A comprehensive win for Salford at home to Huddersfield Giants saw them move back into second place in the Betfred Super League table.
Despite going behind to an early Leroy Cudjoe try, and having three players sent for concussion tests, Salford were able to leave their rivals just above the bottom four, and looking over their shoulders, with only three games left before the split into the “Super 8’s” competition.
Three quickfire tries in the first half from Junior Sa’u, Robert Lui and Kriss Welham left the visitors with too great a mountain to climb, and even with a Giants try five minutes before the break, it always looked like the home side were in control.
Welham’s try in particular, coming on the back of some lovely play by first, Ben Murdoch-Masila and then Greg Johnson who made the final pass to Welham, despite the attentions of a number of Giants player.
Unusually, Salford captain Michael Dobson appeared to have left his kicking boots at home, or this could have been an even bigger result, as he missed three conversions and a penalty during the game.
Huddersfield did put a lot of pressure on the Salford line in the first 15 minutes, but were unable to convert it into points on the board, and Salford were made to work for every metre of ground.
It was Huddersfield who scored the final points of the opening half though, Aaron Murphy getting over to leave the score at the break 18-10
If Huddersfield were buoyed by their end to the first half, it was Salford who came out the stronger from the break, taking just six minutes for full back Gareth O’Brien to score under the sticks, Dobson unable to convert the conversion from in front of the posts, then just three minutes later, Sa’u got his second of the game, Dobson converting this time, to make it 30-10.
Then, as Huddersfield came away with the ball, a tackle on Cudjoe by Sa’u dislodged the ball right into the waiting arms of Salfords Josh Jones, who set off, moving the ball out wide to Greg Johnson who went over, Dobson adding again.
By the time Dobson had kicked his second 40/20 of the game, and Murdoch-Masila had gotten over to extend the lead even further, there was only one team in the game.
Huge 2 points against a good Giants side, massive Wraps to the boys. Big week ahead #YTB ??
— Joshua Jones (@Jdjones26) July 2, 2017
Huddersfield did snatch a pair of late consolation tries, thanks to Kruise Leeming and Darnell McIntosh, but it was too little too late for the Giants, who will be hoping that they can stay above Catalan Dragons and out of the dreaded Qualifiers bottom four.
Final score, Salford Devils 36, Huddersfield Giants 20.
MOTM Rob Lui. Celebrated his new contract by leading the team around the park mercilessly.
Salford: Gareth O’Brien, Greg Johnson, Kriss Welham, Junior Sa’u, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Michael Dobson, Lama Tasi, Logan Tomkins, Craig Kopczak, Ben Mudoch-Masila, Josh Jones, Mark Flanagan, George Griffin, Kriss Brining, Olsi Krasniqi, Weller Hauraki
Huddersfield: Jordan Rankin, Darnell McIntosh, Leroy Cudjoe, Alex Mellor, Aaron Murphy, Lee Gaskill, Danny Brough, Shannon Wakeman, Kruise Leeming, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Oliver Roberts, Dale Ferguson, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sam Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai, Paul Clough, Nathan Mason
Referee: Phil Bentham (RFL)