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Huddersfield Giants 0-28 Salford Red Devils: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

The Red Devolution is happening again. Much like in 2019 when they went all the way to the Grand Final, Salford are riding the crest of a wave and dominated a Huddersfield side who have been terrific all year especially at home but it wasn’t to be for the Giants.

But the impossible dream at Salford is very much alive. Can they go all the way?


Salford’s style yields early points
Though Huddersfield were getting through their processes well at the start of the game, the creativity of the Salford attack was beginning to create openings. After a warning shot down the left with Joe Burgess, the Red Devils opened the Giants up down the middle with a break from Andy Ackers. A tackle later, Salford were being awarded a penalty which Marc Sneyd gladly turned into two points.

Sensational Salford scrum score
After probing for some time, Salford got the first try of the game through a lovely blind side scrum move with Marc Sneyd and Tim Lafai producing the quick hands to put Joe Burgess in at the corner.

Back to back scores thanks to Brodie Croft
It wasn’t long until Salford were in again as Brodie Croft produced a signature dummy and break to carve open the Giants and tee up Kallum Watkins for a break away try – a quintessential Salford side.

Huddersfield wake up
After a slow start, we finally saw what makes Huddersfield so dangerous as a set play opened up space for Chris McQueen whose offload set Tui Lolohea away. He chipped over the top of Ryan Brierley who stopped him with his shoulder yielding a penalty and sparking a moment of farceur. Brierley was subsequently shown a yellow card but Salford defended valiantly in his absence to maintain the lead.

Earlier this season we saw Marc Sneyd nail the very rare 20/40 at the John Smith’s Stadium though it was almost pointless in a resounding defeat. Today he produced one again at a key point in the game though it didn’t lead to points as it alleviated the pressure on Salford at this point after a frantic few minutes which saw both sides squander chances.

Ikahihifo injects life into the game
After a disappointing first half, Huddersfield needed something to spark them and it came from Seb Ikahihifo who wasted no time in going on a terrific rampage up the field bouncing off fullback Ryan Brierley. Though it didn’t yield points it was an important start to the second half.

Salford strike killer blow
After Huddersfield’s fast start, Salford hung in there and eventually the field position came thanks to a couple of penalties. On the back of this, Marc Sneyd’s well weighted grubber kick was grounded by Ryan Brierley under the sticks.

Salford’s stunning finish
A deserved win for Salford was wrapped up by a deserved try for Andy Ackers who broke after a quick ruck before selling a dummy to Tui Lolohea prior to speeding his way to Salford’s fourth try.

Talking Points:

Salford’s fast start unsettles Huddersfield
Huddersfield must have been expecting to have to hold back a Salford tsunami after all it was a fast start that devastated the Giants at the AJ Bell Stadium recently. However, they were still unable to stop them even though they were certainly expecting a lightning quick start from the Red Devils who routinely stretched the Giants only to then carve them open down the middle of the field routinely.

Salford a delight to watch
It is this that makes them a delight to watch every time they play at the moment. They play with the right balance of directness and width whilst playing every tackle for what’s worse. It was this philosophy which enabled them to speed up the game and break free of the usual systematic stranglehold Huddersfield achieve in games especially at home.

Watkins for England
Based on his form, Kallum Watkins simply has to be included in Shaun Wane’s England squad but the remarkable question is where does he play for England. Traditionally a centre, he has excelled at second-row this year. So, should Wane look to play him at centre or in the back-row come the World Cup?

Giants out of steam
It’s been a terrific season for Huddersfield and today’s defeat shouldn’t distract from that although it was a sour note for their season to end on. A third place finish and a Challenge Cup Final appearance is nothing to be disappointed with especially considering where they were a year ago. In the end, they look like they’ve simply ran out of steam which isn’t surprising given they’ve played every game possible up until this point on 2022. For them, it’s about dusting themselves off and preparing to build on this season in 2023.

Brodie Croft concern
Brodie Croft is a Man of Steel nominee and rightly so. He’s been outstanding in 2022 and is one of the best attacking weapons because of his running game which we saw lead to Salford’s second try today. However, he went off and failed HIA meaning we won’t see him take on St Helens next week in what is a massive blow not just for the Red Devils but also for the spectacle we are set to see at the Totally Wicked Stadium next week.

Terrific Salford defence
Though Salford lost one of their most important attacking weapons tonight, they should not fear St Helens especially based on their defence today. It gets overlooked because of the vibrancy of Salford’s attack, but their defence was superb today even withstanding three consecutive sets on their own line late in the game after the contest had already effectively been won.

Player Ratings:

Huddersfield Giants
6 Tui Lolohea – 5
21 Leroy Cudjoe – 5
37 Toby King – 5
4 Ricky Leutele – 5
25 Innes Senior – 6
23 Olly Russell – 5
7 Theo Fages – 5
17 Owen Trout – 5
9 Danny Levi – 5
8 Chris Hill – 5
11 Josh Jones – 5
12 Chris McQueen – 6
13 Luke Yates – 5
1 Will Pryce – 5
14 Matty English – 5
15 Joe Greenwood – 5
18 Sebastine Ikahihifo – 6

Salford Red Devils
1 Ryan Brierley – 8
2 Ken Sio – 7
28 Deon Cross – 7
4 Tim Lafai – 7
5 Joe Burgess – 8
6 Brodie Croft – 7
7 Marc Sneyd – 8
32 Tyler Dupree – 7
9 Andy Ackers – 9
11 Shane Wright – 7
13 Elijah Taylor – 7
3 Kallum Watkins – 8
29 Alex Gerrard – 8
15 King Vuniyayawa –  7
18 Chris Atkin – 7
19 Jack Ormondroyd – 7
26 Sam Luckley – 7

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