Almost achieving in the ‘impossible’ in 2019; Salford Red Devils managed their greatest ever season in Super League history.
Heavily written off at the start, possessing a ‘Championship’ squad according to certain personnel, ‘they have got no chance’ others said, well what a way to prove your critics wrong in what was a remarkable year.
Instead of fighting for survival, they almost attained glory from their very short physical yet exhausting journey to Old Trafford, only to fall short against St Helens.
Nevertheless, a superb season all round and no doubt something to build on as we look back at arguably their greatest ever season in their history.
Best Result: Wigan Warriors 4-28 Salford Red Devils
They had many fine results but their greatest and most famous has to be their semi-final victory at Wigan Warriors.
Witnessed by their travelling thousands, Salford stunned us all with a complete performance to take them to the Theatre of Dreams for the first ever time in the summer era.
Krisnan Inu starred by slotting over eight goals in what was also a tactical game.
Gil Dudson, Joey Lussick and Lee Mossop scored their tries that helped open up a 28-0 lead.
They also came ever so close to becoming the first club to blank Wigan in a home game for them in Super League but Bevan French had other ideas as he raced over late on to spare some of Wigan’s blushes.
Salford walked away worthy winners and finalists, demonstrating that anything is possible in our great game!
Worst Result: Salford Red Devils 14-46 Leeds Rhinos
One of their dullest moments has to be their 46-14 hiding sustained by Leeds Rhinos back in February.
Salford entered the match unbeaten, with Leeds winless but the Rhinos soon dealt them a cruel reality check.
The Red Devils started brightly with a try through Lussick but Leeds quickly responded with three by Adam Cuthbertson, Jack Walker and Konrad Hurrell.
Josh Jones put them back in the game just after half-time but Walker soon completed his hat-trick, Hurrell added a second and there were further scores from Matt Parcell and Ash Handley, with Tui Lolohea slotting home seven goals.
A surprising result given the form of both teams and to sustain such a hiding at home is not something they would want to remember, even though they came out of it a better team, in the end.
Main Man: Jackson Hastings
The most obvious candidate you could choose is the 2019 official Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner Jackson Hastings.
“We’ve got” did the Salford fans chant all season about the half-back and no wonder as he took the British game by storm.
Having directly assisted in 36 tries, the highest amount of assists by one player, on top of the likes of 117 tackle busts, 143 attacking kicks and amassing 3763 metres from 563 carries was sensational.
And that is what he is all-round, able to pose a threat at all times, even rotate from a half-back to a possible forward, utilising his sheer strength, is what helped Salford catch teams by surprise throughout 2019.
Though on his way to Wigan by the looks of things, Hastings should continue his immense quality and could very well establish himself as an all-time great and international in years to come.
Predicted 11th – Finished 3rd
Everyone associated with the club will have received a sense of satisfaction from their actual finish as most tipped them to struggle.
Coming off 2018 after enduring another run in the Super 8s Qualifiers, Salford were tipped for a similar season considering their recruitment was not all that heavy.
However, ‘if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything’ and the group of players, led by Head Coach Ian Watson, achieved what many thought was impossible.
They climbed above most of their opposition, eliminating both Hull FC and Catalans Dragons initially before dumping out Castleford and Wigan before their date with destiny against League Leaders St Helens.
Though that did not quite work out, they still put up a superb effort out at Old Trafford, forcing the leaders to work all the way for their Grand Final win.
After a stunning season, they will return with a point to prove that they might not be cannon fodder but genuine contenders for silverware!