The Black team of the Salford U19s squad got the New Year off to a grand start with a comprehensive away victory over near neighbours, Wigan & Leigh, running in 10 tries, 8 of which were converted.
The Red Devils got off to an encouraging start when, five minutes into the game, clever hands down the left flank paved the way for Lewis Zammit to cross in that corner, and with the first of Connor Law’s conversions, put the visitors ahead on only their third set of the afternoon.
Within three minutes, the lead had been doubled, when centre, Lewis Roberts, finished off fine approach work which was far from dissimilar to that of the earlier fry, by crossing in that same left hand corner, to give the side an assurance they never thereafter lost.
For their shell-shocked hosts this was the moment they really had to dig deep and haul themselves back into the contest, and to their credit they did, and for the next twenty minutes or so, the match took on the aspect of a much more evenly balanced contest than had hitherto been the case.
Indeed, the Salford team had to wait until the last five minutes of the half before the power of prop, Jack Fairbrother, sent him surging through the defence to ground by the posts, and within a couple of sets after the restart, they had added a further six points through fullback, Connor Law, at the end of some assured, and telling, handling across the line of attack, from right to left, to bring the half time score to 0-24.
The tiring effects of all the defending to which the Wigan & Leigh players had been subjected, really began to take its toll in the second half, particularly with their having only one substitute on which to draw, but not before they had registered a try of their own. This came in similar fashion to Fairbrother’s earlier Salford try, when prop, Joseph Togher, stormed through the Salford line to give Sam Pilkington a straight forward kick from in front of the posts.
The afternoon was to belong to the highflying Reds, however and they went on to increase their lead again and again, as the game progressed. Most notable of all the tries of the afternoon, came early in the second half, when, following a scrum just inside the Salford half, the ball went through sundry pairs of hands, to good effect, until right winger Will Timmins was put in the clear, and he scorched down the touchline to plant the ball between the uprights.
Coach Jay Boyd, quite understandably, was delighted by the performance of his charges, in what, surely, must have been their best outing of the season so far.
“I’m really pleased both for the lads, and with them. They dug in well, and put in a good all-round team performance. The forwards worked hard and, on the back of quick play-the-balls, made good yardage, but not only they, so also did our outside backs.”
In addition, Jay was equally complimentary about their opponents, who, besides being somewhat depleted in terms of numbers, were also physically outsized throughout the squad.
“They kept going throughout the whole of the game, never gave up, and had a couple of really good forwards who caused us problems, including one of them crossing for a well-deserved try. Their halfbacks, too did their utmost to lead them around the field, and what they did as a team they did really well, even overcoming being reduced to twelve men at one stage.”
Jack Fairbrother (3), Lewis Zammit (2), Connor Law, Brodie Partington, Lewis Robert, Ben Wihitley, Will Timmins
Connor Law (5) Ellis Snelgrove (3)