Castleford staged a remarkable comeback from 26-8 down, scoring four tries in the last 15 minutes to breathe new life into their battle against relegation. Willie Manu finished off an unlikely success by bursting over on the right with three minutes to go.
The early-season optimism generated by three victories in their first five games since regaining their place in the élite has been in danger of disappearing at the Jungle. But this victory, their first in seven games, sends them into next Friday's trip to the bottom club, Wigan, in good heart.
"The display was a massive improvement on recent weeks," said the Castleford coach, Terry Matterson. "The players turned it around. We changed a few things, we got the momentum and Salford couldn't stop us. I'd like to think this is a big turning point. Manu doesn't get too many one-on-one chances as he is heavily marked but his try was really special."
Castleford twice held the lead in a fast-flowing first half, first when Ben Roarty drove over from close range and then when their 38-year-old assistant coach Brad Davis, again pressed into service as a player, sliced over on the left.
But Salford replied through Simon Finnigan, who finished off a startling Luke Robinson break, and Aaron Moule, who cut through some slack tackling. Then John Wilshere fought his way over by the flag despite home claims he had been tackled into touch.
Wilshere's contentious try gave the Reds a 16-8 interval lead they scarcely deserved on the balance of play. After the break they moved further ahead through a superb 80-metre David Hodgson try and with Ryan McGoldrick in the sin bin for dissent, Junior Langi capitalised on a Deon Bird fumble from a Robinson kick to extend their advantage.
But Richard Fa'aoso drove over to spark the comeback, the home captain Danny Nutley blasted through for another try and Gray Viane then fought his way over on the left to set up the position for Manu's late winner.
"We looked a tired team and played flat," Karl Harrison, the Salford coach, admitted afterwards. "But full credit to them - they played for the full 80 minutes and we didn't."
Castleford: Platt; Dyer, McGoldrick, Shenton, Pryce; Lupton, Davis; Fa'aoso, Henderson, Nutley, Roarty, Manu, Bird. Substitutes used: Ward, Huby, Viane, Blanch.
Salford: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Langi, Moule, Wilshere; Dunemann, Robinson; Coley, Alker, Baldwin, Littler, Brocklehurst, Finnigan. Substitutes used: Charles, Clayton, Haggerty, Myler.
Referee: P Bentham (Warrington).Reuse content