Super League: Salford Red Devils 10-24 Hull KR – Rovers make two of two

Sam Wood scored two tries and had another two ruled out for Rovers
Salford (4) 10
Attempts: zion, cross Goals: sneyd
Hull KR (0) 24
Attempts: Ryan, Halton, Madeira 2 Goals: Daggers 4

Hull KR continued their winning start to the season by beating Salford Red Devils for the fifth successive season.

Salford commanded the first half but only led through Ken Sio’s half-time try, while Sam Wood had a try disallowed for Rovers.

Converted scores from Ethan Ryan, Frankie Halton and Wood, either side of a Deon Cross reply, put KR 18-10 in the final quarter.

Sio had a second try ruled out before Wood’s second score ended the victory.

Injuries forced KR manager Willie Peters to make four changes after beating Wigan but substitutions mounted, with Wood’s brace and Will Daggers’ four proving the difference as Rovers opened with wins back-to-back for the first time in 16 years.

Salford also started with a win at Leigh, and were ahead from the start, with Kallum Watkins’ burst to the line denied by Kane Linnett a last-gasp tackle before Sio gave the Red Devils a 10-minute lead.

The hardworking Rovers defense had already absorbed enough pressure before the ball was worked wide for the Australian winger to tap into the right corner.

The hosts boasted nearly two-thirds of possession in the opening half-hour, but mistakes came and chances began to come as the frantic half wore on.

Rovers would have been both encouraged and relieved to concede just four points going forward and thought they had leveled with their first try from the home line.

Wood stepped up after Linnett’s offload went to the ground, but the video referee scored for a knock-on, and moments later, second-row Linnett saw the ball slip from his hands as he reached out to touch the ground.

Ethan Ryan
Ethan Ryan put Hull KR on the scoreboard and ahead after a goalless first half

The visitors hit the video umpire’s right just after the break when Burgess, fresh off a three-year deal, deflected Jordan Abdull’s hopeful shot into the net and Ryan set up for the touchdown.

Rovers were soon two goals clear when Abdull’s measured shot found Halton’s attack to the line, but James Batchelor’s fumble then gave Salford possession which they exploited, Cross breaking through a gap and squirming out of a tackle for touchdown.

Mistakes were spotted when Sam Stone batted home on the restart and Rovers cashed in with another super try, Abdull’s influential pass creating space to give Wood a simple finish into the corner to restore their eight-point lead.

Sio had a second score disallowed for offside and, on the other end, Wood had a stunning finish disallowed by a foot wide in the second half from end to end.

Cross was forced into a knock-on as they charged down the Rovers line, and it proved crucial moments later, Wood attacking as Ryan Brierley unleashed Abdull’s spiral kick to seal him.

Salford manager Paul Rowley told BBC Radio Manchester:

“You can’t win games with the amount of mistakes we made unfortunately, so it’s a lack of discipline and also a lack of execution that we can’t be accused of being guilty of too often.

“I would have liked more than four points in the first half – we wanted more for our efforts but again our detail was off so that was on us but also Hull KR’s resolute defense.

“They fought really well and in the second half we gave up a lot of territory and the weight of territory killed us.

“Our resilience is very high, but if you give it all that territory, high resilience or not, you’re going to break two or three times and that’s what we did.”

Hull KR manager Willie Peters told BBC Radio Humberside:

“We didn’t have the energy we wanted in the first half but we recovered and I think they kept their game plan extremely well in the second half.

“What I was proud of was that we stuck it out, we regrouped at the break, we talked about what we needed to work on and they executed.

“We had every excuse I suppose with the five day turnaround and we had four players out for them to go ‘close enough is good enough’ but that’s not who we want to be, we don’t want to be that team.

“We want to be a team that goes out to win and competes to win every week.”

Salford: Brierley; Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess; Croft, Sneyd; Ormondroyd, Ackers, Dupree, Watkins, Stone, Partington.

Exchanges: Gerrard, Vuniyayawa, Atkin, Wright.

KR hull: Dagger; Ryan, Opacic, Kenny-Dowall, Wood; Lewis, Abdull; Sue, Parcell, King, Batchelor, Linnett, Minchela.

Exchanges: Halton, Hadley, Litten, Luckley.

Judge: M. Griffiths.

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