After two wins in their opening two games, Salford have come back down to earth with back-to-back comprehensive defeats first to Hull FC and today to Huddersfield.
For Head Coach Paul Rowley, despite the score line, he believed there were positives in his side’s performance.
So positive feedback for his squad, but he didn’t seem so positive about the ‘six again’ rule which he described as a “grey area.”
Ultimately, it was that rule which saw Ryan Lannon sin binned just before halftime. In his absence, Huddersfield crossed for a game killing try at the start of the second half through Innes Senior.
Speaking after the game, Rowley shared his thoughts on the yellow and the set restart rule itself: “The feedback to Ryan then with 30 seconds left on the clock was that we’d had too many set restarts given against us and we’d had four. So I don’t know, it must be a secret rule.
“Quite bizarre really. We got one set restart that came in the 77th minute.
“I thought we were done pretty harshly there and on the restarts, the one in first set of six set the tone really and the ones we didn’t get.
“It’s such a grey area, I don’t want to go on it because Tony Smith did this week and I don’t want to reflect from the fact we were beaten by a good team.”
True to his word, he did have plenty of praise for Huddersfield who ran out 34-2 winners and now have three wins from their opening four fixtures.
“Huddersfield are in a good place,” Rowley said, “They complete really high. They’re up there for completions and field position at first or second in Super League so they’re in a good spot in their journey. So, it was a different sort of game and one we were looking forward to.”
That said, he did have praise for his side’s guts as they battled hard when behind the eight-ball: “The start we got a set restart against us at the end of the set, a repeat and a penalty and it took us a long time to get back from there. The stats were absolutely ridiculously in Huddersfield’s favour. We pretty much drowned for the entire game.
“I almost want to compliment our resistance and scrambling effort. As much as the score line suggests we got well beaten which we did, it still doesn’t reflect the effort that the boys put in.
“For the first eight minutes we defended our line and that causes so much fatigue. I thought a massive compliment to our guys was when they went for two, I couldn’t believe they went for two to be honest.
“I don’t usually say there’s a lot of positives in defeat but I think there is today, we understand where we are at in our journey. We’ve definitely got toughness and character.”
Next week Salford will look to get back on the horse against Hull KR. The Red Devils may have one player back in the side after he surprisingly missed out today.
Tim Lafai is the player in question of course with his absence meaning Deon Cross and Matt Costello featured at centre.
On Lafai, Rowley gave an update: “He pulled out during the week, he’ll possibly be back for Hull KR.”