Salford Red Devils 8 Leeds Rhinos 22: Rhinos hit back for precious win
A dominant second half performance earned Leeds Rhinos a hard-fought two points - and second successive win - at Salford Red Devils on Saturday.
In blustery conditions - and driving rain at times - Rhinos were 8-6 down at the break, having got back into the game on the final play, but they were much the better team after the interval, keeping the hosts scoreless.
Substitutes Adam Cuthbertson and Richie Myler were very good and Luke Gale had a much better second half after a disappointing opening 40.
Leeds cut out the errors which plagued them in the first period and their defence was strong, surviving five successive penalties at one stage.
Gale's touchdown on the stroke of half-time was crucial.
Rob Lui’s kick forced a repeat set, Brad Dwyer found a gap and Gale was in support to race over for a touchdown, which he also converted, out of nothing.
Salford went ahead after 19 minutes when Leeds were penalised on the last and Tui Lolohea’s pass sent Niall Evalds over past Gale.
Lolohea, against his former club, doubled the advantage on 27, forcing his way past Gale and Handley who should have kept him out.
Leeds withstood some heavy pressure at the start of the second half before Richie Myler's chase from a Lui kick forced a drop out and from that Luke Briscoe finished superbly at the corner off a pass by Harry Newman who was classy throughout.
That was on 51 minutes and seven later Mikolaj Oledzki crashed between the posts from Adam Cuthbertson's offload, Gale converting and then making it 18-8 with a penalty soon afterwards.
Leeds received the first three penalties of the second half, to the fury of the home fans. Salford were then handed five in a row, but Rhinos muscled up in defence, Ava Seumanufagai pounced on a loose ball, Konrad Hurrell took play into Salford territory with Ash Handley in support and the winger turned the ball inside to Jack Walker who swooped over to complete the scoring.
Rhinos made one change to the team which beat Hull KR eight days earlier, Alex Sutcliffe coming in for Liam Sutcliffe who has a knee injury.
James Donaldson stepped up into the second-row.