Salford 28 Hull FC 18: Brierley pounces late to deny depleted Hull

Hull FC's Will Smith celebrates scoring a try. Picture: John Clifton/SWpix.comHull FC's Will Smith celebrates scoring a try. Picture: John Clifton/
Hull FC's Will Smith celebrates scoring a try. Picture: John Clifton/
Salford Red Devils gave their play-off hopes a huge boost as they recovered from a half-time deficit to beat injury-hit Hull FC 28-18 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Kallum Watkins, Rhys Williams, Ken Sio, Ryan Brierley and Deon Cross all scored for Paul Rowley’s men while Marc Sneyd kicked four goals against his former club.

Despite missing several players through a combination of injuries and suspensions, Hull FC proved stubborn opponents as they posted tries through Will Smith, Brad Fash and Jake Connor while Luke Gale added three goals.

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Salford looked to be comfortably on course for the win when they led 22-12 as the game entered the final 10 minutes. But Connor’s try, converted by Gale, made it a tense finish until Brierley crossed two minutes from the end.

Salford went in front in the 12th minute when Brodie Croft and Brierley combined to send Watkins striding through for a try which Sneyd converted.

The scores were soon level as Hull FC replied as stand-off Smith showed great footwork to score from 10 metres. Gale added the conversion to make it 6-6.

Williams scored in the corner to give Salford a 10-6 lead, but Fash’s try and Sneyd penalty saw Hull lead 12-10 at the break.

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Only six minutes had been played in the second half when Salford scored their third try of the night to regain the lead. Sio slid in at the corner after a planned move from the scrum which saw Brierley scoot away and find the prolific Australian winger with a well-timed pass.

Salford exploited Hull FC’s left edge again with their fourth try of the night as Cross evaded several would-be tacklers on a mazy 20-metre run, Sneyd converting to make it 22-12.

Smith’s pass sent Connor over from close range, and Gale’s conversion worried the Salford fans. But with time almost up, Brierley hit a short ball at pace and slid over for a try which Sneyd again converted.

Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Williams, Croft, Sneyd, Dupree, Ackers, Ormondroyd, Taylor, Watkins, Gerrard. Substitutes: Atkin, Lannon, Luckley, Wright.

Hull: Connor, Litten, Wynne, Longstaff, Vulikijapani, Smith, Gale, Evans, Johnstone, Taylor, Lane, Fash, Sao. Substitutes: Balmforth, McNamara, Satae, Gardiner.

Referee: Tom Grant (RFL).

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