The action gets under way at 8pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.