‘Still the same’: Salford City Reds interim coach Alan Hunte’s future still uncertain after Bradford Bulls loss

By Mark Shales

Salford City Reds interim boss Alan Hunte insists he is under no illusions about his future, following his side’s Easter Monday defeat at Bradford Bulls.

Tries for Lee Gaskell, Jack Murphy Chris Nero and Andrew Dixon saw the Reds fight back to within six points, but six scores including a Jarrod Sammut double ensured a loss for the Reds.

Although still in the running for the full-time job, Hunte admitted he was taking nothing for granted.

“My position’s still the same as it has been for the last few weeks,” he said. “I’ll keep doing the job until a decision is made.

“Marwan’s got to make a decision on what he wants and very capable of making what he thinks is the right decision and I’ll support it in the best way I can – whether as a coach, an assistant coach or as a head of youth.

“I’m under no illusions of what this job is about and what the sport’s about and nothing’s sure and nothing’s safe.”

Second-rower John Bateman opened the scoring after eight minutes for Bradford, pouncing onto a probing Sammutt kick before Foster kicked the extras.

Saints loanee Gaskell scored his second try in as many games for Salford on 16 minutes – capitalising on a Brett Kearney mistake to go over for a simple score – Mark Syned converting to draw the Reds level.

Sammut restored the Bull’s lead five minutes later – the scrumhalf finishing off a move that saw Foster tearing down the wing, before the ex-St Helens man kicked his second.

Adrian Purtell went over in the right-hand corner four minutes before the break before Kearney made the most of a bulldozing break by ex-Red Adam Sidlow moments later – Foster maintaining his 100 per cent afternoon.

The Reds came out firing on all cylinders after the break with Jack Murphy and ex-Bull Chris Nero both touching down within 11 second-half minutes – Sneyd making it three from three.

A try for Jamie Langley, and a kick for Sammutt took the Bulls to 30 before Andrew Dixon – another ex-St Helens man – grabbed one back for Salford.

Sneyd maintained his kicking form to draw Salford within one converted try of Bradford but a 71st minute penalty from Sammut, plus a late try by the Bulls half-back finally clinched the points for his side.

Hunte added: “I think in general we handled Sammut him quite well. He’s been dangerous all season and we looked at him on the video beforehand – he’s a good player.

“Their kicking game turned us around today, because in that first half we expelled so much energy, just getting out of our 20.

“But I’ve got to commend my guys – that second half performance was really good.”

Image courtesy of YentonianCarlos, via YouTube, with thanks

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