Salford to compete in Qualifiers after losing to Castleford

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Salford will be forced to compete in the Qualifiers after losing 24-6 to Castleford.

It is now confirmed that the Red Devils will be in the Qualifiers come the end-of-season split, with it now mathematically being impossible to finish in the top-eight.

Meanwhile, the Tigers will be in the top four come the Qualifiers, being seven points above fifth-placed Hull FC. They will now have an extra home game in the Super 8s.

Salford Red Devils coach Ian Watson made two changes to his side that lost to Hull Kingston Rovers last week. Ben Nakubuwai and Levy Nzoungou replaced Logan Tomkins and Greg Johnson.

Daryl Powell made also made two changes to his Salford Red Devils side that beat Leeds Rhinos last time out. Kieran Gill and Joe Wardle came in for Jamie Ellis and Nathan Massey.

The game was a slow burner but when it got going, Castleford were the team to open the scoring at the AJ Bell Stadium. A crazy last tackle play saw the ball bounce off the head of a Salford player into the arms of Grant Millington who threw it wide to Jake Webster who scored. Paul McShane converted to put his side in a 6-0 lead after 18 minutes.

Salford levelled the score late on in the first half. Jake Bibby latched onto a well-weighted grubber from Rob Lui to dive over. Ed Chamberlain added the conversion and the score was level at 6-6 at the break.

Castleford came out of the sheds the stronger side. McShane caught the Tigers off guard by using the short side and Michael Shenton stepped through a gap to score. The conversion from McShane was on point, Salford 6-12 Castleford.

The Tigers were in again when Webster ran a superb line to crash over from close. McShane’s boot took the score to 18-6 in favour of Castleford.

Powell’s side sealed the win with a late try from Kieran Gill. The winger darted in the corner following a fine cut-out pass from Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e. McShane ended the night with a 100% record with the boot and his side went back to West Yorkshire with a 24-6 victory.

Salford: Chamberlain; Olpherts, Sa’u, Jones, Bibby; Lui, Shorrocks; Tasi, Wood, Nakubuwai, Lannon, McCarthy, Murray. Subs: Flanagan, Burke, Mossop, Nzoungou.

Castleford: Eden; Gill, Webster, Shenton, Clare; Laulu-Togaga’e, Trueman; Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Millington, Milner. Subs: Holmes, Wardle, Cook, Clark.

Starman: Jake Webster was solid for Castleford all game and he managed to keep Junior Sa’u relatively quiet.

Attendance: 2,681