Reds rediscover commitment only to be denied by Sykes

Wakefield 23 Salford 23

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A last-minute drop-goal from Paul Sykes denied Salford victory at Wakefield, but their interim coach, Alan Hunte, still emerged feeling like a winner.

The City Reds were within touching distance of an upset to mark Hunte's first match in temporary charge when their rearguard action finally allowed the Wildcats within range.

The single point was still enough to lift Salford from the foot of the table and to please their new owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, who, a week after the debacle against the London Broncos that cost Phil Veivers his job, declared himself "proud of their effort". Hunte pointed to "attitude, professionalism and commitment – things that have been lacking".

Draws are the fashion in Super League this season. This might not have been quite the highest-quality example, but it was as exciting as any. Salford went behind to a second- minute try by Peter Fox (pictured), but took the lead through Jodie Broughton. They led 18-14 at half-time with further tries from Theo Fages and Lee Jewitt, against Wakefield efforts from Dean Collis and Frankie Mariano.

When Jack Murphy went half the length of the field at the start of the second half, it seemed the Reds might be getting into a winning position.

But they put themselves under too much pressure, not least when Marc Sneyd kicked out on the full three times in a row. Danny Washbrook and Ben Cockayne hit back for the Wildcats, only for Sneyd to edge Salford back in front with a drop goal that went some way to making up for earlier errors.

It was not quite enough to snare the two points, but it could be a positive sign for the future.

Scorers: Wakefield: Tries: Fox, Collis, Mariano, Washbrook, Cockayne; Goals: Sykes; Drop-goal: Sykes.. Salford: Tries: Broughton, Jewitt, Fages, Murphy. Goals: Sneyd 3; Drop Goals: Sneyd

Wakefield: Mathers; Fox, Collis, L Smith, Cockayne; Sykes, T Smith; Poore, Aiton, Trout, Lauitiiti, Mariano, Washbrook.. Replacements: Wood, Wilkes, Mellars, Annakin..

Salford: Sneyd; Murphy, Gleeson, Gibson, Broughton; Fages, Foran; Griffin, Godwin, McPherson, Ashurst, Dixon, Mauro. Replacements: Owen, James, Jewitt, Boyle.

Referee: Thierry Alibert