‘It was a worry’: Brian Noble admits fears over Chris Nero injury in Salford City Reds’ defeat to Bradford Bulls

By Matt Simpson

A serious injury to Salford City Reds’ Chris Nero overshadowed what head coach Brian Noble believes was a much-improved display against Bradford Bulls.

Despite the host’s strong start, the visitors ran in seven tries – six converted by Jarrod Sammut – with Ryan McGoldrick scoring a try and a one-pointer for Salford.

Noble feels his team were the better side in the first-half and said it was individual errors which condemned the Reds to a third consecutive defeat.

“It’s important we all recognise he’s [Nero] alright,” he said. “It was a worry for a time and thankfully he’s going to be ok.

“It is hopefully not as serious as it probably looked. He got his head in the wrong place, there was certainly no foul play involved.

“I thought for 50 minutes we were the better team. We contributed to our own downfall again and that can happen when your confidence is a bit fragile – individuals can make a mistake.”

Defences were on top during the opening exchanges, but Bradford made the breakthrough on 17 minutes when Luke Gale touched down after a good break from Sammut – who converted.

With 13 minutes of the first-half remaining, the Reds restored parity through McGoldrick who scored on his 150th Super League appearance before Marc Sneyd landed the conversion.

Salford took a slender lead after 31 minutes after repeated sets of six allowed McGoldrick to send over a straightforward one-pointer.

But the Bulls were ahead four minutes later when Sneyd failed to collect a kick-through allowing Matty Blythe to touch down on 35 minutes with Sammut converting.

Bradford extended their advantage with two minutes left of the half when Blythe weaved his way through Salford’s line before Sammut gave the Bulls an 11-point lead.

The second-half began much like the first and again it was Bradford who scored first after 57 minutes when Matt Diskin powered over with Sammut’s conversion going in off the post.

The Bulls had the final say of the match with just four minutes remaining when Adrian Purtell bulldozed his way over the whitewash for an unconverted try.

The former Bull coach was delighted with his side improvement on last week’s defeat to Warrington Wolves, but explained they were on a learning curve in Super League.

“In the first-half, I’m absolutely delighted with the improvement from last week and some of the defensive stuff in the second half was good as well,” he said.

“Individually in the second-half we didn’t stick to the script which caused us problems and I thought we were unlucky to come in at half-time down.

“That’s the learning process, we’re looking at a team that hasn’t had a pre-season, hasn’t had any structures.

“I remain positive about what we can do with this team but we’ve still got some work to do.”

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