13th December 2017, 11:36 | salford
Betfred Super League: 4th; 7th in Super 8s
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup: Semi-Finals
Top Scorer: Ben Murdoch-Masila (17)
2017 was a case of what might have been for the Red Devils, who enjoyed a rip-roaring start to the campaign before falling apart from June onwards.
With 12 wins in their opening 16 fixtures, Ian Watson’s men were looking serious contenders for a top four finish at the half-way point in the season.
However back-to-back defeats to Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC were followed by the capitulation at St Helens, where they squandered a 24-8 lead with just seven minutes to go to suffer a drop goal defeat.
Greater success was to be had in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup though as Salford reached their first semi-final in 20 years after beating Toronto Wolfpack and Wakefield Trinity in the opening rounds.
Wigan Warriors were their semi-final opponents but a slow start to the game was to be their downfall as they eventually lost 14-27.
Things didn’t get any better in the Super 8s phase of the season either, with just one victory over Huddersfield Giants, in their seven games.
Plenty of credit must go to the Salford coach for their brilliant start to the campaign as Ian Watson got the best out of his players.
Frugal signings in recent years such as Craig Kopczak, who enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, helped the Reds to become a truly competitive side in Super League.
The no-nonsense 18 stone forward was Salford’s key man this year, contributing 17 tries to the cause.
He was also selected in the 2017 Super League Dream Team as well as being called-up to Tonga’s World Cup squad following his excellent.
It will be a big concern for the Devils that he has left for pastures new after linking up with Warrington for the 2018 season.
A 54-18 away win in any Super League game signifies a brilliant performance but when it’s at Hull FC, it makes the scoreline even more astonishing.
It was Round 8 and the Red Devils were in their absolute pomp as they stuck 10 points past the Challenge Cup holders.
A sensational run from the big half-back.
The Australian pounced on the ball on his own 90m line before charging the length of the field, shrugging off Tony Gigot’s attempted tackle, to bag a sensational try.