Salford back to winning ways
The Red Devils returned to form with a win against chastened champions Leeds Rhinos at the A J Bell Stadium. Scores from Logan Tomkins and returning stand-off Robert Lui, both of which were converted, plus a Michael Dobson penalty were enough to see Salford home.
Logan Tomkins opened the scoring, thinking quickest to barrel over from dummy half as Leeds’ defensive slackness seeped into yet another performance. Lui then put the game beyond all doubt, his exquisite dummy outwitting the Rhinos and allowing the Aussie to touch down.
Scoreline flatters toothless Leeds
From 14-0 down, Leeds managed to claw their way back into the game, making it a nervy finish. Keith Galloway managed to power over despite the attentions of no less than four Salford defenders, before youngster Ashton Golding showed admirable speed and fortitude to punch through for a second. With Zak Hardaker selected for kicking duties, his missed conversion confined Leeds to ten points, and another defeat.
On the weekend of the Grand National, Leeds just weren’t at the races. They bear no resemblance to the treble winning team looking to rule the world at the end of last season, and the closeness of the final scoreline doesn’t provide a fair reflection of how good Salford have become and how far Leeds have fallen.
Top eight finish is no less than the Devils deserve
Marwan’s millions changed the Salford City Reds into the Devils a few years ago and it’s been quite a ride for Dr Koukash and the fans of the club. The schadenfreude of many observers who watched the Devils’ fail for the first two seasons has turned to grudging respect.
Under Tim Sheens and Ian Watson, the Devils are no longer a laughing stock and must fancy their chances at a minimum top eight finish. If the season so far is anything to go by, they’re good for it.
…but for the Rhinos, something has to change
Leeds host high-flying Hull FC in their next match. Not only does this represent a stern test, but also marks the halfway point of the season prior to the three ‘eights’. After their performance against Salford, it’s difficult to see the Rhinos getting anything against the Black-and-Whites.
Maybe a little humility is required. Indeed, Leeds could learn a lot from Salford about how to triumph from adversity. It’s a lesson they sorely need to learn if they’re to avoid a stuffing from the Airlie Birds.
IN THE SHEDS
Just when the Rhinos thought they were over the worst of their injury woes, their injury woes worsen again. Mitch Achurch hobbled off at the A J Bell with an ankle problem, while fellow forward Adam Cuthbertson tore a bicep during the training leading up to Saturday’s game.
Salford Red Devils (8) 14
Tries: Tomkins, Lui
Goals: O’Brien, Dobson 2
Leeds Rhinos (0) 10
Tries: Galloway, Golding