Salford tonight entertained the once mighty Hull FC at the AJ Bell. The Red Devils are proudly sitting second in the Super League and playing a brilliant brand of rugby. But, for me, this season has been one of the strangest ever.
Where we as supporters should be celebrating, fear is engulfing the fans. Several lifelong diehard fans have been blocked on Twitter for asking about the name change, and I, as a fan, cannot understand why this is happening. We should all be getting behind the team and celebrating one of the best seasons in forty years, since we won the league...
Tonight I was expecting a far tougher game than the one at Hull where we won 54 – 18. The game started with yet another minute's applause, building up the atmosphere, Salford welcomed by old boy Josh Griffin.
Hull FC opened the scoring after eight minutes when the winger went in at the corner but the kick was missed, as Hull took a 4-0 lead. A few strange calls by the ref seemed to put Salford under pressure, but the fans were in good banter singing loud and proud, and matching each other for noise.
After 17 minutes Kelly, who was outstanding for Hull, went under the Salford post, and, after a mistake from Salford, he kicked through for another try which Hull kicked to make the score Salford 0 Hull 16. It was the same pattern as last week, and Salford cannot keep giving teams starts. Kelly was managing the game for Hull.
After 35 minutes, Evalds went in but the ref pulled it back for a forward pass, and worse was to follow for Salford as, five minutes before the break, Hull went under the post again to make it Salford 0 Hull 22.
Speaking with lifelong fan Gary Redshaw at half-time, he said that he thinks teams have sussed Salford out, done their homework on them. Maybe; but Watson is a great coach and I am sure he will sort the boys out...
After five minutes of the restart brilliant work by Craig Kopczak resulted in Evalds going in the corner, brilliantly kicked by Dobson yet again. However, as soon as Salford started to fight back Hull came right back at Salford and scored and converted to make it Salford 6 Hull 28.
Salford piled the pressure on for the next ten minutes, and Hull did well to defend , but as Salford were attacking Hull broke clear and increased the score to Salford 6 Hull 34. They were getting revenge for that home defeat. With 15 to go, Weller Hauraki went in for a score, to make the final result Salford 10 Hull 34.
I looked around the ground with ten minutes to go and could see Salford fans walking out. This dismayed me. We are second in the league, with a cracking game coming up with Wakefield and you support you team through thick or thin.
Salford lost to the better team tonight. Hull FC wanted the game more and were better in every area of the game, as Kelly tore Salford apart in the first half. We must learn from this game, with what promises to be a cracking game against Wakefield Trinity in the Challenge Cup coming up for a place in the semi final.
Report by Simon Williams
Photo by Gareth Lyons