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Leeds Rhinos 22-16 Salford Red Devils: Player Ratings

Leeds Rhinos

After very contrasting off-seasons, Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils collided at AMT Headingley to begin their Super League seasons.

The two were indelibly linked in their off-seasons by the departures of Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers from Salford to Leeds for a combined fee of £300,000. Meanwhile, Salford Red Devils snapped up former Leeds star Nene MacDonald after his controversial exit from Leeds Rhinos.

However, that was a rare bright spark in a difficult off-season for Salford as they also lost Joe Burgess and Ken Sio.

But would those differing off-seasons equate to differing performances in the season opener? The truth was no. Salford battled valiantly and were the better side in the first 40 but Leeds won the game via Sam Lisone.

Leeds Rhinos Player Ratings

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com – 09/01/2024 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League 2024 Promo Shoot – The Stage Studio, Leeds University, Leeds – Leeds Rhinos, Andy Ackers

1. Lachie Miller – 7: Was lively in the first half but Salford did a good job of shutting him down. In the second half had more joy. His half break from a kick was a highlight.

24. Luis Roberts – 6: More naturally a centre, was targeted by Marc Sneyd’s kicks and a few paid off. Kept going in the second half.

3. Harry Newman – 6: Like Miller looked on the cusp of threatening but was stifled in the first 40. Also, like Miller, he had more luck in the second half.

4. Paul Momirovski – 6: In the first 40 he had very little opportunity to endear himself to the Rhinos faithful. In the second he was more busy and was controversially sin binned,

5. Ash Handley – 8: One uncharacteristic error in the first half was balanced out by a length of the field try which will be one of the best scored this season. He would score a second to complete a birthday win.

6. Brodie Croft – 6: Clearly a focus of a Salford defence who knew what to expect more than most. Still managed to have some nice touches.

7. Matt Frawley – 6: Like Croft, he tested the Salford defence with the ball but was matched every time he ran. Managed the game subtly to the win.

25. James Donaldson – 6: Worked hard but in his first stint was only afforded a small chance of making an impact. Did his job.

9. Andy Ackers – 7: Looked to organise well but was denied any real platform to make a big impact in the first 40. In the second half, he had more openings.

8. Mikolaj Oledzki – 7: He had a lot riding on him as the only fit prop in the starting 13. Had some good runs and some not so good ones. He picked up a head injury in the first 40 but returned to continue to lead the pack.

18. Mickael Goudemand – 6: Struggled to make an impact at second-row in the first half but looked much more threatening in the second half.

12. Rhyse Martin – 7: Had a few testing carries in the first half and in the second half continued to impress. His kick created Handley’s second.

13. Cameron Smith – 7: As you would expect, he was really busy in defence and attack. A lovely assist for the winning try.

15. Sam Lisone – 8: Had plenty of great carries and the best resulted in a try.

17. Justin Sangare – 6: Was solid and made good yards.

Salford Red Devils Player Ratings

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com – 20/05/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Challenge Cup Round 6 – Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors – Headingley Stadium, Leeds, England – Nene MacDonald dejected after his side’s loss.

1. Ryan Brierley – 6: Was sin binned early for a high tackle on Croft. the Red Devils weren’t punished on the score sheet.

23. Chris Hankinson – 6: Did his job dealing with Leeds’ kicks and was certainly busy,

3. Nene MacDonald – 7: In a hostile environment, he tested Leeds with some great runs. He did make one error to huge cheers.

4. Tim Lafai – 6: Somewhat overshadowed by MacDonald in the first 40.

5. Deon Cross – 7: Was crucial in putting pressure on young Roberts.

6. Cade Cust – 6: Took his try well on debut and was a busy halfback.

7. Marc Sneyd – 8: His kicking game was the difference between the two teams at halftime as he turned his opponents around.

8. Brad Singleton – 6: Did a good job at matching Leeds’ pack.

9. Amir Bouroh – 6: A real danger out of dummyhalf in the first 40. Was sin binned in the second half.

17. Jack Ormondroyd – 6: On his 200th appearance was also solid down the middle.

11. Sam Stone – 6: Did his job as he managed Croft well.

12. Kallum Watkins – 7: As you would expect, he worked hard and was a threat.

13. Oli Partington – 7: Like his opposite number he worked hard but he also notched a try.

Interchanges

14. Chris Atkin – 7: Was very active throughout the game. Took a heavy hit which led to a sin bin.

16. Joe Shorrocks – 6: Kept things going in the engine room when he came on.

15. Shane Wright – 6: As above.

18. Ben Hellewell – 6: Also as above. Salford had a good game plan and worked hard but the win still alluded them.

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