Tag: Junior Sa’u

Match Report | Hull Kingston Rovers 22-24 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils came back from 22-8 down to earn a memorable victory over Hull Kingston Rovers which means they have now won three of their opening four games of the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Second half tries from Derrell Olpherts, Ken Sio and a late score from Joey Lussick pulled the scores level with Sio’s conversion nine minutes from time proving the difference between the sides.
Hull KR went into the break with a comfortable lead through tries from Weller Hauraki, Craig Hall, George Lawler and Jimmy Keinhorst. The Red Devils led briefly in the first half as Rob Lui and Josh Jones scored in quick succession.
It was the Rovers who opened the scoring as former Red Devil Hauraki planted the ball down from Danny McGuire’s low kick.
Lui, on his birthday, would soon get Salford on the scoreboard as he dummied and slid through the Hull defence to score. This was followed up by Jones who – in typical fashion – bundled his way over a number of Rovers defenders to score his third try in as many games.
However, the lead didn’t last long as Hall latched onto a chip kick from Josh Drinkwater. Lawler was next to score for the Robins as he wriggled free of three Salford defenders to score from close-range. Keinhorst would round off the first half scoring as he picked up a loose ball and raced thirty metres. Three tries in the final fifteen minutes of the half gave the hosts a 14-point lead at the interval.
Salford would come out a different side after the break and went close on a number of occasions but getting over the KR line was proving difficult. But the Red Devils pressure eventually paid dividend as Lui threw a looping pass wide to Olpherts who finished well to get the ball rolling for Ian Watson’s men.
The ball was moving much more freely for Salford and a flowing move involving Jackson Hastings, Lui, Niall Evalds and Junior Sa’u eventually found winger Sio who pulled off a magnificent finish in the corner against his former club. Sio’s conversion came back off the bar meaning the Red Devils still trailed by four points.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Lussick would go for the line from close-range – in identical fashion to his debut try last season – and force his way under the Rovers defence to level the scores. Sio converted to complete an incredible Salford comeback.
Hull Kingston Rovers: Dagger, Shaw, Keinhorst, Linnett, Hall; McGuire, Drinkwater; Mulhern, Lee, Masoe, Tomkins, Hauraki, Lawler.
Interchanges: Garbutt, Lannon, Atkin, Addy.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Sio; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Griffin.
Interchanges: McCarthy, Murray, Burke, Tomkins.
 
KR Tries: Hauraki (6’), Hall (28’), Lawler (33’), Keinhorst (37’).
KR Goals: Shaw (7’, 34’, 38’)
Salford Tries: Lui (10’), Jones (24’), Olpherts (56’), Sio (64’), Lussick (70’).
Salford Goals: Sio (57’, 71’). 
 
Attendance: 7065. 
Referee: Liam Moore.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 14-46 Leeds Rhinos

Salford Red Devils fell to their first defeat of the 2019 Betfred Super League season against Leeds Rhinos and we take a look at the talking points surrounding the game.

Going close

While the scoreline got away from the Red Devils in the end there were a few times Salford went close while the margin was much narrower. At 6-18, Jansin Turgut got himself over the line following a clever knockdown from Kris Welham however try was ruled out for a double-movement.
In the closing stages of the first half, Rob Lui broke from deep before finding Jackson Hastings who almost made the line. The ball would end up with Joey Lussick, but the support wasn’t there to finish off the move. George Griffin would then be held up just short of the line a few plays later.


After Josh Jones narrowed the deficit early in the second half, Salford almost pulled the scores level as Junior Sa’u powered his way over three Leeds defenders. Unfortunately, the centre couldn’t quite keep hold off the ball. Had any of these opportunities gone the other way then the game could have well panned out differently.

Jansin Turgut’s sin-bin

A big moment in the game came on the 50-minute mark as second-rower Jansin Turgut was sent to the sin-bin following an altercation with Adam Cuthbertson at the play-the-ball. Turgut was sin-binned for running into the melee and escalating the situation.
Following the sin-bin, the Red Devils kept the scores close with Ken Sio’s penalty goal returning the arrears to six points after Tui Lolohea’s penalty goal following the incident. However, playing with twelve men may well have had an effect on the Red Devils in the latter stages but Head Coach Ian Watson made it clear this ‘wasn’t why they’d lost the game.’
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “Even for the next ten minutes following the sin-bin I thought we got ourselves back into the game and we were looking really strong but after that Leeds really picked up the speed of the game and took it away from us from there. It was a big call, but it isn’t why we’ve lost.”

Josh Jones continues to impress

One of the standout performers on a disappointing afternoon for Salford Red Devils was back-rower Josh Jones who has made a terrific start to the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Jones was impactful at the John Smith’s Stadium in Round One and has now made try-scoring appearances at the AJ Bell Stadium against both London Broncos and Leeds Rhinos. Both of his tries came in similar fashion with the robust forward forcing his way over from close-range despite the best efforts of numerous defenders.
The 25-year-old has made massive metres already this season often taking on three and four defenders per carry and his offload game continues to cause a threat on a regular basis.

Gameday entertainment

Away from the field there was plenty of gameday activity and entertainment for supporters to soak up at the AJ Bell Stadium. Many supporters took advantage of the FREE entry to the Funderpark amusement park pre-game before packing out the Marquee.
The Salford Red Devils mobile Club Shop provided by WildThang was alongside stalls from the Salford Red Devils Foundation, Mascord Brownz and the Salford RLFC Supporters’ Trust all accompanied by music by a ten-piece band.


At half-time local boxer Marc Leach and his trainer Jamie Moore took to the field to promote his upcoming English title fight in March in Oldham. Aaron Parmar also did a lap of the AJ Bell Stadium pitch after bucket collecting to support his incredible efforts in running 22 10km runs in memory of the 22 victims of the Manchester terror attack.
Finally, Dr Devil was joined by Manchester Storm mascot Lightning Jack!
 
Tickets are on sale for Salford Red Devils next home fixture against St Helens on Thursday 28th February. You can purchase tickets for this game at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You will save money buying in advance!

Talking Points | Huddersfield Giants 14-34 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils opened their 2019 Betfred Super League season with an impressive victory over Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith’s Stadium and there were plenty of talking points from the game.

Dangerous left-hand side

The Red Devils ran in seven tries in their 14-34 victory with five coming down the left-hand side. Two of Niall Evalds’ three tries were down the left-hand flank while Junior Sa’u opened the scoring and Ken Sio grabbed a brace on his debut on the same side.
Jackson Hastings and Evalds combined on numerous occasions throughout the game after quick ball from the likes of Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan and Joey Lussick. Evalds was the standout performer cutting through the Giants line on numerous occasions as well as setting up one of Sio’s two tries.


Sa’u had to leave the field midway through the first half with a rib injury with Jansin Turgut moving into the centres. The Turkish international looked just as comfortable as Sa’u as he set up the first of Sio’s double.

Mossop’s massive minutes

In his post-match press conference, Head Coach Ian Watson pointed to Captain Lee Mossop as a massive contributor to the victory as the prop-forward played sixty minutes for the Red Devils.

Mossop was a constant presence in the middle of the park. The former England international got through a lot of hard yards while keeping a powerful Giants pack quiet for the most part. 

Huddersfield – Happy hunting ground 

Last night’s victory marked the sixth consecutive victory at the John Smith’s Stadium for the Red Devils. It is also now the third consecutive season in which Salford’s first away victory of the Betfred Super League season has come at the John Smith’s Stadium.


It is also Salford’s first victory in Round One of the Betfred Super League since 2014 when the Red Devils overcame Wakefield Trinity 18-14 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The away following

The Salford Red Devils faithful turned out in strong numbers for the opening game of the 2019 Betfred Super League season with both Ian Watson and Niall Evalds praising the following from the supporters.


The away following was extremely similar to that of last season’s trip to Halifax and were loud and proud throughout. The Red Devils host London Broncos on Sunday 10th February and will be looking for some more terrific support.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 18-28 Wigan Warriors

Salford Red Devils fell to defeat in their second pre-season fixture of 2019 against Wigan Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium. However, there were still some promising talking points from the game.

First look at Ken

Ken Sio made his first appearance for the Red Devils since his off-season move from NRL side Newcastle Knights and was one of a few standout performers for Ian Watson’s side.
It took Sio just four minutes to get onto the scoresheet for Salford as he met Jackson Hastings’ low kick to the corner. The winger continued to impress bringing the ball back from deep within the Red Devils half throughout the game.
Following Hastings and Lui’s departures from the field, Niall Evalds moved into the halves with Sio slotting in at full-back where he looked equally as comfortable. The powerful Australian offers versatility in the back-line with the ability to play full-back, winger and centre which will only benefit Salford throughout 2019.
There is a strong competition for places across the back line with the likes of Jake Bibby, Ed Chamberlain, Derrell Olpherts, Kris Welham, Greg Johnson, Junior Sa’u and Evalds but Sio has certainly put his name forward to start away at Huddersfield in just under a fortnight.

Energetic Evalds 

In last week’s talking points, following victory over Swinton Lions, we mentioned the versatility of some of Salford’s key players, one of which was Niall Evalds who moved into the halves. In the defeat to Wigan, the England Knight once again was moved into the halves when Hastings and Lui left the field.
Evalds is blessed with blistering speed and fantastic ball handling ability which made him a handful for the Wigan defence once he moved into the halves. He directly assisted Jake Bibby’s try in the second half before also being involved in the build-up play to Derrell Olpherts’ late score.
While the Red Devils will be looking to Lui and Hastings to occupy the half-back slots throughout the season, Evalds is certainly showing he has the capability to take up the mantle if necessary. Ian Watson even went as far as saying Evalds reminded him of Darren Lockyer, to watch Ian Watson’s full post-match press conference, click here.

Shot clock 

The 2019 season will see the introduction of the shot clock – which has been massively successful Down Under – and it was in play for the first time at the AJ Bell Stadium against Wigan Warriors.
Two shot clocks have been installed at the AJ Bell Stadium in the South and North stands. These will countdown to encourage teams to pack scrums and take goal line drop-outs quicker.
Both sides packed down and took goal line drop-outs within the allotted time throughout the game however conversions – which aren’t yet being enforced – did often go over the allotted time limit more often than not.
It will certainly be interesting to see how teams – including the Red Devils – adapt to the new rules and the positive effects it will have on the Betfred Super League.
 
Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Following Salford Red Devils’ comfortable victory over Swinton Lions in their first game of 2019, we take a look at some of the talking points from the fixture.
Attacking threat
The Red Devils ran in eleven tries in a controlled performance against Swinton and the attacking skill Ian Watson’s men possess was on show throughout. Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all profited from the attacking display crossing for braces while there was also another five Red Devils on the scoresheet.
Sa’u and Johnson’s tries all came on the back of some quick hands out wide. However, there was a number of occasions when Salford broke from deep thanks to the likes of Mark Flanagan, Niall Evalds, Jackson Hastings and young debutant Connor Davies-Aspey.
Flanagan – who began at loose-forward but went on to operate as half – linked up well with Evalds on a number of occasions which led to some great Red Devils tries. Hastings went through the line in almost identical fashion to his debut against Leeds Rhinos last year to set up Sa’u’s second try.
If the Red Devils can continue to cause problems from all over the field, we could see some more excellent tries throughout 2019.
Connor Davies-Aspey
Salford Red Devils Academy player Connor Davies-Aspey was awarded a one-month trial earlier this week and he certainly made the most of his opportunity against Swinton with an impressive cameo in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Davies-Aspey came onto the field and managed to make three clean breaks. His break in the final ten minutes put winger Derrell Olpherts over in the corner and he was close to finishing the game with two try-assists however pulled the trigger a second too early on his pass to Jansin Turgut just minutes earlier.
Head Coach Ian Watson praised the young hooker in his post-match press conference saying it ‘was great for young kid to come in and do that’. Read more of Ian Watson’s reaction here.
Davies-Aspey has certainly put himself in contention for a place in the squad next weekend as the Red Devils face current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Versatility and depth
After the interval, Ian Watson made four changes to the starting side with Greg Johnson and Derrell Olpherts coming onto the field in place of Ed Chamberlain and Jake Bibby. Both Johnson and Olpherts would go on to score in the second half showing the quality of the Red Devils’ options on the wing this season.
In the pack, the likes of Tyrone McCarthy and Ben Nakubuwai entered the fray and made an impact following impressive forty-minute stints from Lee Mossop and new recruit Gil Dudson in the first half.
Half-back duo Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui both left the field midway through the second half with Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick and Niall Evalds jumping into the halves. Salford’s try-scoring form didn’t slow down, and the Red Devils continued to look smooth in the absence of a permanent half-back.
The crowd 
On a cold January afternoon fans of both Salford Red Devils and Swinton Lions braved the conditions to watch their sides putting together a solid showing for a pre-season friendly with 1798 people in attendance.
Salford vs Swinton is a fixture – that was Head Coach Ian Watson pointed out earlier in the week – doesn’t happen too often anymore so it has become somewhat of a sought-after attraction. Our Betfred Championship visitors brought a strong following down the road to the AJ Bell Stadium this weekend while our loyal Red Devils were in fine voice as always showing the passion for the game in the local area.
Next weekend, the Red Devils host another local side in Wigan Warriors, and we’ll be hoping for a similarly strong turnout.
 

Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Salford Red Devils got 2019 off to a perfect start with an eleven-try rout over local rivals Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all grabbed braces on a rampant afternoon for Ian Watson’s men while Jackson Hastings, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Ed Chamberlain and Derrell Olpherts also got their names on the scoresheet.
It was Sa’u who opened the scoring powering over from close-range after collecting the ball at the second attempt. Hastings was the provider for the opener, but he soon turned try-scorer six minutes in pouncing on Lui’s neat kick under the posts.
The Red Devils fast start continued when Mark Flanagan found Evalds on his inside to cut open the Swinton defence for the third time in the opening fifteen minutes. However, the Lions did cross shortly after as Oscar Thomas’ low kick wasn’t dealt with by Salford and Mike Butt was quickest to react.
Swinton’s revival was short-lived however as Lui managed to fend off three Swinton defenders to force his way over after jinking inside. With around eight minutes of the half remaining Chamberlain benefitted from some quick hands out wide to further the lead going into the break.
Head Coach Ian Watson made five changes at the break and it was substitute Johnson who got the scoring for the second half underway. The winger went close a minute earlier but was held down by Lewis Hatton who was sent to the sin-bin. However, Johnson did get on the end of a well-timed Kris Welham pass moments later.
In similar fashion to the first half, Flanagan would again find an onrushing Evalds on the inside and the full-back found Lussick in support who notched his first of the afternoon. Evalds was causing all sorts of problems for Swinton and his quick play at first receiver followed by a sublime tip-on from Welham put Johnson in for his second in just six minutes.
A try-scoring run of four in nine minutes was rounded off when Lussick’s low kick was chased down by Welham with the centre then giving it back to the Australian for his second.
Swinton would be handed another yellow card when Butt held down Olpherts who had raced seventy metres from his own try-line. The man advantage again proved dividend for Salford as Academy player and triallist Connor Davies-Aspey cut through the Lions line before finding Olpherts in the corner to round off the scoring.
Salford welcome current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 20th January, 2pm kick-off, in their second pre-season friendly.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Bibby, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Griffin, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Johnson, Olpherts, Davies-Aspey, Wellington.
Swinton Lions: Hansen, Butt, Lloyd, Williams, Aaronson; Fairclough, Thomas; Bennion, Waterworth, Austin, Hope, Jones, Hatton.
Interchanges: Brickhill, Gray, Hall, Halton, Jones, Kenga, Ratu, Warne, Worrall, Ashton.
 
Salford Tries: Sa’u (3’, 35’), Hastings (6’), Evalds (13’), Lui (19), Chamberlain (33’), Johnson (54’ 60), Lussick (56, 63’), Olpherts (76’).
Salford Goals: Chamberlain (7’, 14’, 34’), Lussick (64’).
Swinton Tries: Butt (16’).
Swinton Goals: Thomas (17’).
 
Swinton Sin-bins: Hatton (52’), Butt (67’).
 
Referee: Liam Moore.
Attendance: 1798.

Community | Junior Sa’u and Joey Lussick attend Langworthy awards evening

Salford Red Devils stars Junior Sa’u and Joey Lussick were in attendance at Langworthy Reds’ annual awards evening on Saturday night. 
The evening was a celebration of all Langworthy Reds’ age groups from under 7’s through to the open age and both Red Devils were impressed by the size of Langworthy Reds.
Langworthy Reds said: “It’s great that Junior Sa’u and Joey Lussick could come down to present the awards in their free time – it’s very much appreciated. 
“The looks on the kids’ faces when they walked in was brilliant. For two of their heroes to present them with a trophy is what dreams are made of.
 “It’s things like this that are helping the Club engage with the community and we can only thank Junior, Joey, Salford Red Devils and Sparta Lightning Services for making it happen.”
Joey Lussick said: “This is bigger than my amateur Club back home.”
Junior Sa’u said: “I have never seen an amateur Club this size.” 
And, both Red Devils thanked the local community Club for inviting them on social media.


To see all the evening’s winners and behind-the-scenes coverage of the event visit Langworthy Reds’ Twitter page HERE.

Squad | Ian Watson names 19-man to visit London Broncos

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for this weekend’s trip to London Broncos in the Qualifiers.  
Ben Nakubuwai returns to the 19-man squad after picking up a shoulder knock a few weeks ago in the victory over Halifax.
Jack Littlejohn could feature for the first time in three months with fellow halfback Josh Wood missing out after picking up a knock last week against Leeds.
Jansin Turgut retains his place in the squad after debuting at the Emerald Headingley Stadium last weekend. Gavin Bennion could also feature for the first time since the win over Leeds Rhinos in July.
Greg Johnson is also included after a lay-off with a foot injury. Luke Burgess also returns to the squad after serving a one-game suspension following his red card in the win over Toronto Wolfpack.
Jackson Hastings will serve the second of a two-match suspension following his dismissal in the closing stages of the win over Toronto. Junior Sa’u just misses out with an arm injury. Lee Mossop, Lama Tasi and George Griffin are all out of the 19-man squad.
The full squad is as follows:
Gavin Bennion, Luke Burgess, Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Craig Kopczak, Ryan Lannon, Joey Lussick, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Derrell Olpherts, Jansin Turgut, Kris Welham, Niall Evalds, Rob Lui, Jack Littlejohn, Jake Bibby, Ed Chamberlain.
 
Tickets for this fixture are available at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and are available to purchase up until 3pm on Friday 21st September.

Match Report | Halifax RLFC 4-62 Salford Red Devils

Salford made it three wins from three in The Qualifiers to open up a two-point from four other teams with a convincing 4-62 victory over Halifax at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Derrell Olpherts crossed for his first hat-trick in Salford colours while Jackson Hastings and Junior Sa’u both notched braces. Ed Chamberlain, Ben Nakubuwai, Kris Welham, Lama Tasi and Josh Wood were all also on the scoresheet. Sam Wood scored Halifax’s only try.
But it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and opened the scoring early on. Heaton streaked away down the flank before finding Sam Wood in support to give Halifax an early lead.
However, the Red Devils soon found their feet and it was Hastings who levelled the scores as he dummied and ghosted his way through the defensive line. Hastings was central to Salford’s second as his high kick was knocked down by Welham before the ball found Chamberlain out wide who put Ian Watson’s men ahead.


Fellow Australian half Rob Lui settled into the game and began causing the Halifax defence issues and it wasn’t long until Olpherts crossed in similar fashion to Chamberlain before him. This time it was Josh Jones who rose highest before Olpherts grabbed his first of the game.
Nakubuwai would soon force his way through the Halifax defence under the posts as Salford strengthened their grip on the game.
With five minutes of the first half remaining the Red Devils showed no signs of letting up crossing for two quickfire tries. Hastings scooped up a loose ball when it had looked like the chance had passed finding Niall Evalds who in turn looped the ball wide to Olpherts to score his second of the game.
On the half-time hooter, Chamberlain broke down the opposite wing before throwing the ball inside to an onrushing Welham giving Salford a comfortable lead going into the break.
Half-time didn’t affect Ian Watson’s who scored inside the opening few minutes of the second half with Olpherts claiming his hat-trick. However, the hard work was done by mercurial halfback Hastings who broke from deep before finding the former League One winger.
Tasi was the next Red Devil to break the Halifax defence powering his way over for his first try of the 2018 season. Hastings again provided a try-assist as Sa’u crashed over from close-range before gliding through a big gap in the Fax defence to score himself.


Hastings and fellow halfback Lui were both taken from the field with twenty minutes remaining with one eye on next week’s game against Toronto. Youngster Wood stepped into the halves and went through to score shortly after.
It was down to Sa’u to wrap up a rampant Salford display as he plucked Evalds’ pass out of the air before stepping inside to score in the final minute.
Halifax: Moss, Heaton, Wood, Butler, Sharp; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Baldwinson, Tangata, Grady, Grix.
Interchanges: Maher, Moore, Cooper, Fairbank.
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Sa’u, Welham, Chamberlain; Lui, Hastings; Tasi, Wood, Murray, Jones, McCarthy, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Burgess, Nakubuwai, Burke, Lussick.
Halifax Tries: Wood (9)
Salford Tries: Hastings (12, 65), Chamberlain (19), Olpherts (23, 36, 44), Nakubuwai (27), Welham (40), Tasi (49), Sa’u (54, 80), Wood (71). Salford Conversions: Chamberlain (20, 28, 37, 45, 50, 66, 73)
Man of the Match: Rob Lui.
Referee: Tom Grant.
Touch Judge: Chris Kendall.
Touch Judge: Andrew Sweet.
Attendance: 2555.

Match Report | Salford Red Devils 32-6 Widnes Vikings

Junior Sa’u’s first-half brace paved the way for Salford Red Devils to earn their third-successive victory, after the Red Devils came from behind to pummel Widnes Vikings 32-6 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Alongside the centre’s double, scores from Robert Lui, Niall Evalds and Mark Flanagan helped secure a comfortable triumph for Ian Watson’s side.
The Red Devils headed into the contest on the back of an emphatic victory at Hull Kingston Rovers eight days prior, but they made a sluggish start this time around.
A mere three minutes had passed by the time Liam Finn forged the first opening, the veteran half-back’s looping kick caused an array of confusion within the Red Devils line and Charly Runciman scooped up the loose ball, before beating Evalds in a footrace to touch down.
Krisnan Inu added the extras to give the visitors a six-point lead but the Red Devils fought back swiftly.
In recent weeks Salford have enjoyed the luxury of having one of the most expansive half-back pairings around in Jackson Hastings and Lui. The pair were integral in carving Salford’s first score of the afternoon, as some slick hands from the latter sent Sa’u crashing over in the left-hand corner.
Ed Chamberlain nailed the resulting touchline goal, but Salford were in again just four minutes later.
Half-back pairing Hastings and Lui were involved once more, but on this occasion, it was the former who produced the crucial pass to allow Sa’u to cross over in an almost identical fashion.
Sa’u’s double seemed to galvanise Ian Watson’s men, Craig Kopczak – who returned to the side following a short layoff – latched onto a short pass from Hastings before surging towards the line, but the forward was held up in-goal after some heroic defending from Olly Ashall-Bott and Patrick Ah Van.
In a dramatic turn of events, home debutant Joey Lussick was sin-binned by referee Ben Thaler three minutes before the half-time whistle, after the hooker allegedly produced a ‘crusher tackle’.
Despite being a man down, Salford flew out of the blocks after the break. After a sustained spell of pressure saw the Red Devils hound Widnes towards their own line, Lui dummied from the play-the-ball and burrowed his way over to extend the margin.
Soon after, Salford were on the front foot once more. Evalds made an excellent break after Josh Jones intercepted Inu’s wayward pass, but Lloyd White made a remarkable recovery to halt the attack.
However, it was from the kicking tee where the hosts would extend their lead. Aaron Heremaia failed to clear the ruck, consequently allowing Chamberlain to confidently stroke the ball over the posts for his fourth goal of the afternoon.
Hastings’ arrival at the club has sparked a resurgence from fellow half-back Lui. The fifth-eighth has been in inspiring form in recent weeks and he capped off another fine display with 19 minutes left on the clock.
After jinking his way past several Widnes defenders, the 28-year-old produced a stunning offload to assist the onrushing Evalds, before Chamberlain added the extras to increase the lead further.
Salford weren’t finished there though. Watson’s men claimed another stunning try deep into the half, a piece of fantastic link-up play from Man of the Match Hastings and Lussick resulted in the supporting Mark Flanagan sliding over the whitewash, before Chamberlain landed the goal to wrap up a comfortable victory.
Salford Lineup: Evalds; Chamberlain, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Wood, Tasi, Jones, Lannon, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Kopczak, Burke, Lussick, Nakubuwai.
Widnes Lineup: Ashall-Bott, Ah Van, Inu, Whitley, Runciman, Mellor, Finn, Hansen, Heremaia, Dudson, Dean, Houston, Hauraki.
Interchanges: Leuluai, Gerrard, Olbison, White.
Salford Scorers: Tries- Sa’u (17, 21’), Lui (45’), Evalds (61’), Flanagan (72’) | Goals- Chamberlain (18’, 22’, 46’, 53’, 62’, 73’
Widnes Scorers: Tries- Runciman (3’) | Goals- Inu (4’)
Salford Sin-Bin: Lussick (37’)
Half-Time Score: 12-6
Man of the Match: Jackson Hastings.
Referee: Ben Thaler.
Touch Judges: Liam Moore & Richard Thompson.
Video Referee: Robert Hicks.