Salford City Reds 10-24 Castleford Tigers

Salford City Stadium

Castleford spoiled Salford's party by winning the first Super League game at the new Salford City Stadium.

Matty Smith gave Salford the perfect start in blizzard conditions with a fine solo score.

But Cas went ahead when Kirk Dixon converted Richard Owen's try and stretched away when Josh Griffin hacked on to score in the corner.

Adam Milner extended the lead before Owen grabbed his second after Matty Ashurst had cut the deficit.

The Yorkshiremen performed superbly to score four tries on a snowbound surface, three of them into a bitterly cold wind in the second half, to give new coach Ian Millward a winning return to Super League after a six-year absence.

But they had to do it the hard way after home scrum-half Smith earned the honour of scoring the first try at the new stadium, taking substitute Stuart Howarth's pass to split the visitors' defence with a dummy before racing in from 30 metres.

Both sides then had tries ruled out by the video referee before Castleford took a lead they would not relinquish just before the interval when Rangi Chase sent in Owen with a beautifully delayed pass, Dixon adding the extras.

They extended their advantage after the restart when Owen kicked speculatively over the home defence and Griffin hacked on to score in the corner.

Milner gthen gathered Chase's clever kick to score Castleford's third try.

And, although Ashurst pulled one back by finishing off a flowing move involving half-backs Smith and Daniel Holdsworth and full-back Luke Patten, Owen had the final say with Cas's fourth try.

The Reds suffered an early blow when hooker Wayne Godwin went off after just eight minutes with a rib injury and was taken to hospital for checks.

Howarth, one of the Reds' five new signings, proved an able deputy but he too was forced off with concussion 14 minutes from the end.


Salford coach Phil Veivers:

"It doesn't help when you lose two hookers. It does disrupt what you can do with the ball. Stuart Howarth was going real good too.

"There is some optimism. We scored two nice tries, had one disallowed in the first half and had four or maybe five opportunities to score more points but we weren't clinical enough.

"The conditions were the same for both sides but Castleford seemed to play them a little better than us. They controlled the ruck a lot better and came through the middle. They won the arm wrestle and inched their way up field. They scored two tries from kicks and the other two through our right edge so we've plenty of work to do there.

Castleford coach Ian Millward:

"I thought our back three were very strong and both our halves showed a lot of composure in the second half.

"It was a nice way to start. They've worked very hard in pre-season and our attitude was fantastic. Our kick-chase was very strong and the pressure on the kicker was very strong.

"They were difficult conditions for both teams and it was quite incredible if you look at some of movement of the ball at times."


Salford: Patten; Broughton, Gleeson, Moon, Williams; Holdsworth, Smith; James, Godwin, Jewitt, Ashurst, Anderson, Wild.

Replacements: Howarth, Paleaaesina, Adamson, Gledhill.

Castleford: Owen; Dixon, Arundel, McGoldrick, Griffin; Chase, Orr; Emmitt, Milner, Mitchell, Holmes, Walker, Jones.

Replacements: Clark, Ferres, Massey, Nash.

Attendance: 5,242

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France).