Salford edge Tigers in tense affair

A second-half Derrell Olpherts try helped Salford to a hard-fought 26-16 victory over Castleford to go fifth in Super League.

Just two points separated the sides going into this game and the closeness of the two teams was evident throughout. It took 18 minutes for the first score, but it went the way of the Red Devils with Niall Evalds touching down. Lee Mossop soon followed suit, and, with Krisnan Inu’s two conversions, Salford opened up a 12-0 lead.

Castleford did hit back through Daniel Smith, who was the first to a Paul McShane grubber, but Jackson Hastings soon restored the hosts’ 12-point advantage.

Greg Minikin brought the Tigers back to within eight points before a bizarre Jordan Rankin try on the hooter – from an initial Inu penalty attempt – left the visitors down just 18-16 at half-time.

Points were at a premium in the second-half and, despite moments of heavy pressure, Castleford could not breach the Salford defence with a Derrell Olpherts try and an Inu conversion and penalty the only points of the last 40 minutes.

Salford: Niall Evalds, Jake Bibby, Krisnan Inu, Kris Welham, Derrell Olpherts, Robert Lui, Jackson Hastings, Lee Mossop, Logan Tomkins, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy; Subs: Adam Walker, Greg Burke, Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick

Tries: Evalds, Mossop, Hastings, Olpherts    Goals: Inu 5

Castleford: Peter Mata’utia, James Clare, Greg Minikin, Cheyse Blair, Tuoyo Egodo, Jake Trueman, Jordan Rankin, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, Daniel Smith, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Mike McMeeken, Nathan Massey; Subs: Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Matt Cook

Tries: Smith, Minikin, Rankin   Goals: Mata’utia 2

A full report and photos from tonight’s game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express, which will be available in newsagents and online from 9.30pm on Sunday evening.