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Questions swirl as Broncos brush past ’embarrassing’ Salford Red Devils

After last week’s 70 -16 mauling of Featherstone Rovers, Salford Red Devils coach Ian Watson was hoping for a repeat performance against London Broncos.

But it was embarrassment all round as Salford sunk to a new lacklustre low.

The Reds made just one change with Greg Johnson replacing Daniel Vidot on the wing.

Both sides should have scored early in the game but a knock-on ruined Salford’s chance, and shortly after, the Broncos were hauled down just short of the line.

In the 18th minute Broncos stand-off William Barthau intercepted a Michael Dobson pass, streaking 70 yards down the wing to open the scoring despite the chasing Dobson.

Jamie Soward was unable to add the conversion but the visitors were ahead at 0-4.

The Reds should have then scored after a promising Josh Jones break led to Josh Griffin knocking-on with the try line in sight.

In the 35th minute the Reds finally got on the scoreboard after several close calls, when George Griffin forced his way over under the posts despite a three-man tackle.


Gareth O’Brien added the kick to put Salford ahead for the first time at 6-4.

The Reds joy proved to be short-lived though as Broncos scored their second try four minutes later when Jamie Thackray turned the ball inside for Scott Leatherbarrow to touch down.

Soward converted for a 6-10 half-time lead.

As the Reds trooped off they had to suffer the indignity of their own fans booing them off.

The second-half followed the pattern of the first 40 minutes and it came as no surprise when the Broncos extended their lead in the 58th minute.

Soward broke clear before passing to winger Kameron Pearce-Paul who returned the ball for Soward to score.

As his conversion kick went in off the posts a surprise win was on the cards (6-16).

The Broncos then went further ahead when the Reds were penalised for holding down. Soward duly obliged (6-18).

Barthau then landed a drop-goal to nudge the Broncos further ahead at 6-19.

With just 10 minutes remaining the Reds finally burst into life with two tries in four minutes.

Firstly O’Brien sent Josh Griffin in for a try and then Junior S’au put him in for a second effort.

O’Brien converted the first try to put Salford within touching distance at 16-19.

They could have had a third too had Josh Griffin managed to get to an O’Brien short kick.


Broncos coach Ian Henderson was full of praise for his team afterwards as they outplayed the Reds in all quarters.

Ian Watson’s post-match comments though were in stark contrast: “It was embarrassing and unacceptable.

“From minute one we underestimated London.

“I cannot understand it.

“After a really good show against Featherstone last week we warned the players not to underestimate London but that’s what they did.

“It’s a mindset thing and we also showed total disrespect for the ball.

“Our backs are to the wall but when we are backed into a corner like this there should be enough motivation with Super League careers and futures at stake.

“The Million Pound game is still in our hands but we know we are going to be questioned after this.”

Salford Red Devils: O’Brien, Johnson, Jones, S’au, J Griffin, Evalds, Dobson, Burgess, Tomkins, G Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Hauraki, Flanagan.

Subs: Lui, Kopczak, A Walne, Krasniqi.

Attendance: 2,521

All images © SteveMcPix2016/Steve McCormick

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