Salford v Wakefield
One things for certain last Friday’s victory at Huddersfield gave Salford and the supporters a huge boost. The team showed a fantastic spirit, desire and will to win. They wanted it more than the Giants and that’s a great sign going in to the last five fixtures. Salford now face Wakefield h, Wigan a, Warrington h, Hull Kingston Rovers a and Catalans at home.
Teams that hit the playoffs in good form tend to do well in knock out Rugby League. Teams that limo into the top six notoriously struggle to make an impact and invariably get thumped. Things seem to be looking brighter now at Salford. The squad looks settled with the majority of the player fit and healthy which is always a good sign at the stage of the season.
Of course the result last Friday was so important but for me I thought the attitude of the players was superb. They were willing to do the dirty work whereas the Giants were looking for an individual to come up with a miracle play. Even with a 8-30 lead Salford’s defence worked frantically hard to make sure they held there line.
Paul Rowley wont be looking further than this Friday. Wakefield Trinity are a desperate team running out of time and matches and that makes them extremely dangerous.
Trinity were promoted to Super League at the end of the 1998 season. They beat Featherstone Rovers in a pulsating First Division Grand Final 24-22 at the McAlpine Stadium Huddersfield. Since then Wakefield have held there own in Rugby League’s top flight. They’ve had playoff runs and also flirted with relegation and survived some final day dog fights. With Rugby League heading into new territory in the next few years relegation this season could be a lot more harmful. It could possibly become a closed shop the top flight with no regular promotion and relegation. Trinity and neighbours Castleford have just five games to pick up as many points as they can. It’s ironic that another local side from the so called rhubarb triangle of clubs are favourites for promotion to Super League and will replace either Castleford or Wakefield. That club is a Featherstone Rovers. They sit top of the Championship and are eight points clear of second placed Toulouse. It promises to be a fascinating few weeks across the sport in Super League, Championship and League one.
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
2023 Salford 14 Wakefield 13
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 Friday 19th August 2005.
Salford 37 Wakefield 0.
After a year of steady progress in 2004 Salford were looking to kick on in 2005.
Some heavy defeats hampered Karl Harrison’s side and going in to this match against Wakefield they had lost four on the trot conceding over 50 points at Bradford and Leeds.
The two sides had already met twice in the league with Salford edging to victory 16-14 at The Willows and Wakefield coming out on top 36-24 at Belle Vue.
In a tough first half Salford went in leading 12-0 at half time.
After the break The City Reds played a more expansive style which Trinity couldn’t live with. Anthony Stewart bagged a hat trick of tries, Karl Fitzpatrick who was excellent in attack and defence playing fullback crossed for a try and came up with two outstanding try saving tackles to keep Wakefield scoreless. Andy Coley and Luke Robinson also got tries.
Chris Charles kicked five goals and Robinson kicked one goal and a drop goal in what was one of the most impressive Salford displays of the season.
Salford went on to finish 9th place in the Super League table with Wakefield in 10th position. A solid season of improvement with an even better, exciting season to follow in 2006.
The teams that day;
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Littler, Stewart, Langi, Beverley, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Highton, Sibbit, Brocklehurst, Charles.
Subs, Mcavoy, Clough, Haggerty, Baldwin.
Wakefield: Halpenny, Wainwright, Domic, Henderson, Tadulala, Jeffries, Obst, Griffin, D. March, Korkidas, Solomona, MacGillivray, Field.
Subs, Spicer, Elima, Wrench, Feather.
Referee, Ronnie Laughton
Many pundits predicted a Wakefield victory over Castleford last Friday but in the end Trinity were well beaten. Salford can’t take their opponents lightly this week and another professional performance is needed.
Brad Singleton is proving to be an inspired signing, at Huddersfield he played big minutes again and helped the pack dominate.
The Red Devils were well beaten by Wakefield at Belle Vue two months ago 32-6. At the time Salford were struggling for numbers with quite a players missing, that said it was a very disappointing performance. It’s a bit of an old cliche but you get two league points for a victory. That could be against Wigan, Saints or Wakefield so I suppose the point I am trying to make is every win is important in its own right!
Trinity have players to look out for in the shape of Luke Gale, Max Jowitt and Reece Lynne are all pivotal in the back line. Gale is a very experienced half back who was excellent in Wakefield’s 32-6 win against Salford at the end of June. Jowitt has recently returned from injury and he has plenty of pace as well as being able to play in a number of positions. Lynne is a regular try scorer and a solid centre.
As well as Salford’s pack impressing last Friday the back line looked really lively. Tim Lafai and Joe Burgess looked sharp getting through lots of work in attack and defence. Marc Sneyd bossed the show for Salford, he guided the team around the pitch superbly and half back partner Brodie Croft worked his socks off. One player who is always very consistent and sometimes goes under the radar is Kallum Watkins. Playing in the back row Watkins is a tower of strength he does everything right and in a really classy manner.
Salford are firm favourites with the bookmakers. Trinity have a fourteen point start but as I mentioned previously they are a desperate team. Salford just need to concentrate on their own performance and the result will take care of its self!
Finally on a really sad note former Salford hero of the 1970s and 80s Eric Prescott has passed away. Eric won everything in a fantastic career playing over 500 games for St.Helens, Salford and Widnes. The majority of those games were for Salford were he won the Lancashire cup, two League Championships and the Floodlit trophy. Eric was the father of the legendary Steve Prescott. A father and son that achieved so much in Rugby League. Both will be fondly remembered. God bless the Prescott family.
The action gets under way at 7:45pm.
Safe travels and enjoy the match.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos and the Salford match day programme.