Points For: 456
Points Against: 754
Home Record: W4 L9
Away Record (including Magic weekend): W3 L11
Longest Winning Streak: 2 (x2)
Longest Losing Streak: 6
Top Points Scorer: John Wilshere (158)
Top Try Scorer: Richard Myler (11)
Top Tackler: Malcolm Alker (948)
Salford will probably view this season with a sense of frustration, and yet they have much to be proud of and have laid the (metaphorical) groundworks for a fruitful stay in Super League. As soon as they lay the actual groundworks, then they’ll be much happier.
What really undermined Salford this year was a terrible start that cost them any playoff aspirations they had. Following a narrow victory over fellow promoted side Celtic Crusaders, the Reds then went on a six match losing streak. However, the problem wasn’t so much that they were losing; rather, it was more the manner in which they were losing. All their defeats were pretty heavy, and it looked like Salford would never get up to speed.
Well, a narrow victory over Warrington provided a turnaround of sorts, and was followed by the high point of the season, a completely unexpected victory at Headingley over the misfiring Rhinos. Although Salford would never really hit those heights again (except for a big win at Huddersfield) they at least managed to tighten up their game somewhat, and except for a blowout loss at Warrington were at the very least competitive for the whole season. It’s worth noting that they had wins against the top three placed sides in the competition, which indicates a modicum of ability at the very least.
In the end, they probably ended up defending too much. Not only was Malcolm Alker the top tackler in the competition, but Luke Adamson was second placed. If they found a way to spend more time in attack it could have proved potent as they had some young talent making a mark. They had quite a few strong performers – Richie Myler proved himself able at Super League level (although he cooled off as the season went on) and Stefan Ratchford had a major year, showing that Salford have some exciting young talent ready to make a splash.
Of course, next year Myler won’t be at the club as he moves on to Warrington. This is unfortunate for Salford who will always find it hard to keep their young talent (they must be eager to keep Ratchford). With a bit more support for Ratchford and Jordan Turner, and maybe the acquiring of a renowned strike-player to give them more toys to play with, and the Reds could be in the mix for a playoff berth next year. If they can build on a fairly solid first year back, and perhaps even finally get the work started on their new ground, and maybe things will look up for this club. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing their future Mylers to other, bigger clubs.