Huddersfield Giants 24 Salford Red Devils 26: Salford issue apology after fan clashes mar a fine win over ailing Huddersfield

The Rugby Football League and Salford owner Marwan Koukash have promised to identify and punish anyone found to have acted improperly after trouble broke out on the terraces at Huddersfield.

Trouble breaks out in the Salford end at the end of the match.

Shortly after Salford had beaten the Giants 26-24, photographs emerged on social media of some of Salford’s players becoming embroiled in ugly scenes with some of their own supporters.

Pictures on Twitter showed winger Justin Carney and centre Junior S’au involved in heated exchanges, with one particular photo showing New Zealander S’au appearing to restrain a fan on the ground.

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It is understood the two players in particular were concerned for the welfare of their families who were sitting close to where an alleged incident of trouble had taken place, and as such went into the stands to check on them, leading to further scenes of confrontation.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “We will conduct a full investigation into the events that took place in the away section of the crowd at the game between Huddersfield and Salford.

“We do not condone violence of any kind and will ensure that anyone found to have acted improperly is dealt with accordingly.”

Koukash said he had started an official investigation and promised to deal with “the thugs responsible”.

He said in a statement: “I want to apologise to the Huddersfield Giants and to all the decent fans at the game today.

“We will work closely with the Giants and the RFL in our investigation and this minority of thugs responsible will be identified and dealt with by the club in the coming days. There is no place in Rugby League for them.”

The Giants, who also lost at Wakefield three days beforehand, remain rooted to the foot of the table but their boss Paul Anderson refused to be too downhearted after a game where they savoured the majority of the possession, especially in the first half.

“We were way better than we were Friday but our defence is costing us,” said Anderson.

“We have to stop missing one-on-one tackles and cut the individual errors out.

“The offence is not quite firing but we still scored 24 points which is enough to win games.

“I feel under pressure because I put it on myself and I’m not comfortable losing games – it’s not something I’m used to.

“If we can cut out the mistakes and put in the same effort and take some of the opportunities we are creating we will get there.”

High-profile new signing Ryan Brierley, making his home debut, switched from his accustomed half-back position to fullback and Anderson added: “He’s played two positions for us already and acquitted himself well in both.”

The Giants applied tremendous early pressure and were rewarded with tries from Ukuma Ta’ai and Jake Connor to lead 12-10 at the break.

Former Huddersfield prop Craig Kopczak and Gareth O’Brien replied for Salford and further tries in the second half, from Josh Griffin, another ex-Giant, Carney and Niall Evalds, plus three goals from Michael Dobson, proved enough to win it.

Jermaine McGillvary’s fifth try in five games and sixth of the season and a second touchdown from the strong running Kiwi Ta’ai, plus four conversions from the notable boot of Danny Brough had the Giants leading 24-18 with 12 minutes to play but it was not enough. Salford’s one worry was a knee injury which brought a premature end to Mason Caton-Brown’s first game of the season.

Huddersfield: Brierley, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Connor, Murphy, Brough, K. Wood, Crabtree, Hinchcliffe, Huby, Patrick, Lawrence, Ta’ai. Subs: Rapira, Johnson, Leeming, Roberts.

Salford: O’Brien, Carney, Sau, J. Griffin, Caton-Brown, Wood, Dobson, Kopczak, Tomkins, G. Griffin, Murdoch, Jones, Flanagan. Subs: Evalds, J. Walne, Forster, Sarsfield.

Referee: Joe Cobb (RFL).