Rugby League: ruthless display by Man Met sees off Salford in entertaining match
- High entertainment as MMU beat Salford 52-28
- Rampant second-half display from MMU ensures victory
- Important win ahead of next week's trip to Leeds Beckett
A dominant second-half performance ensured a first three points of the season for the MMU men’s rugby league team in a 52-28 victory over Salford.
On a chilly afternoon at Platt Lane, MMU came out of the blocks quickest and took the lead early on when number 12 Marc Lomas crashed over just next to the posts.
Max Spolverato made no mistake in converting the try to give the hosts an early 6-0 lead. A second try followed soon after when tricky number 9 Harry Godfrey, who was a handful for the Salford defence all afternoon, got his name on the scoresheet.
Spolverato unfortunately this time missed the conversion, one of very few mistakes he made with the boot over the course of 80 minutes.
With the score at 10-0, Salford responded with 15 minutes left on the clock until half-time. Against the run of play, their number 12 broke through the MMU barricades out wide to score their first try of the game before number 7 converted.
One of the highlights of the first-half followed when MMU’s captain Conner Maccallum went on a mazy run infield before eventually crossing the try line just to the right of the posts.
With the score at 16-6 and MMU on top, there came a Salford resurgence. Two preventable tries in the space of five minutes brought the scores back level at 16-16 and it was game on with around 10 minutes to go until the half-time whistle.
While MMU managed to sneak in another try and a successfully converted penalty before the break, at 24-16 Salford were back in it and the game was open again.
However, after half-time it was a different story as MMU came out with a new life and delivered a dominant display. Two early second-half tries from the impressive Harry Godfrey took the game away from Salford and another couple of MMU tries after this all but saw them home with the score now at 46-16.
With only a few miles separating the two universities, it is no surprise that the game was at times a feisty occasion and there were sin bins for both Salford’s number 15 and MMU’s Tim Heil as the game passed into its final 10 minutes.
There was still time for a couple more tries in this high-scoring, topsy turvy affair including a last-minute consolation try from Salford’s number 18.
Of course, this was not enough for the side from across the River Irwell and MMU ran out 52-28 winners
Following the game, MMU captain Conner Maccallum shared his thoughts on the team’s performance.
He said: “Overall it was a great performance. We’ve been developing off the last two weeks and it’s still a new set of lads.
“Defensively we were a lot better, attacking we were a lot better and our shape was a lot better. Just overall we looked a much better side.
“When we went 16-0 up we got a bit too complacent. They then brought it back and we realised we were only going to win this by playing simple rugby – defending hard, attacking hard, running hard and doing all the little things right.
“Going into half-time we realised that and in the second-half we just did what we said we were going to do and came out as winners.
“Next week’s probably one of the toughest games of the season in Leeds Beckett away so we’re going to need a good training session on Monday and then we’ve got Edge Hill at home the week after.
“All is looking good. Hopefully we can get two more wins on the bounce.”
MMU travel to Leeds next week to face Leeds Beckett 2nds while Salford make the long trip to Northumbria.