Brodie Croft scores in first Salford appearance against Swinton – three talking points

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Brodie Croft opened his Salford career with a try on his first appearance as his side defeated Swinton 48-12 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Salford ran in nine tries as the Super League side opened up their pre-season campaign with a win at home against neighbours Swinton.

Despite the score, the Lions put in an impressive performance, with tries from Mike Butt and Will Hope in a tough test for the League 1 side.

Match report

Brodie Croft made his first start for the Red Devils, partnering with the returning Marc Sneyd in the halves. There were also first starts for Deon Cross, Sita Akauola, King Vuniyayawa and Shane Wright for the hosts. Alex Gerrard, who joined the club earlier this week, was named on the bench.

Swinton also named several new faces in their 22-man squad that featured. Dan Abram started at full-back for the Lions, while Lewis Else was named in the halves. Lewis Charnock also featured from the bench at hooker.

It was the League 1 side who started the strongest. The visitors almost opened the scoring through Lewis Hatton, before forcing the first goal-line drop-out of the game.

Croft opens scoring on home soil

However, it was Salford’s star-man Croft who opened the scoring on the 11th minute. The former NRL half-back supported a break out-wide from Cross to go over and give his side the lead. Sneyd kicked his first goal on his return to make it 6-0.

It took just three minutes for Salford to extend their advantage. Ryan Brierley this time supporting Cross to make it a dream first appearance for the full-back.

The man who assisted the first two tries then went over for his own. Cross made it 14-0 with 16 minutes on the clock.

Last year’s Super League’s top try-scorer crossed for his first of the year on 28 minutes, powering his way through three defenders to score in the corner and make it 20-0.

Andy Ackers crossed with a slick show-and-go for a 26-0 lead at the break.

Swinton scored their first points in the second half, with winger Butt first to pounce on a loose ball and score the club’s first points of 2022. Half-back Jack Hansen converting from out-wide for a 26-6 score.

Salford scored further points in the second half through Matty Costello, Shane Wright, Ackers and Rhys Williams. Ireland international Hope crossed once more for the Lions.

Full time: Salford 48-12 Swinton

Favourites: Swinton to relish ‘promotion favourites’ tag, says coach

Team news

Salford: Brierley; Williams, Cross, Costello, Sio; Croft, Sneyd; Vuniyayawa, Ackers, Akauola, Wright, Taylor, Luckley.

Subs: Escare, Atkin, Stevens, Burke, Johnson, Gerrard.

Tries: Croft, Brierley, Cross, Sio, Ackers (2), Costello, Wright, Williams

Goals: Sneyd 3/5, Atkin 3/4

Swinton: Abram; Butt, Roberts, Lloyd, Lepori; Else, Hansen; Hope, Waterworth, Hatton, Gregson, Cox, Meadows.

Subs: Jones, Spencer, Charnock, Brown, Case, Hayes, Brogan, Brickhill, Kenga.

Tries: Butt, Hope

Goals: Hansen 2/2

Three talking points

Brodie Croft marks first appearance with try

Croft featured for 70 minutes on his first appearance for Salford, marking it with a try. His partnership with Sneyd will be one to watch in 2022, with both halves creating plenty of opportunities in their first hit-out together. Croft is 25/1 to win the Steve Prescott Man of Steel this season.

Deon Cross impresses

Making his first appearance for the club, Cross assisted the opening two tries of the game before crossing himself in the first half. In his pre-match press conference, head coach Paul Rowley said he had been impressed by the former Widnes utility-back. With Dan Sarginson, Tim Lafai, Kallum Watkins and Joe Burgess still absent, Cross could get his chance in round one.

Swinton ones to watch

Allan Coleman’s side are joint-favourites to win the League 1 competition in 2022. Despite the scoreline, the Lions dominated territory in the first half, conceding through long-range breaks. With several internationals in their squad, including skipper Rhodri Lloyd (Wales), they are definitely ones to watch.

Elsewhere

Elsewhere, Huddersfield opened their pre-season campaign with a 42-12 victory over Dewsbury. The match also doubled up as Michael Knowles’ testimonial.

Jack Ashworth scored a hat-trick for the Giants. Jermaine McGillvary (2), Ricky Leutele, Joe Greenwood and Oliver Russell also scoring.

READ MORE: Paul Rowley on who has impressed during pre-season

The article Brodie Croft scores in first Salford appearance against Swinton – three talking points appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.

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