Salford run out comfortable winners at home to Widnes. Here’s our verdict…
The Vikings got the game underway and got broke the deadlock after three minutes. Chamberlain dropped Finn’s high bomb, Houston managed to intercept and kept the ball alive and Runciman webt over in the corner on his 100th career appearance.
Minutes later, Salford went on the front foot as Jackson Hastings produced some clever link-up play and Rob Lui eventually finds Junior Sa’u with a great offload who crosses in the corner.
In identical fashion Sa’u crossed the line for his second try and Salford come from behind to take the lead.
Before the half-time interval Joey Lussick had been sent to the sin-bin for what looked like a crushing tackle but the Red Devils did enough to secure the six-point advantage at half time.
The Red Devils got the second half underway and Rob Lui extended his team’s advantage after he dummied and burrowed his way over from close-range after some sustained pressure on the Widnes line.
Salford were awarded a penalty for holding down and Ed Chamberlain bagged the two points from the penalty kick.
With 20 minutes remaining, Salford continued to play some lovely rugby as Hastings found Lui with the latter jinking through the Widnes line and hitting on onrushing Niall Evalds to score.
In the last ten minutes Salford scored their final try as Hastings and Lussick link-up with the hooker having support from Mark Flanagan who slides under the posts.
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
Widnes had no plan
It was a day to forget for the Vikings as they failed to complete more than half of their sets in possession.
The team had no field-position, conceded too many penalties and lacked the intensity when they were defending.
Much improvement is needed if they are to stay in the Super League next year.
Salford were the dominant force
As for the hosts they were able punish the opposition’s mistakes and come from behind to control the game’s tempo and produced some wonderful rugby.
Man of the Match – Jackson Hastings (Salford Red Devils)
Jackson Hastings was the stand-out player today as it was his playmaking that was too much for Widnes’ defence and assisted some good tries.
Salford Red Devils – 32
Tries: Sa’u (16′,21′) Lui (45′), Evalds (61′), Flanagan (72′)
Goals: Chamberlain (6/6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Widnes Vikings – 6
Tries: Runciman (3′)
Goals: Inu (1/1)
Drop Goals: n/a
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Chamberlain, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts, Lui, Hastings, Mossop, Wood, Tasi, Jones, Lannon, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Kopczak, Burke, Lussick, Nakubuwai
Widnes Vikings: Ashall-Bott, Ah Van, Inu, Whitley, Runciman, Mellor, Finn, Hansen, Heremaia, Dudson, Dean, Houstoin, Hauraki.
Interchanges: Leuluai, Gerrard, Olbison, White.
Referee: Ben Thaler