Salford vs Hull K R
7:45pm Friday 13th September
AJ Bell Stadium
Salford secured their Super League complete using a Golden Point extra-time triumph over Hull KR, who live up no matter the defeat following London’s defeat at Wakefield.
Krisnan Inu kicked at the critical drop target with a moment of time remaining to secure third place along with a visit to Wigan next Friday.
Both of these teams performed one of the Golden Point games when Gareth O’Brien’s drop goal relegated Hull KR at 2016. Though the stakes weren’t as high here, it was a historical and remarkable finale for Ian Watson’s team.
KR were one of four groups that might have been relegated in peril also at the start of play, with London, Huddersfield and Wakefield.
The night elsewhere did not prove to be too striking as many anticipated, with London being condemned by Wakefield and producing Hull KR’s outcome.
Tries out of Josh Drinkwater and Kane Linnett, and four goals from as many attempts, seemed to have assisted Rovers into a success. But with seconds remaining, the Joey Lussick of Salford scored from dummy half and the match was taken by the conversion of Inu to Golden Point.
It was a memorable victory for the Red Devils who’d won their past seven matches, however a sleepless night for retiring Rovers half-back Danny McGuire. One of the greats of Super League, the former Leeds man, missed out on the chance of 1000 career points – stuck in 999.
Hull KR produced an ideal start when McGuire’s split the Salford defence as well as the supporting Kyle Trout delivered Drinkwater. Ryan Shaw added the conversion.
The people continued to dominate possession but they were guilty of a few mistakes which gave a reinforcement to Salford.
As Jackson Hastings was prevented by taking a restart, with eight minutes of the first half McGuire was sin-binned for obstruction.
Salford were fast to take advantage of the excess man and it was Hastings with some quick-thinking. When Hastings took a pass 15 metres in the Robins tryline, play seemed to be going but his run made the most of the man on the left flank, dying into winger. Inu was not able to bring the conversion.
Using three minutes of the first half remaining, devoting Shaw together with the chance to go for goal inu was penalised for dissent and he made no mistake. On the stroke of half-time, Craig Hall watched his drop goal attempt float broad.
Having looked really clunky with ball Salford came out after the break looking sharper. An excellent pass by Hastings sent Niall Evalds racing clear and yet Rovers scrambled back into defence, Salford scored minutes later after having a Tui Lolohea followed his kick that took a deflection back to him and he also scored.
Inu missed the conversion, his attempt hitting the post, but he’d kick a punishment from more than 40 metres.
The guide was supposed to prove short-lived as Hull KR scored with almost their first attack of the half at the 58th minute. The touchline was broken up by shaw and Linnett rushing clear for a try which Shaw converted adding yet an additional penalty was sent by his pass.
But at 16-16 Lussick moved over from close variety and also the conversion of Inu tied the scores with only 30 minutes on the clock forcing Golden Point time.
The win was sealed by salford with Inu’s drop goal.
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