Harrison's in-form Reds determined to halt Hull's record unbeaten run

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The Independent Online

Salford were in a confident mood in the run-up to today's match at the Willows. Hull are flying high on the back of a club-record 11 successive wins but the Reds edged out Bradford 17-16 to move up to fifth place last week.

Referring to recent close defeats to Leeds and Harlequins, Salford's coach, Karl Harrison, said: "They were hard to come to terms with but at least we got that monkey off our backs when we beat Bradford by a point.

"That was a significant result for us because we proved we can take the pressure and come through it. It was a breakthrough and I am sure it will have done us a power of good mentally."

Harrison's men face a difficult challenge from Hull, who have emerged as genuine title contenders under Peter Sharp.

"Obviously, we respect sides but we know we have the ability to beat anyone and that applies to Hull," Harrison said. "We respect them, they are a quality side and they are in outstanding form right now.

"But we don't fear anyone. We know that if we play to our potential then we are in with a chance of halting their run."

Harrison is handicapped by the loss of his key scrum-half Andrew Dunemann and second-rower Simon Finnigan, who both face lengthy injury lay-offs. The utility back John Wilshere is ready to return but the new signing, David Gower, will be given another week before being pushed into first-team action.

In today's other game Harlequins play Castleford in a contest which could have implications for the play-off picture and the relegation battle.

The Tigers' victory over Warrington last week lifted them above Quins into seventh. They are not out of danger yet but at just three points behind the Wolves a play-off push is not out of the question.

Quins suffered a 26-24 defeat to the bottom club, Wigan, at the Twickenham Stoop and are anxious not to be sucked into relegation trouble.

Their captain, Rob Purdham, said: "We have had some bad results lately, but if we string a few wins together then we definitely have a shot at the play-offs."

Jon Wells, Solomon Haumono, Karl Temata and Danny Williams are out of action this week.

Castleford are missing the Australian half-back Ryan McGoldrick through suspension, following his sending-off for fighting against Warrington.

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