© Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved
Saturday 5th July 2014, 15:00 - Round:19
Salford Red Devils
|Joe Wardle, Larne Patrick,||T||Rangi Chase, Matty Ashurst, Mason Caton-Brown, Theo Fages, Greg Johnson, Kevin Locke,|
Kevin Locke 6,
Attendance: 5,681 Official: R Hicks Venue: The John Smith's Stadium
New Zealand full-back Kevin Locke made a fairytale start to his First Utility Super League career as he helped Salford Red Devils pull off a shock 36-10 victory at high-flying Huddersfield Giants.
While most of Yorkshire eyes were focused on the Tour de France's Grand Depart, which prompted Huddersfield to bring the match forward by 24 hours, Red Devils fans were celebrating the grand arrival after Locke was given his debut just four days after flying into the country.
The former New Zealand Warriors favourite looked completely at home on his first appearance in England since November's World Cup final with an assured defensive display as well as scoring a try and kicking six goals from as many attempts.
Salford were also delighted with the performance of another debutant, former London Broncos threequarter Mason Caton-Brown, who caught the eye with a series of runs highlighted by a 70-metre try, as they overcame the dismissal of prop Lama Tasi on the hour for a late tackle on Huddersfield captain Danny Brough to secure only their second win in 11 games.
However, Red Devils coach Iestyn Harris might be most encouraged by his team's defensive efforts, which blunted a Huddersfield side that had won nine of their previous 10 matches.
It was Caton-Brown who made an early mark with a touchline break that set up the position for hooker Tommy Lee to get Rangi Chase through a gap for the game's first try.
Huddersfield lost full-back Scott Grix with a leg injury after 13 minutes and England centre Leroy Cudjoe made a hash of his attempt to take Chase's high kick after slotting into the role.
That put the Giants under severe pressure and it told when Chase and his half-back partner Theo Fages showed quick hands to get second rower Matty Ashurst over for the visitors' second try.
Cudjoe made amends when he raced back to bring down Locke, who had looked a certain scorer after collecting a loose ball and sprinting 70 metres up field and surely would have gone all the way but for an obvious shortage of match fitness.
Huddersfield pulled a try back midway through the first half when England second rower Brett Ferres, who was a constant threat with his subtle handling, got centre Joe Wardle over and they breathed a huge sigh of relief when Caton-Brown had a try disallowed just before the break for a forward pass.
The Giants got their defensive act together after the break and pinned Salford in their own half for long periods, but without managing to crack their steely defence.
Even when Tasi was shown a red card for a challenge on Brough, which forced the skipper from the field clutching his jaw, there was no let-up from the 12-man visitors, who made the game safe with three tries in a nine-minute spell.
Fages went over from close range before winger Greg Johnson scored one try and created another for Locke, who was taken off with 10 minutes left knowing his job was done.
Huddersfield gained a consolation try through substitute Larne Patrick, which was converted by Cudjoe, but they finished a badly-beaten side.