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Salford down London
Salford down London
Salford put a dent in London?s engage Super League play-off hopes with a well-deserved 26-18 win at The Willows.
The sides were separated by just two points at the break, with Salford winger Anthony Stewart scoring the only try of the half and London registering merely a Paul Sykes penalty.
The Reds showed far more adventure in the second half, however, with tries from Junior Langi, Karl Fitzpatrick, Stuart Littler and Gareth Haggerty steering them to victory.
The home side suffered an early blow when second rower Ian Sibbit limped off after just three minutes and referee Ben Thaley then added insult to injury by disallowing a Langi try for a forward pass.
London, lacking the creative spark of injured half-back pairing Thomas Leuluai and Mark McLinden, started slowly but showed signs of coming to life when stand-off Lee Hopkins was hauled down just inches short of the line.
A loose pass from Langi and a high tackle from Andy Coley then gave Broncos kicker Sykes the chance to register the first two points of the game and he duly obliged with 18 minutes on the clock.
Salford were again denied a try when David Hodgson latched onto a wayward pass, kicked ahead to the in-goal area but just failed to ground the ball as the deadball line loomed.
London?s respite was this time short-lived, however, as Stewart crashed over the line soon after following a strong run from prop Sean Rutgerson, although Chris Charles could not land the conversion.
London?s new signing Karl Temata threatened to put his side back in front with a powerful break on the half-hour mark but the New Zealand prop was well tackled by Reds full-back Fitzpatrick.
Referee Thaler had words with both captains following a brief punch-up and he was again in the thick of the action when disallowing a Salford try for an infringement at London?s play-the-ball to keep the home side?s advantage down to two points at the break.
Just as the home fans prepared to vent their anger at the official, however, he got them back on side by sin-binning London substitute Feleti Mateo for having too much to say as he made his way towards the tunnel.
Salford quickly made their man advantage tell in the second half when Langi finished off a sweeping move with a try in the corner and Charles made amends for his first-half miss by converting from the touchline.
Fitzpatrick then increased the home side?s lead when he collected a Robinson kick-through and scrambled over the line, with Charles again successful in adding the two extra points.
At 16-2 down, London needed to score next and it was Sykes who threw them a lifeline when he scampered over from close range after Temata had sucked in three Salford defenders and then converted his own try.
Any thoughts of a comeback were soon put on hold, however, when Sibbit returned from the bench to make a great break from inside his own half and Littler went over out wide for his 15th try of the season after some slick passing which followed.
Charles added another conversion and the win was in the bag when substitute Haggerty finished off a neat break from Fitzpatrick.
London did hit back with consolation tries from Soloman Haumauno and Jon Wells in the closing minutes but it was too little too late.
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Langi, Stewart, Littler, Hodgson, Beverley, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Highton, Sibbit, Brocklehurst, Charles. Replacements: Clough, Haggerty, Baldwin, Rutgerson.
London: Lucky Luisi, Wells, Smith, Sykes, Bradley-Qalilawa, Hopkins, Dorn, Armour, Highton, Tookey, Haumono, Temata, Mbu.
Replacements: Lolohea, Mateo, Stephenson, Ablett.
Salford (4) 26. Tries: Stewart, Langi, Fitzpatrick, Littler, Haggerty. Goals: Charles 3.
London (2) 18. Tries: Sykes, Haumono, Wells. Goals: Sykes 3.
Referee: Julian King (St Helens)