Salford Red Devils produced a stunning all-round team performance to cruise past Hull FC 24-8 in a hard-fought contest at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Maiden tries from Ben Nakubuwai and Jack Littlejohn along with further efforts from Robert Lui and Greg Johnson ensured The Red Devils ran out deserved winners and earned their first Betfred Super League victory since last month’s 36-18 triumph over Hull’s cross-city rivals Hull KR.
The Red Devils made a bright start to the contest and opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock, Salford earned an early penalty and opted to take the two – Robert Lui successfully converted the resulting goal.
However, Hull responded well and crossed over less than ten minutes later when Dean Hadley latched onto Jake Connor’s low kick before touching down, Marc Sneyd added the extras.
The visitors were awarded a controversial penalty after Lama Tasi’s challenge was deemed late by referee Scott Mikalauskas – former Red Devil Sneyd successfully landed the goal to extend The Airlie Birds’ lead to six points.
Salford dug in and found themselves level minutes later – first Tyrone McCarthy offloaded to the onrushing Ben Nakubuwai who dived over for his first Salford try, before Lui added the extras to leave the scores tied at 8-8.
Nakubuwai’s score seemed to spur The Red Devils on as they took the lead for the first time in the tie just two minutes later – Salford earned another penalty and for the second occasion Lui opted to kick at goal, before successfully added the extras.
Salford extended their lead midway through the half when Greg Johnson broke away from the FC backline before offloading to Junior Sa’u who’s quick hands forged an opening for Jack Littlejohn to sprint 20m and dive over to claim his first try for the club, However Lui’s goal attempt was unsuccessful as the ball landed narrowly wide.
The hosts dominated throughout the second period and found themselves in again, Lui produced an eye-catching dummy which caught the entire Hull backline off guard – thus providing the half-back with enough space to touch down in the corner, Lui successfully added the extras to take Salford up to the 20 point mark.
Ian Watson’s side were thriving by this point and crossed over again two minutes later, the ever present Sa’u superbly offloaded to Johnson who produced an astonishing finish in the left-hand corner to claim his first score of the evening and cap off a fine all-round Salford performance.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Johnson, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby, Lui, Littlejohn, Mossop, Tomkins, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan
Interchanges: Tasi, Nakubuwai, Wood, McCarthy
Hull FC Lineup: Shaul, Faramaio, Tuimavave, Griffin, Talanoa, Connor, Sneyd, Taylor, Washbrook, Green, Hadley, Minichello, Abdull
Interchanges: Matongo, Fash, Bowden, Lane
Salford Scorers: Tries- Nakubuwai (35’), Littlejohn (61’), Lui (72’), Johnson (74’)
Goals- Lui (6’, 36’, 38’, 73’)
Hull Scorers: Tries- Hadley (14’)
Goals- Sneyd (15’, 28’)
Man of the Match: Ben Nakubuwai
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas
Touch Judges: M. Craven, J. Roberts