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Two sides with opening round defeats had a Sunday afternoon encounter to complete the round two fixtures as the Salford Red Devils were visited by the Castleford Tigers with the home side hot favourites for the win after running the Leeds Rhinos close last weekend.

Salford had Joe Shorrocks in for an injured Oliver Partington while the Tigers had an unchanged starting thirteen from the side which lost heavily to the Wigan Warriors in the opening round.

The Tigers were given a twelve-point start on the handicap coupon, very few people could see beyond a Salford win.

Salford took the game to Castleford from the first whistle with the Tigers unable to secure any meaningful possession or get anywhere near the Red Devils half.

Just before the tenth minute the Tigers defence finally broke with Sam Stone crashing onto a short pass five from the line and diving in through the tiring defence. Marc Sneyd added the extras, and the home side were up and running.

Three minutes later and the Red Devils were in again with Amir Bourouh grounding under the sticks off a brilliant Brad Singleton offload under the shadow of the sticks. Sneyd added the goal for 12-0.

Castleford finally had an attack on seventeen minutes but were disappointed when Innes Senior was judged to have his foot on the line a split second before scoring. After being battered in the opening fifteen minutes the Tigers were easing their way back into the game.

On twenty-three the Tigers unlocked the Salford defence with Sam Wood hitting a Jacob Miller pass, and the Salford line, at speed to bust through and ground. Danny Richardson added the conversion to reduce the arrears to just one converted try.

Castleford got their second try on thirty-one with Jack Broadbent taking a pass from Luke Hooley and sliding on by the right-hand corner flag. The Richardson conversion attempt drifted wide of the far upright, the Tigers still two points behind.

Ninety seconds from the interval Nene MacDonald sprint chased a Marc Sneyd bomb and snatched the ball from the hands of Hooley in mid-flight to land and ground simultaneously. Sneyd added the conversion to put his side into the interval with an 18-10 lead.

A pinpoint Sneyd grubber was well anticipated by Stone who reacted the quickest and grounded the ball one-handed just left of the uprights. Sneyd added the conversion for 24-10, the Tigers now had a mountain to climb.

The Tigers weren’t throwing in the towel and after a nice flowing move Joe Westerman was on hand to take the pass and job over the line from ten metres out for a simple try to open Castleford’s second half account. Luke Hooley took over the kicking duties after Richardson had failed a head impact assessment and slotted the ball between the sticks.

A late tackle from Jack Ormondroyd on Jacob Miller saw the Salford prop yellow carded on sixty-three.

On seventy-one the Red Devils added a penalty goal to their score from the boot of Sneyd.

Two minutes from the final hooter Liam Horne span his way over the line from short for the fourth Castleford try of the afternoon and when Hooley added the conversion the Salford lead was down to just four points.

Kallum Watkins saw yellow on seventy-nine after delaying the play the ball but the Red Devils managed to hold on with a desperate defence to deny the Tigers the fightback.

A decent battle between two sides who will both be hunting survival points all season and it was the Red Devils who drew first blood in 2024 and banked a crucial two points to condemn Castleford to their second defeat in the opening two. Twice it looked as though Salford were home and hosed, but twice the Tigers fought their way back to give their hosts a bit of a scare.

Salford Red Devils: Brierley, Hankinson, MacDonald (T), Lafai, Cross, Cust, Sneyd (5G), Ormondroyd (SB on 64), Bourouh (T), Singleton, Watkins (SB on 79), Stone (2T), Shorrocks. Subs: Atkins, Vuniyayawa, Wright, Hellewell. 18th Man: Morgan.  

Castleford Tigers: Hooley (2G), Qareqare, Broadbent (T), Wood (T), Senior, Richardson (G), Miller, Lawler, Horne (T), Putt, El-Zakhem, Tasipale, Westerman (T).  Subs: Milnes, Hall, Mustapha, Kibula. 18th Man: Robb.

Half-Time: 18-10.

Full-Time: 26-22.

Score Progression: 4.0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 12-4, 12-6. 12-10, 16-10, 18-10: HT: 22-10, 24-10, 24-14, (SB), 24-16, 26-16, 26-20, 26-22, (SB) :FT.

Lead Exchanges:  Salford.

Referee: James Vella.



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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 25th Feb 2024 4:52 PM | Views : 2679 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES