Salford Red Devils player ratings as Nene Macdonald shines in Warrington Wolves win

Ben Olawumi
Nene Macdonald

Nene Macdonald celebrates a try for Salford Red Devils in 2024

Salford Red Devils ensured they would remain in the Super League play-off spots at the halfway mark in the campaign with a 25-14 victory away against Warrington Wolves on Friday night.

Having beaten London Broncos prior to the break in league action for the Challenge Cup final, the Red Devils have now won back-to-back games, and done the double over Warrington for good measure.

These are our Salford player ratings from the Halliwell Jones Stadium press box…

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Chris Hankinson – 7

Just like the rest of the visitors’ backs, Hankinson consistently made good yardage and was strong with the ball in hand throughout.

Ethan Ryan – 7

No try for Ryan, but another sterling showing, and the type of performance we’ve got used to seeing from him. Paul Rowley is getting the best out of the Ireland international, and when he does have the ball in hand, he always looks a threat.

Nene Macdonald – 9

The Red Devils have one of, if not, the best centre pairings in Super League and Macdonald was at his free-flowing best on Friday night. There’s a reason Red Devils chief Rowley was an admirer of his for years before bringing him to the club, and he’s every bit the star you thought he’d be for Salford. Absolutely lethal, a lovely opening try.

Tim Lafai – 8

Talking of the centre pairing… Lafai is pure quality too and on Friday evening, he was on top form. He didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, but probably would’ve done had he had a touch of pace to race away as he twice cut out Warrington passes. Nevertheless, another top, top performance from the Samoa international.

Deon Cross – 8

He’s probably a bit of an underrated cog in this Salford side, but Cross is exactly the type of player you need and want in your squad – versatile with an incredible resilience about him to keep at it. Out on the wing, he bided his time and executed the ‘show and go’ on Matt Dufty perfectly for his first-half try, then took his one in the second-half well, too.

Chris Atkin – 7

It feels inevitable that Atkin will play second fiddle to Sneyd in Salford’s halves, but don’t underestimate the impact he has in helping to lead them around the park. A top quality playmaker who very rarely puts a foot wrong, and he didn’t tonight. Another that just oozes class.

Marc Sneyd – 9

Marc Sneyd did Marc Sneyd things, as he always does. There’s no one better with the boot, particularly in-game, and he’s so integral to everything that the Red Devils do. 13 points scored, including the 50th drop goal of his career, and that is honestly just the tip of the iceberg. What a player.

Brad Singleton – 7

Another ‘no fuss’ performance from Singleton, one of a number of experienced voices in this Salford pack.  He and they won’t always get the credit they deserve for the countless times they put a halt to an attack, but it was so evident at the HJ just how vital that role was. It took close to an hour for them to be breached, and that was courtesy of a deft kick across field.

Joe Mellor – 7

Mellor is almost the ultimate utility, and has been a very shrewd pickup for Salford. He’s another that won’t get the glitz and glamour headlines, because what he does isn’t glitz and glamour, but it’s so vital. He rolled back the years with break he made out of dummy-half in that first half, a smooth operator.

Shane Wright – 7

Everything we wrote for fellow prop Singleton, we could write for Wright. The Aussie continues to show how much Rowley’s side missed him when he was injured last year, and it’s far from a stretch to say that having him around all year this term could make the difference in their push to finish in the play-offs.

Sam Stone – 8

Salford tied Stone down with a new two-year deal earlier this week, and if you needed any further evidence as to why that’s the case, he showed it again on Friday night. He must be one of the most underrated overseas stars in Super League, a constant presence in attack and so hard to even try and run at in defence.

Kallum Watkins – 8

We’ve already used the phrase once, but boy did Watkins roll back the years with that first-half break which eventually led to a try. Again, he’s another commanding voice in helping his team-mates around the field, and another we’d put in the ‘smooth operator’ category. Like a fine wine!

Ollie Partington – 8

According to Super League’s website, Salford made over 300 tackles at the HJ. We’d love to see how many Partington was responsible for, and we’d wager it’d be close to 40. You forget how young he is at 25, and how much potential he still has to fulfil, because the forward is so good. He shows experience beyond his years in-game, great to watch.

Harvey Wilson (Interchange) – 7

An assured few minutes in the tank for youngster Wilson, who we imagine Salford will continue to integrate into their squad following his recent arrival from Wigan. He’s not the biggest, but is far from afraid of getting stuck in and sticking his hand up to help his team-mates out in their hour of need. Exactly the type of character that fits into the mould of this Red Devils side.

Joe Shorrocks (Interchange) – 7

Like Partington, Shorrocks is cut from the cloth of the Wigan academy, and you don’t make it as far as they did at the Warriors without having something about you. He certainly has that ‘something’, almost a knack of being in the right place at the right time to do the right thing. With his versatility, he’s another who you struggle to comprehend is only 24. A very shrewd signing.

Loghan Lewis (Interchange) – 7

A debut to remember for young Australian Lewis. He had to be helped handing in his board to the official on the sidelines to let him on, but once he’d overcome that hurdle, it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. His assist for Sneyd will be the highlight, but he didn’t really do much wrong at all. We like what we see!

Gil Dudson (Interchange) – 7

A bit of a low-key return to the HJ for Wire loanee Dudson, but that’s exactly what he’d have wanted, we assume! The Wales international didn’t pull up any trees, but simply did the job that Rowley needed him to do across his two stints – adding fresh legs into the pack and helping to stifle any hopes of a comeback from his parent club.