London Broncos

Paul Rowley was happy with the outcome after late tries gave his Red Devils side a 34-4 win in a “nervy” battle against London Broncos.

Sam Stone’s try was the only one to count in a scrappy first half that saw three scores disallowed – two of them from the Broncos – but Salford managed to break the game open with quick tries from Deon Cross and Nene MacDonald early in the second half.

London heads dropped as Tim Lafai scored twice – either side of Shane Wright’s try – before Hakim Miloudi got a late reply for London.

The win sees Salford move back into the top six while almost eradicating their negative points difference, now down to minus six.

“The score-line is healthy, good enough for us,” Rowley said. “It was nervy, stop-start, a long-winded affair. It wasn’t champagne stuff by any means, however the score-line is a healthy one on our part.

“It takes us to just past halfway in the season and we’d have taken it with two hands at the start of the season.”

Rowley would have been less satisfied at half-time, however, and admitted his side were not up to scratch.

“We knew we would have to build our game on hard work, not being out-worked by London,” he said. “I thought we were slightly off in the first half in that respect.”

Rowley played down an incident involving Miloudi and Matty Foster at the start of the second half, with Miloudi appearing to claim the Salford second row had used insulting language – something referee Liam Rush said he would put on report having not heard it himself.

Foster later came off injured and Rowley said it “didn’t look good”.

It proved a busy afternoon for video referee James Vella, with both sides having tries disallowed for offside before Marcus Stock’s score for London was ruled out for a double motion.

Rowley felt MacDonald’s 15th-minute score for Salford should have stood, while opposite number Mike Eccles said both offside decisions were “fine”, while taking issue with the decision to deny Stock.

“Why are we finding ways to not give tries?” he said. “We want to see tries. I don’t get it.”

Eccles could be happy with the way his players defended in the first half but was disappointed with Salford’s third try, when Lafai burst forward all too easily before handing it to MacDonald to finish the job.

Coming only three minutes after Cross had scored the second, it effectively ended the game as a contest.

“I’m not bothered about the scores at the end, I’m bothered about their third try,” Eccles said. “It was really poor. Then we were chasing the game, it was a much closer game than the score-line suggested.”

(Text credit: Ian Parker, PA)

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