League Express Monday 12th October – MAILBAG taster

Ian Watson and his Salford team will have noted that it took until the 44th minute for Leeds to allow a play-the-ball behind their own 10-metre line in last weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
Arguably, neither side has much, if anything, to change tactically for this Saturday’s Final.
Assuming that Leeds get (and keep) their noses in front, then as long as Salford are still within sight of their opponents with a quarter of the match to go, they will draw from their own semi-final experience against Warrington, and know they have sufficient self-belief and discipline to win.
What will be interesting is if Salford dominate and Leeds are chasing the game. How will each team cope with a role reversal requiring both to tap into different facets of their undoubted mental toughness?
Leeds’ Luke Gale and his pack of forwards so absolutely imposed their will that it mattered little what their opponents (Wigan) could create.
Almost error-free, both performances were as all-round sumptuous as you are likely to see, so for all Leeds’ superlative game-management, they know that Salford will be ready for the challenge.
I can’t wait for this Saturday.
Perhaps, like many neutrals, I am pleased for our sport and the television audience that, without disrespect, someone other than two from among St Helens, Warrington and Wigan will play in this year’s Challenge Cup Final.
Novelty is vital to sparking and maintaining interest. A Leeds v Salford pairing should serve us up a treat.
Dr Michael Sheard, Northallerton

I don’t often get to watch Rugby League games live, so it was a great treat last Saturday to watch both Challenge Cup semi-finals on the BBC.
I couldn’t believe how awful Wigan were, but credit to Leeds, who are now through to yet another final.
As for the other game, at one stage my team (Salford) were ten points down against Warrington. Good job they took the two points when they got a penalty or it would have been golden-point extra-time. Such a shame no Red Devils fans can be at Wembley on the 17th of October, but we’ll all be watching the game on TV and cheering on the boys.
I wonder if League Express could publish every Challenge Cup Final result since 1896 and every Lance Todd Trophy winner since 1946.
I do love a good list.
Joe Vince, Colchester

Congratulations to Salford Red Devils on a well-deserved win.
That said, I have a question about the rules. Towards the end of the game a Salford player had a loose ball on the floor but didn’t regain his feet.
He wasn’t touched by the Wire player standing over him, waiting for him to get up. If he doesn’t get up it’s a voluntary tackle. I assume the player knew that, got up and was simultaneously tackled into touch.
The player had not been tackled on the floor or heard ‘surrender tackle’, yet the referee called a penalty to Salford’ instead of a Wire ball.
John Hewison, Warrington