Salford finish third after golden point win over Hull KR – talking points & player ratings

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Salford finished third in Super League after beating Hull KR 17-16 in golden point extra-time.

The Red Devils finish the regular campaign in fourth and they will travel to Wigan next Friday.

Warrington lost 26-4 at Leeds and ended the regular campaign in fourth, so they will host Castleford in an elimination play-off next Thursday.

St Helens won 22-6 at Hull FC, so Castleford scraped through to the play-offs.

Onto Salford-Hull KR, Ian Watson made three changes to his Salford side that won at Leeds last week. Ben Nakubuwai, Ryan Lannon and Josh Johnson returned to the squad.

Gil Dudson, Tyrone McCarthy and Mark Flanagan dropped out for the Red Devils.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith also made three changes to his outfit that lost to London last time out. Adam Quinlan, Danny Addy and George Lawler came in for the Robins.

Joel Tomkins, Will Dagger and Jimmy Keinhorst missed out for Smith’s men.

Hull KR half-back Josh Drinkwater scored the opening try of the game before Danny McGuire was sin-binned in the final game of his career on the half hour mark for a professional foul.

Salford hit back just minutes later through Jake Bibby but Ryan Shaw added a penalty goal just before the break to give Hull KR an 8-4 lead at half-time.

Tui Lolohea scored for the Red Devils shortly after the restart, while Kane Linnett put Hull Kr back in front on the hour.

Joey Lussick stormed over the line for Salford late on to take the game into golden point extra-time.

And with 10 minutes nearly on the clock in extra-time, Krisnan Inu added a drop goal to seal a 17-16 win for Salford.

Three talking points

Salford finish third

Salford produced a last-gasp win in the final round of the regular season to secure third spot and a second bite at the apple.

The Red Devils have been outstanding this year and Coach of the Year nominee Ian Watson deserves every single bit of credit that comes his way.

Fourth-placed Warrington are in an elimination play-0ff against the Tigers next week, while the Red Devils face Wigan at the DW Stadium – but they have a second chance, should they lose to the Warriors.

Hull KR are safe

With London losing at Wakefield, Hull KR would have stayed up regardless of their result at Salford.

But it was an impressive performance from the Robins and it left you thinking ‘why haven’t they played like this all season?’ – but the main thing for them is having Super League status in 2020.

On paper, Hull KR have got a good team but they’ve been too inconsistent. They need to improve a lot next season.

McGuire plays last ever game

Hull Kr veteran McGuire played his final ever game of rugby league as he guided the Robins to Super League safety.

He will go down as a legend in the game, having played over 400 games for Leeds and 45 for Hull KR, scoring 276 tries in total.

McGuire is one of the best players of the Super League era, having won eight Super League Grand Finals, three World Club Challenge titles, two Challenge Cups and three League Leaders’ Shields.

Line-ups and ratings

Salford: Evalds (8); Sio (7), Welham (7), Bibby (8) Inu (8); Lolohea (7), Hastings (8); Walker (7), Tomkins (7), Mossop (7), Griffin (6), Jones (7), Burke (7). Subs: Lussick (8), Nakubuwai (6), Johnson (7), Lannon (6).

Tries: Bibby, Lolohea, Lussick Goals: Inu 2/4 Drop Goals: Inu 1

Hull KR: Quinlan (7); Hall (7), Crooks (6), Linnett (7), Shaw (7); McGuire (7), Drinkwater (7); Trout (7), Parcell (6), Murray (6), Hadley (7), Hauraki (7), Mulhern (7). Subs: Addy (6), Masoe (6), Atkin (6), Lawler (7).

Tries: Drinkwater, Linnett Goals: Shaw 4/4

Drew’s views

Super League provided plenty of drama on the final day of the regular campaign. London’s relegated was confirmed after they lost 19-10 at Wakefield – but the Broncos can certainly be proud of their season.

How good have Salford been this year? Watson’s side have now won their last eight games and they have plenty of belief that they can make the short trip to Old Trafford.

As for Hull KR, they managed to survive but this season’s nervy finish made their bums squeak. They need to recruit well ahead of 2020 because it could be an even tougher campaign.

Elsewhere in Super League

Huddersfield Giants 24-22 Catalans Dragons

Hull FC 6-22 St Helens

Leeds Rhinos 26-4 Warrington Wolves

Wakefield Trinity 19-10 London Broncos


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