London Broncos 30–44 Salford City Reds
Coach Brian Noble hailed Salford City Reds’ execution as his side ran in eight tries – including a Lee Gaskell hat-trick, to defeat London Broncos at Twickenham Stoop.
Jodie Broughton (two), Ashley Gibson, Wayne Godwin and Theo Fages also scored, while Marc Sneyd kicked 12 points as Salford secured their first win outside Manchester this year.
And Noble, buoyed by the news Salford-born England legend Adrian Morley will join his hometown club next year, admitted he was delighted for his players.
“I was pleased with the first half,” he said. “At times we’ve executed really well this year and when we are in good shape and we do the things we’ve practiced we can score points of our own all the time.
“We knew there would be opportunities, it was all about executing them. We’ve been creating opportunities quite regularly and not executing plays but this time we did and I’m pleased with that.
“I thought Jodie Broughton played his best game of the season. The execution of the small, fast plays on that fringe really, really helped and it’s nice to have someone of Jodie’s pace to finish that off. Lee Gaskell also showed good speed.
“I’m thrilled for the players, I’m thrilled for the first 35 minutes of execution.”
Salford were in front from their first attack of the game, with speedy winger Broughton cutting inside before offloading to Gaskell who dived over – Marc Sneyd converted.
Broughton’s powerful running set up another charge on 13 minutes, and after Salford put the ball through quick hands Gibson scored in the corner.
Two minutes later the imperious Broughton added a third, running in a superb solo try after holding off Michael Robertson’s weak tackle with Sneyd adding the extras.
Minutes later Salford scored again after London’s kick-off went straight out, with Gaskell holding off a tackle before cutting through the line to score before Sneyd again converted.
The shell-shocked Broncos simply had no answer and Godwin found a narrow gap to dive over for Salford’s fifth from a play-the-ball one metre out.
Erjon Dollapi powered through to pull one back for London, which Australian debutant Jamie Soward converted, but Gaskell completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time after Andrew Dixon’s line-break, with Sneyd converting.
A revitalised Broncos pulled one back six minutes after the restart through Mike Bishay and moments later Jacob Fairbank reduced the deficit further, with Soward – who only arrived in the country hours earlier – converting both.
But just past the hour French teenager Fages rounded off a period of Salford pressure by breaking through a tackle to score under the posts and Sneyd converted.
Soward grabbed a deserved debut try with fifteen minutes remaining and converted himself to keep the Broncos in contention but Broughton’s second of the game restored the Reds’ lead on 70 minutes.
With four minutes remaining Andrew Dixon’s incredible burst of pace set up Dan Sarginson for a late London consolation but Salford’s victory means they now leapfrog London to move off the bottom.
Noble, who promised more signings will be confirmed this week, admitted the second half was scruffy however and hopes the Reds can deliver for 80 minutes in future.
“Second-half I thought we played as individuals but on a hot day, when you’re 30-40 points up, it’s difficult,” he said.
“That’s our next aim, if we want to compete with the bigger teams above us we need to work together for 80 minutes and protect the ball a lot better than we did in the second half, certainly.”