Salford continued their good form with a fourth successive victory in the Super League, with a win over strugglers Huddersfield.
The Red Devils came out 32-12 victors, but the result was given extra shine by two late tries from Tui Lolohea and Krisnan Inu. Huddersfield will have plenty to be pleased with in their performance, but ultimately succumbed to second-half pressure from Salford, which was down to consistent kicking from Inu to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Indeed, Giants Head Coach Simon Woolton said his side’s “effort was tremendous”.
Salford Head Coach Ian Watson called the fixture “a real arm wrestle”, with Huddersfield arriving at the AJ Bell Stadium “with a purpose to play”.
Salford began the match the brighter of the two sides, and opened up an 8-0 lead at the 20-minute-mark, with Hooker Logan Tomkins burrowing over from one metre out after Prop Gil Dudson drove forward to gain the extra half-yard needed for Tomkins’ efforts.
However, the middle 40 minutes of the game belonged to Huddersfield, who defended well and kicked intelligently to put the hosts on the back foot. Having grown into the fixture, Scrum-Half Tom Holmes’ break and kick provided the platform for McIntosh to slide in at the side in the 33rd minute.
Oliver Russell and Inu both then added a penalty kick apiece before the half-time hooter, taking the score to 10-6 at the break.
Huddersfield continued their defensive pressure and kicking game at the start of the second half, with Russell collecting a grubber kick on the right-hand side in the 51st minute to take the scores to 10-10.
Russell then converted his own try to give the visitors a 12-10 lead, prompting a lively response from the Red Devils – forcing repeat sets and goal-line drop-outs until a series of head injuries dulled their momentum. After these injuries, Huddersfield could have added a third try, but Winger McIntosh lost control of the ball under a Salford challenge.
After this, Salford kept their focus and continued to force the issue, with Huddersfield finally cracking with around 15 minutes to go, with Mark Flanagan sliding under the posts following good work by Salford star Jackson Hastings.
From there, Salford only grew in confidence – with Inu scoring two more penalties, as well as a try, alongside Lolohea who was on the end of a good run by Full-Back Niall Evalds.
It leaves Salford in the fifth and final play-off spot with just four matches to play, and Huddersfield remain only two points above bottom of the table London Broncos and relegation, with Woolton saying the Giants were “playing for our lives” each week. Salford travel to fellow play-off hopefuls Hull FC next Saturday, whilst Huddersfield face a Yorkshire derby again Castleford: The side bearing down on Salford in the hunt for the final Super League play-off spot.
Man of the Match: Krisnan Inu. Ian Watson said he was “first class for us” and he was the leading point scorer, not missing a kick and grabbing a try of his own at the end.