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SALFORD RED DEVILS EDGE PAST WIDNES ON MAGIC WEEKEND
 

Star date: 22nd May 2016

SALFORD RED DEVILS 18 WIDNES VIKINGS 12

Salford kicked off the Magic Weekend with a hard fought 18-12 victory over Widnes at the home of Newcastle United. It was a morale boosting win, after another turbulent week at the club as owner Marwan Koukash called for a breakaway from the RFL. Simon Williams reports...

Match report here...


Every fan of the rugby league family knows Salford are getting a harsh deal, even legend Phil Clarke admitted having a soft spot for the Red Devils after the way we've been treated. So the team and fans needed this morale boosting victory, only our second win in five matches, which leaves Widnes reflecting on a club record-equalling eighth successive Super League defeat.

Salford opened the Magic Weekend at Newcastle United's ground with a bright start, and went ahead in the fourth minute through Daniel Vidot, the winger finishing off a well-worked move in the right-hand corner as he powered through three defenders for his first try of the season.

Gareth O'Brien hit the post with his conversion attempt and Widnes were in front four minutes later when Rhys Hanbury converted his own try after he had charged over down the right flank. The Vikings dominated the first half after that score, with Hanbury having another effort disallowed for obstruction and Lloyd White losing the ball on the line.

Junior Sa'u made a rare break for the Red Devils before defending well at the other end as he gathered Kevin Brown's grubber kick, while Stefan Marsh missed out on a try for Widnes when Robert Lui knocked the ball out of his hands. The second Widnes touchdown finally arrived in the 31st minute as Chris Bridge charged over from Joe Mellor's pass, although Hanbury missed with his conversion attempt before finding the target with a penalty a few minutes later.

Half time came, with the score 12-4 to Widnes, and a pint costing 4.40. If only they could sort of the price of the beer what a day would be had by all. Lui spurned a golden chance to reduce the deficit before the break when he failed to gather his hack forward, and Salford also failed to add to their points haul as they made a strong start to the second half, with Widnes having to resort to some desperate defending.

The Red Devils eventually made their dominance pay in the 55th minute when Justin Carney crossed in the left-hand corner after a flowing move, and O'Brien added the conversion from out wide. Salford continued to apply the pressure and went back in front with 12 minutes remaining thanks to Vidot's second try.
Michael Dobson's high cross-field kick was spilled by Brown under pressure from Sa'u and Lui picked up the loose ball to tee up Samoa international Vidot, who missed the first three months of the season with a shoulder injury, for a simple score.

The Salford defence then held firm in the closing stages to secure a vital two points in their bid to haul their way back into the top eight, with a last-minute penalty from O'Brien wrapping up the win 18-12.

After the match I caught up with three Salford fans and asked their views. Phil Edge, from Weaste, said "We're still lacking that killer instinct mate, we have got to start being ruthless and a bit more eager...we must be the slowest ball playing team in the league as everyone seems to be able to slow us down but we can't slow other teams down...but we'll always take a scruffy win over a loss!"

Dean Green, from Little Hulton, added "Brilliant mistakes in first half nearly cost us the game but a great fight back in second half; if only the RFL didn't take six points off us we would be well placed now for the top 8's..."

Dave Platt from Eccles said "Fantastic second half from Salford. Watched it in Benidorm where the beer is even cheaper than the Dog and Partridge..."

This game, I feel, could now be the push Salford need to finish the season strongly. The fans really were the 14th man, and this same support is needed Friday for the home game against Wakefield. That match really is a four-pointer if we want to make the top 8's, appeal depending. But knowing the RFL they will probably take all Salford points off us to keep Leeds from being bottom!

fred blogs wrote
at 21:49:34 on 24 May 2016
when will this club go. scoring such low scores. what a load of canal wash.

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