Leeds Rhinos 42 - 14 Salford Red Devils

Match info: Super League at

Date: 15/02/2013 KO: 20:00 Att: 12,558

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Leeds

TriesWard (3) Moon (18, 49) Watkins (26) Mcshane (52, 69) Sinfield (79)ConversionsSinfield (3, 18, 26, 49, 52, 69, 79)

42
vs
14

Salford

TriesGibson (39, 75) Evalds (43)ConversionsSneyd (39)

FT (ht: 18-6)

  • Last Updated: February 15 2013, 22:19 GMT

Joel Moon haunted former employers Salford as Leeds won 42-14 against Salford in their final Super League game before the World Club Challenge.

Kallum Watkins finds space.
Kallum Watkins finds space.

Australian centre Moon was snapped up by Leeds following an impressive season with the Reds last year - he scored 11 tries in 19 games - and touched down twice as part of a classy display.

He was not always joined in excellence by his team-mates as Salford occasionally made life difficult for Brian McDermott's reigning champions, but the Rhinos had enough about them to pull clear when they needed to.

Whether Melbourne will be scared by what was on show ahead of next Friday's meeting remains to be seen, although, before thinking about them, McDermott will have to rake over his squad and check for injuries.

Full-back Zak Hardaker - concussed in last week's defeat at Castleford - went off at half-time with suggestions circulating he was being given a cautionary breather, and he will head McDermott's checklist, along with Ryan Bailey, Brett Delaney and Jamie Peacock, who sat the match out entirely.

With three of their leading lights missing, Leeds chose to allow Kylie Leuluai, Richard Moore and Stevie Ward to audition for a World Club Challenge shirt, and the latter submitted a third-minute try as part of his case.

Having only beaten Leeds once in 31 Super League games and without a win in nine matches altogether, Salford were always going to be up against it and they did not need Ashley Gibson making an early error.

That did not stop the former Rhino shelling a pass from a scrum, though, and, as the ball went to ground, Ward won a footrace to score.

With just 180 seconds gone a procession could have been expected but, to Salford's credit, they responded well, hogging the ball for six straight sets, although their failure to turn one of them into points was telling of a side who came into this game with an 82-6 aggregate score for the season.

Having survived that spell, Leeds duly scored their second try, Moon getting his first when he was quicker than team-mates Carl Ablett and Kevin Sinfield to get to Danny McGuire's kick.

Leeds could hardly be described as free-flowing but they were doing what they needed to and picked up a third score with 26 minutes gone as Kallum Watkins finished off a neat right-side move that was started by Ian Kirkes' barging run.

Moon then appeared to have forgotten he had left Salford as he twice knocked on when looking to ground the ball over the line, before the visitors unexpectedly got on the scoreboard with seconds of the first half left.

Ryan McGoldrick's pass set Jodie Broughton free and, although he was stopped, Leeds were short on defensive numbers and Marc Sneyd kicked into open space for Gibson to make amends for his earlier error.

Sneyd kicked the goal and was lining another up three minutes after the restart when Niall Evalds, Salford's scorer in France last week, snapped up an intercept off McGuire and went the length of the field.

The conversion was missed, leaving the score at 18-10, and there were suggestions Salford had a chance. But Leeds quickly flexed their muscles to show who was in charge, with their two-in-four-minutes spell kickstarted by the introduction of hooker Paul McShane.

He had a hand in the move which gave Moon his second 49 minutes in - McGuire played the final pass - and then dug his way over the line himself.

McShane sits behind Rob Burrow in the pecking order for the hooking role, but he was presenting a strong case for being in starting contention here, adding a second try - a carbon copy of his first - with 10 minutes left.

Salford then thought they had grabbed the last word when Gibson poached a second, but Sinfield had that honour, scoring a try after Adam Neal's loose pass, before kicking his seventh goal, extending his 100 per cent record for the year to 15.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week