The proliforation of lower league exports in the Red Devils side is marvellous to see ,Ackers and Aitkins both started life at Swinton , Deon Cross began as a Hornet, as well as being on Barrows books, Newcastle developed Sam Luckley as a junior and Tyler Dupree was scattering all around him turning out in the colours of Oldham in 2021 picking up the League 1 Young Player of the Year award. Their succes this year , along with the likes of the ever impressive Joe Batchelor (an ex Coventry Bear ) and indeed Alex Walmsley ( discovered by Batley), at Saints should have SL coaches at least having a brief butchers at League 1 and the bottom end of the Championship for undiscovered ..but I wont hold my breath .
Add to that the parnership of Brodie Croft and the criminally underrated Marc Snyed in the halves plus the willingness of Kallum Watkins, who renaissance as a second rower must be one of the stories of the season, and you have a a great base to build from . The loss of Croft to injury , another who has rebuilt his reputation at the AJ Bell , which will rule him out of next weeks semi final is massive for Paul Rowleys team and the moment he left the field i mid way through the secondd 40 might be a piviotal moment in Salfords season and not for the good .
From the Giants perspective they appeared to me to be missing that ‘give it everything backs against the wall ‘ spirit that can normally be seen in any team coached by Ian Watson . On what was to be honest , horrific afternoon for them they were not just out played technically by the Red Devils but they looked knackered emotionally , even the physical confrontations looked an half hearted effort , if it had come down to real fisticuffs , Salford would have been Rocky Marciano , whilst the Claret and golds would have more resembled , Sharon after 7 pints of snakebite , flailing her handbag and a lone stilleto less than accuratley towards her opponent ( obviously accompanied by companions screaming ‘leave it its not worth it ‘ )…
It’s yet another old cliche , but we could have been sat there till closing time (maybe we would have run into Sharon 🙂 ) and the Fartowners still wouldnt have made it over the line . One thing that the Giants have been exceptional at this season has been , once they have established a lead closing down the options for the oppostion attacking . The little kicks into touch ,the ability to finish their attacking sets in awakard spots, might well be seen as negative play by some critics but its been a highly effective tactic employed by Watson’s team . Unfortunatly they seemed unable to get out of that mode on Saturday – when actually what we needed to see when they were behind was them throwing caution to the wind , only when Will Pryce came on did that ‘ f**k it’ mentality seem to show itself …..
Fat, Fifty Rugby League Enthusiast .Avid follower of all things League 1 and unfortunate survivor of a 50 year love affair with Keighley RLFC..