Salford coach Richard Marshall says his players won it for newly-retired captain Lee Mossop after they completed the double over a Huddersfield side coached by his predecessor Ian Watson with an 18-12 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Former Wigan and Great Britain forward Mossop announced his retirement in the week due to a series of shoulder injuries and was given a guard of honour by his team-mates before kick-off.
“We did it for our skipper,” Marshall said. “We had a chat in the week and this wasn’t about Ian Watson or me, we kept turning up for Lee Mossop.
“His work ethic is ingrained in our squad. He has been great for me in the nine months I’ve been working with him.
“There were a few tears before the game. Today was definitely for Lee Mossop.”
The rejuvenated Giants were on course for a fourth-consecutive victory when they raced into an 8-0 lead thanks to a try from prop Matty English and two goals from Will Pryce.
But the Red Devils got back to within two points by half-time thanks to an 80-metre try from Rhys Williams and added others through Jack Ormondroyd and Tui Lolohea in a seesaw second half to ensure there was no happy return for Watson.
Watson insisted the visitors were the better team, however, saying: “I thought for large parts of the game, we were really good.
“We got the lead but let them back in through our errors. We were our own worst enemy.
“Our last plays weren’t good enough, it was a big learning lesson for our young halves.
“We lost the game, they didn’t win the game, but fair play to them, it’s about making and creating your opportunities and they took their opportunities and got the win.
“Salford are a tough team to beat, we just didn’t need to give them a helping hand.”
Marshall took exception to the comments of his predecessor, insisting his side were good value for their win.
“I heard Ian Watson’s press conference and his claim that they were the better team – but that’s ridiculous,” he said.
“We thoroughly deserved the win, we were the better team for 80 minutes.
“It was a dogged performance, not perfect, but we defended very well. We had a lot of scramble, I thought there was a lot of substance to our defence.”