Disappointed head coach Brian Noble admitted his Salford City Reds side were taught a lesson by Wakefield Trinity Wildcats after a crushing home defeat.
Eight different players ran in tries for the Wildcats, with Lee Smith converting seven, as Danny Williams and Jodie Broughton’s efforts and Lee Gaskell’s conversion proved Salford’s only responses.
And Noble – who was full of praise for Wakefield’s technical performance – believes the Red Devils have a lot of work still to do.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” he said. “Show like that can appear gutless – and mark the word ‘appear’ – and it can be disappointing for that reason.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do technically – it’s the soft tries, the ones that frustrate everybody. I thought we were playing well but we didn’t kick the ball very well after 15, 20 minutes.
“We kind of went away from that and that makes us very fragile – too much defending all the time and probably some errors on an individual level which cost us dearly.
“The way we are finishing our sets is killing us, that’s the technical bit. It makes you do a lot of the other stuff and we’re still a little bit technically off in some of the tackles too which is causing a few problems.”
Salford actually started well, putting the ball through hands on 12 minutes before Martin Gleeson offloaded to Williams and the right-winger scored in the corner.
Paul Aiton’s try on 19 minutes opened the floodgates for the visitors however as the Wildcats took advantage of poor Salford defending to run in four more before half-time.
Danny Kirmond, Dean Collis, Richard Mathers and Kyle Amor all crossed the whitewash as shell-shocked Salford struggled to plug the gaps in their back line, Smith converting each time.
And Wakefield’s momentum carried into the second-half as a clever reverse pass from Aiton a metre out helped Oliver Wilkes find a gap to score on 46 minutes – Smith once again converting.
Broughton gave the Red Devils’ supporters something to cheer on the hour, intercepting Mathers’ pass to run in a 90-metre try, which Gaskell converted.
Hopes of an unlikely comeback were short lived though as Ben Cockayne and Peter Fox sealed a comfortable away win.
And Wayne Godwin’s missed try on 78 minutes – dropping Theo Fages’ offload metres from the line before colliding with the post – summed up a frustrating evening for the Reds.
Noble will now be making decisions on some Reds players’ futures as he and millionaire owner Dr Marwan Koukash continue their bid to rebuild the club.
He explained: “I’m still pretty clear that we know where we want to go.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the camp at the moment regarding futures, as you can imagine, and that will be sorted in the next few days.
“I’ve only been here six weeks – it feels longer after tonight! But clearly I have to formulate a way for the people who won’t be playing here next year and that’s life.
“It shouldn’t have been a distraction. I just think a lot of people didn’t show up in the manner we practised this week and that’s been a key for us.”
Image courtesy of Salford City Reds, via Vimeo, with thanks