Tag: SHANE WRIGHT

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V HULL KR

A markedly improved second half performance brought the Salford Red Devils close, but not quite close enough, to stealing the game from the resurgent Robins, who had dominated the first forty minutes.

A half-time analysis of the situation, and their performance to that point, though, was sufficient to galvanise the team together for an onslaught on their eighteen points deficit, which almost came off in paying the highest of dividends.

As has been said before, eighteen points is not an insurmountable lead, particularly with a full forty minutes in which to do so.  Starting the half, as they were doing, however, with only twelve players on the field – Ryan Lannon having been sin-binned for the second successive week just before half – was not the ideal way.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils made light of the handicap, after only two minutes, with slick passing from a scrum fifteen metres out from the Hull line, putting Ken Sio in at the corner.  With Sneyd’s conversion from out wide, they were on their way, and only a couple of scores behind.

A much more energised competitive lead was now being given by the pack who were suddenly making great inroads, and good metres, into the visitors’ defence.  The whole approach to their attack consequently appeared much more confident and assured, and out of the blue the Robins found themselves on the back foot.

When, eventually on fifty-five minutes, Shane Wright won the race to touch down Sneyd’s kick-in-goal it came as little surprise.  What was more of a surprise was that the angle proved somewhat awkward for Sneyd’s conversion attempt, and the deficit remained at two scores.

Sneyd certainly made up for the miss, five minutes later, with an interception from within his own twenty metre area, from which he set up Joe Burgess with a clear run to the line, and there was no mistake this time with the extra two points.

The problem was that Salford were still in arears.  It might have been by only two points, but those two points gave Hull the little bit of cushioning they needed to be able to slow the game down, steady themselves, and build pressure of their own, whilst the Reds, on the other hand, were still having to play ‘catch-up’ football.

The hammer blow, though, came ten minutes from the end, when full back, Ryan Brierley, repeated an error he had made towards the end of the first half, misjudging and then failing to take, a high kick from Jordan Abdul, which, on both occasions led to tries from the irrepressible Mikey Lewis.  The eight-point deficit now possibly appeared larger than it was, because the Yorkshiremen then controlled the game so well, and it was they who added further to their score with a late penalty goal.

The damage though, had been done in the first half, when the Red Devils were below par in their overall performance.  Hull certainly showed their intent and determination from the outset, while Salford were slow out of the trap, and made too many handling errors on attack, which promptly gifted the visitors additional possession and field position.

Even the defence which had been so commendable the week before, was well below the standard they had shown then, as was exemplified by the gap left for Storton to slip through for Hull’s second try.

Whether all of this was caused by the significant amount of energy they had had to expend at Huddersfield, and followed by a short turnaround, or attributable to some other reason, is unknown, but it was encouraging to witness the considerable upturn in their performance in that first thirty minutes of the second half, the quality of which will undoubtedly be beneficial in this coming Friday’s fixture with Leeds Rhinos.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: HULL V SALFORD

For just over fifteen highly encouraging minutes, the Salford fans who had made the journey over to Hull filled with the confidence that their  hopes and expectations were well-placed, revelled in an opening stanza, which had their hosts well and truly on the rack.

Indeed, all the firepower in those initial exchanges lay with the Red Devils, who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, and who were, consequently able to pen Hull on their own line for the bulk of this time.

They ran strongly, spread the ball swiftly and accurately, and when called upon to, tackled with energy and desire. In fact they did almost everything they could have done, except score.

Not that they were without opportunities, for they created three, but unfortunately without success, the first coming when Shane Wright was stopped by a last ditch tackle, extremely close to the line;

Soon afterwards, Brodie Croft’s kick-in-goal was just a little too strong for the chasing Ken Sio, who was unable to repeat his similar try-scoring feat from last week, and the ball had cleared the dead-ball line, before the winger got his hands to it.

Their final chance of taking the lead came with Joe Burgess’s scoot from dummy-half, only for him to be held up over the line, and shortly afterwards the whole game changed far more dramatically than anyone would have predicted.

Off the field, things had not been running as smoothly as is normally the case.  The withdrawal of James Greenwood in the warm-up led to the introduction of Ryan Lannon into the side was probably a greater cause of disruption than might be obvious with his inclusion coming not simply onto the bench, but, of necessity, directly into the starting lineup.

Then there was some confusion over an injury to Dan Sarginson, which ended up costing the team two of their allotted substitutions, and meant that players could not be rotated or rested as frequently, or for as long, as normal.  King Vuniyayawa, in particular, played a considerable number of minutes, over and above his scheduled time span.  Fatigue, and occasionally injury, can be an inevitable consequence of that.

Two wayward passes, however, were the cause of the remarkable first-half turnaround, with both leading to Hull tries on their right flank.  These were then followed shortly after by two others the first of which came down that same side of the field, and within that second period of fifteen minutes, the Humbersiders had taken a twenty points, unanswered lead.

To be fair to the Salford players at this stage, they galvanised together, and returned to producing the better aspects of their play which had been so noticeable in the first fifteen, and this time it brought benefits.

A high bomb from Marc Sneyd looked to be well-covered by the Hull defence, only for Tim Lafae to pounce from nowhere, and rob them of the possession, with a try close to the Hull posts.

A half-time deficit of fourteen points is not insurmountable, but one always had the sense that Salford had to be first to score in the second half.  They certainly seemed to be up for the task, upon the resumption, but little more than five minutes had elapsed, when they were reduced to twelve men with the sin-binning of Sneyd, after a disagreement with Hull’s Connor.

If the second period of fifteen minutes had been a game-changers, this ten minute spell was to more or less finish off the contest, for by the time Sneyd had returned, the Hull tally had ratcheted up from twenty to thirty-six points, and there was to be little way back for the visitors, thereafter.

In fact it was Hull, who further extended their lead to forty-two points, with the second of two extremely cruel bounces of the ball.  Fullback, Ryan Brierley, it had earlier been, whose attempt to deal with a low Hull kick-through, to the posts, had been so thwarted, while for this latest score the bounce prevented Burgess from making the ball safe, and on both occasions Hull chasers were on hand to take advantage of the luck which had come their way.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils  once again regrouped to share the scoring in the final twenty minutes with two of their own to match this latest, and one further final one from the home side.

The first of  Salford’s could, arguably, make claim to have been the try of the match, starting as it did with a sideways kick to hand, and the ball then passing through six pairs of hands before Sio crossed in the corner.

Tim Lafae wound up proceedings for the visiting Reds, with the second of his brace, touching down a kick through, but it was all little more than cold comfort for those connected with Salford.

Bad days at the office come round to everyone, at times.  The important thing is to learn from each, put it behind you, and in Salford’s case produce a quick and effective response, preferably at Huddersfield next week.

Salford bolster pack with NRL forward

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Australian second-rower Shane Wright on a two-year deal.

Wright arrives at the club from NRL outfit North Queensland Cowboys, where he has played for the last four years, and is an exciting addition to the squad for 2022 and onwards.

The 25-year-old, who has also had a spell on loan at Mackay Cutters during his time at the Cowboys, was named Cowboys’ Rookie of the Year in 2019 after an impressive season for the Queensland side.

In 2020, Wright was part of the North Queensland side that won the NRL Nines.

“It’s a new chapter in my rugby league career and I’m excited to come over here and get stuck in.

“I’m looking forward to improving my game and buying into the culture at the club,” Wright said.

Speaking on the acquisition of Wright, director of rugby and operations Ian Blease commented: “I’m delighted that we have landed Shane’s signature.

Shane is bringing with him four years of valuable NRL experience and after speaking with Shane and watching him as a consistent performer at the Cowboys last season, he is coming to the Red Devils bringing his workmanlike attitude, strength and agility to the pack for next season and beyond.”

Join Wright in 2022 by purchasing an early bird season ticket HERE.