Super League: Salford Red Devils 20-22 Castleford Tigers
|First Utility Super League|
|Salford (10) 20|
|Tries: Locke 2, Fages, Taylor Goals: Locke, Johnson|
|Castleford (10) 22|
|Tries: Gibson 2, Massey, Robson Goals: Gale 3|
Castleford winger Ashley Gibson scored two tries against former club Salford as the Tigers won at the AJ Bell Stadium to leapfrog their hosts into sixth place in the Super League table.
Teenage Tigers back Ash Robson also enjoyed a debut to remember by scoring Cas's match-winning try.
Nathan Massey got the other Cas try against a depleted Reds side missing 12 players through injury or suspension.
New Zealand international Kevin Locke touched down twice for Salford.
The Reds' other two tries came from scrum-half Theo Fages and Scott Taylor, whose late effort was converted by Greg Johnson.
Locke, who had kicked the first of his side's four conversion attempts, played for an hour with a groin problem.
And coach Iestyn Harris admitted he may have to call on his 38-year-old assistant, former Wales half-back Ian Watson, for next Friday night's trip to Hull because of their growing injury list.
|Salford's injury curse gets worse|
|Apart from Salford's glut of injuries, the curse even extended to referee George Stokes, who damaged an ankle seven minutes from the end and had to be replaced by reserve official Chris Leatherbarrow.|
The Red Devils now appear to have lost Adrian Morley (ankle), Wayne Godwin (concussion) and Liam Hood (suspected broken thumb) on top of the existing injuries and the suspension that prevented Cas old boy Rangi Chase missing out on an on-field reunion with his former club.
Along with Weller Hauraki, Darrell Griffin and Cory Paterson, he was one of four banned players, forcing Salford to give debuts to both prop James Greenwood and centre Oliver Gildart, who arrived this week on loan from Wigan.
Despite all the adversity, Salford battled all the way and, for long periods, looked the better team, with Locke scoring two of their four tries after switching between wing and stand-off to telling effect.
Having been 10-0 up, they were still in contention at 16-10 down when Robson went over for the all-important 64th-minute score.
He following up a speculative kick from Ben Roberts, Luke Gale adding the last of his three conversions to complete a double for Cas, who won 30-16 when the two teams met last month.
Salford coach Iestyn Harris:
"We're really disappointed not to win but the effort was terrific. We had a lot of players out of position and had to find a way to attack as we only had one half-back. But it was one of those games that got away from us.
"Ian Watson was pretty close to playing and he'll be closer next week. He's been upping his training just in case. We're potentially without a nine.
"We had a lot of guys out there who were busted. We only had one change at the end and Scott Taylor did 80 minutes, which was a terrific effort.
"Liam Hood has gone to hospital, Adrian Morley has turned an ankle and Wayne Goodwin got smacked around the head and looks as though he's going to come under the concussion rule."
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"Ash Robson demonstrated the energy he's shown in the Under-19s to score his try. He hadn't played much on the wing but it was a good opportunity and he handled it well.
"We weren't great. Everybody will say Salford had a lot of people missing and I suppose all the pressure was on us.
"I don't think we played well at all but there were some games earlier in the year when we should have won and didn't.
"It was scratchy from us. It was a weird sort of game. Neither side looked really comfortable."
Salford: Evalds; Locke, Caton-Brown, Gildart, Johnson; Fages, G Griffin; Taylor, Godwin, Tasi, Hansen, Forster, Greenwood.
Replacements: Lannon, Hood, Morley, Gee.
Castleford: Tansey; Clare, Gibson, Shenton, Robson; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, S Moore, Wheeldon, O Holmes, Millington, Massey.
Replacements: Milner, Jewitt, Moors, Maher.
Referee: George Stokes (RFL).