Salford, a sorry sight at the foot of Super League so far this season, pulled off a surprise 26-16 victory yesterday at Widnes, who have struggled to put their home form together since their elevation to the élite.
Any kind of form has been a problem for Salford, but they raced into a 22-0 lead before the interval and at last they could bring an end to their dismal run of 10 defeats in a row.
But Salford's new coach, Karl Harrison, thought it was merely the kind of result his club should be looking for. "I've been at the club for a month and have set some targets but this win was down to plenty of work," he said. "We are not expected to beat the Bradfords and Wigans but should be competing against teams like Widnes."
Two tries in the first five minutes from Graham Holroyd set Salford on their way, the stand-off brushing off Craig Weston for the first touchdown and pouncing after Chris Percival fumbled Bobbie Goulding's kick. Goulding converted the first and at 12-0 down Widnes were already struggling when Danny Arnold intercepted Barry Eaton's pass to race 80 yards for a third try. Goulding added the conversion and then landed two penalties. The half-time lead might have been more than 22 points had Holroyd sent not Stuart Littler over with a forward pass.
Littler completed a few minutes to forget when he was sent to the sin-bin for interference just before the break and Widnes took advantage early in the second half for Dan Potter to break clear and send Steve Carter over with Barry Eaton landing the conversion.
Widnes then lost their stand-off Craig Weston with a neck injury, but they cut the gap to 22-12 when Adam Hughes broke through Francis Maloney's tackle with Eaton tagging on the goal.
But Salford sealed victory when Alan Hunt went over three minutes from time.
Widnes had their full-back Stuart Spruce sent off for stamping before Hughes scored his second try in injury time. Eaton missed the conversion.
Salford are now level on points at the bottom with Warrington and Wakefield, their opponents next week.
On the weekend when Salford perhaps started off on the long road back to competitiveness one of their squad decided to call it a day. Michael Hancock, the 32-year-old former Australia winger, is returning home after suffering a badly dislocated shoulder at Castleford Tigers this month. He now faces shoulder reconstruction.
Huddersfield's head coach, Tony Smith, has signed a new one-year contract. Smith had been linked with several clubs including the Australian side West Tigers.
His side celebrated yesterday by continuing their dominance of the Northern Ford Premiership with a 50-10 win over the bottom side, Gateshead, running in 10 tries. Second-placed Rochdale came a cropper in soggy conditions at Barrow, losing 15-8.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies