Leeds 34-14 Salford: Rhinos climb into the play-off places

·3-min read
Leeds celebrate against Salford Credit: PA Images
Leeds celebrate against Salford Credit: PA Images

Leeds have jumped into the top six with an impressive 34-14 win over Salford as they registered their fifth victory from their past six games.

The Rhinos have moved from ninth into sixth in the table on 21 points. They are ahead of the Red Devils courtesy of the win at Headingley.

Harry Newman, Richie Myler and Rhyse Martin struck in the first half, before they held off a Salford comeback, as they eye a place in the play-offs.

Martin finished with a personal haul of 22 points. The Papua New Guinea international bagged two tries and kicked a perfect seven from seven attempts with the tee.

Leeds have embarked on a turnaround since the arrival of coach Rohan Smith in May, winning their last three games.

Newman puts Rhinos ahead after 49 seconds

They made an electric start in their first set of the game when Newman scored after just 49 seconds, as David Fusitu’a found space down the left wing, passing inside to Myler who then put Newman away for the try.

Martin nailed the conversion to give the Rhinos an early 6-0 lead.

Five minutes later Leeds were in again, this time Myler outleaping Dan Sarginson from Aidan Sezer’s looming kick to touch down, before Martin added the extras.

Cruising at 12-0 ahead, they added a third in the 15th minute when Martin crashed through some weak defence and then converted his own try.

The Red Devils were being dominated in every aspect and struggled to maintain possession or build any pressure of their own.

But in the 19th minute they hit back with a try from Joe Burgess, after a kick had caused havoc in Leeds’ defence and Tim Lafai offloaded for Burgess to dive over out wide.

Marc Sneyd hooked his conversion attempt, leaving the home side 18-4 in front.

Salford should have had another try soon after, but Deon Cross dropped Sneyd’s kick with the try line begging.

With 12 minutes left in the half the visitors scored again after a series of offloads smartly opened up space for Ken Sio to cross in the corner and the fightback was on.

Sneyd’s conversion again skewed wide, leaving Leeds 18-8 ahead at half-time.

HT: Leeds Rhinos 18-8 Salford Red Devils

Harry Newman Leeds Rhinos Credit: PA Images
Harry Newman in action for Leeds

In the second half the Red Devils continued their comeback when Brodie Croft dummied his way over to score and Sneyd added the extras, cutting it back to 18-14.

The game was opening up and the Rhinos appeared fragile as the visitors pushed for a try to level the score.

On 56 minutes Leeds took advantage of a penalty from right in front of the posts to inch two points further ahead, thanks to Martin.

With 15 minutes left Ash Handley intercepted Ryan Brierley’s pass and ran 95 metres to cross in the corner. Martin landed another perfect kick to take the score to 28-14.

In the 71st minute Sitaleki Akauola was sent to the sin bin. Martin added another penalty goal before the forward crashed over again late on to seal the Rhinos’ win.

FT: Leeds Rhinos 34-14 Salford Red Devils

Leeds: Hardaker; Fusitu’a, Newman, Sutcliffe, Handley; Sezer, Myler; Thompson, O’Connor, Oledzki, Bentley, Martin, Smith. Subs: Gannon, Tetevano, Walters, Dwyer.

Tries: Newman, Myler, Martin (2), Handley Goals: Martin 7

Salford: Sarginson; Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess; Croft, Sneyd; Ormondroyd, Ackers, Akauola, Taylor, Watkins, Gerrard. Subs: Brierley, Wright, Atkin, Luckley.

Tries: Burgess, Sio, Croft Goals: Sneyd 1

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