Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 16th Feb 2017 9:50 PM
There were contrasting opening round outcomes for tonight's two combatants. The Giants won confidently at Widnes Vikings, while the Salford Red Devil's lost to the Wigan Warriors despite a spirited second half comeback.

Salford had won on their last three visits to the John Smiths Stadium but new Giants coach Rick Stone was looking to build on last weeks win with a first home victory.

On paper there was very little to choose between the two sides.

Salford took the opportunity to open the scoring when Gareth O'Brien kicked the second of two quick consecutive penalties, with eight minutes on the clock.

The first four pointer came after eighteen minutes when the ball was moved wide right through half a dozen pairs of hands enabling Jermaine McGillvary to find the space to dive over by the corner flag. Danny Brough failed to convert but his side had a 4-2 lead.

Within three minutes the Red Devil's scored their first try of the night when Junior Sau took a Gareth O'Brien pass to go between two Giants defenders and run twenty metres to the line. The Devils full-back, and try provider, added the extras.

Some poor conclusions to sets, from both sides, ensured that the remainder of the half would be tryless but a Giants ball steal on thirty-nine allowed Gareth O'Brien to stretch the Red Devil's lead to 10-4 at the interval.

One minute into the second half and Dobson kicked a 40-20. Salford took full advantage when Dobson put O'Brien through a gap to round behind the sticks. He added the extras for 16-4.

On forty-six the Red Devil's look to have further pressed home their advantage but Greg Johnson was determined, by the video official, to have slid into touch a split-second before grounding the ball in the corner.

Two minutes later and the Giants gave their immediate response when Alex Mellor took a Brough pass to run the angle and fend off the Red Devil's tackler to score. Brough kicked the extras and reduced the arrears to six points.

Within two minutes Mellor got his second, again from a Brough pass, after a great Lee Gaskell break. This time Brough failed to add the conversion and his side where now just two points behind at 14-16.

A horrible Brough pass, ten metres from the Red Devil's line, was intercepted by Chris Welham who went sixty metres before being hauled down. Salford used their tackles, and five plays into the set O'Brien slid over for his second of the game. He added the extra two for 22-14 and an eight point Salford lead.

In an end to end game, the next try came from the Giants when Ukuma Ta'ai stretched over off a short Brough pass to score by the right upright. Brough added the extra two from in-front of the sticks and reduced the margin back to two points with ten minutes left to play.

Five minutes from time and a solo effort from Josh Jones saw the second-rower fend off three tacklers before dragging three more with him to ground the ball on the line by the sticks. O'Brien kicked his sixth goal of the game to seal the Red Devil's win.

A seventy-ninth minute O'Brien penalty made it 30-20 to send the visitors and their supporters back over the Pennines wearing the broadest of grins.

Salford deserved this hard fought win as they ground down the Giants and took their chances. There were plenty of mistakes from the Giants which opened the door for the visitors who took full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. It's a first win of the season for the Red Devil's which gives them a platform to build on.

Giants: Gaskell, McGillvary (T), Cudjoe, Mellor (2T), Murphy, Brough (2G), Brierley, Ikahihifo, Hinchcliffe, Ta'ai (T), Lawrence, Ferguson, Rapira. Subs: Wakeman, Leeming, Roberts, Clough.

Devils: O'Brien (2T, 7G), Johnson, Welham, Sau (T), Carney, Luí, Dobson, Kopczak, Tomkins, Mossop, Jones (T), Griffin, Flanagan. Subs: Wood, Krasniqi, Tasi, Walne.

Referee: James Child.

Half-Time: 4-10.

Full-Time: 20-30.

Attendance: 6,017.
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