Salford seal their Super League status with a comfortable win over Toulouse. Here’s our verdict…
Jackson Hastings was at the heart of things right from the start on his return from suspension for Salford, and he got the first points after nearly 15 minutes as he powered his way over the line. However Hastings appeared to have been spear tackled from behind after he scored, therefore resulting in a penalty conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Ten minutes later Salford extended their lead, this time from Joey Lussick as the Toulouse defence fell for his dummy which let him surge over the line. Unfortunately for Salford they conceded their two-point advantage after Hastings missed his conversion.
However minutes after the half-hour mark Hastings did add a penalty goal after Toulouse were penalised for being offside.
With just minutes before the half-time whistle, Toulouse opened up their scoresheet when Chris Centrone bagged his eighth try of the Qualifiers. The French side were able to make the most of their quick hands as well as lovely wide ball from playmaker Johnathon Ford. Mark Kheirallah missed the kick.
Salford held their advantage until Ben Thaler blew the half-time whistle with their eight-point lead intact.
Toulouse got the second half underway in perfect fashion after Salford conceded a goal-line drop out straight from kick-off. Toulouse took advantage of this opportunity with a try from Stan Robin, off Kheriallah’s perfect kick, which reduced the deficit.
After withstanding more pressure from the resurgent visitors, Salford suddenly had their tails up and it looked like Lussick had scored his second try as he surged over on tackle four. The video-referee said no-try although Toulouse conceded a penalty kick for being offside once again, resulting in another two-points added by Hastings.
A few minutes after the conversion, Salford were second-time lucky as they further extended their lead. This time from Greg Johnson as he scored his 50th try for Salford Red Devils and his third in these Qualifiers. Robert Lui and Niall Evalds combined well and as a result, Johnson had an easy run-in on the far right.
They scored again minutes after the hour mark after another assist from Lui found Evalds on an inside ball and the full-back finished under the posts.
Derrell Olpherts kept the momentum going with another try for the Red Devils after a lovely kick across the park was followed by agile hands from Josh Jones which found Olpherts for their fourth score.
With less than five minutes left Kris Welham was the next man to cross for the Red Devils. He darted over from close-range and capped his 50th appearance for the club with a four-pointer, with Luke Burgess given the conversion attempt and managing to squeeze over his first ever goal.
Tyrone McCarthy got on scoreboard for the Red Devils’ last try of the season. Mark Flanagan took to the line and put the ball on the end of his toe, and McCarthy then strided forwards, picked it up and grounded it with a smile on his face. Burgess this time missed an easier kick.
Ben Thaler blew the full-time whistle which will keep Salford in the Super League for their 12th consecutive season.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Salford handled Toulouse
The Red Devils performed excellently tonight, dominating both halves and scoring plenty of tries.
There was a little scare for them when Toulouse climbed back from Robin’s try which possibly could’ve spelled another win in the same way they came back from Hull KR last week.
The result could’ve been different
There were one too many times where Toulouse made mistakes on Salford’s try-line, if they took their chances it could’ve been a difficult evening for Salford.
However they showed the spirit which helped turnover Hull KR by trying to make the most of their limited possession, but unfortunately their efforts conceded penalties which became their downfall.
Man of the Match – Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils)
The playmaker once again delivered an amazing performance in a crucial game for Salford to win after scoring the first try of the game and had gained 14 points from his conversions.
The question is will he still be a Red Devil next season?
Salford Red Devils 44
Tries: Hastings 14′, Lussick 26′, Evalds 63′, Olpherts 66′, Welham 75′, McCarthy 78′
Goals: Hastings (7/8), Burgess (1/2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Toulouse Olympique 10
Tries: Centrone 36′, Robin 42′
Goals: Kheirallah (1/2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Johnson, Bibby, Welham, Olpherts, Lui, Hastings, Mossop, Lussick, Burgess, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Kopczak, Griffin, Lannon, Burke.
Toulouse Olympique: Kheirallah, Marcon, Marguerite, Ader, Centrone, Ford, Robin, Bretherton, Barthau, Puech, Mika, Curran, Marion.
Interchanges: Boyer, Planas, Kriouache, Hepi.
Referee: Ben Thaler