Tetley's Challenge Cup: Brian Noble full of praise for full-back Jake Mullaney
Brian Noble hailed Jake Mullaney after his touchline conversion helped Salford Red Devils knock Hull FC out of the Cup.
Last Updated: 04/04/14 6:58am
Rangi Chase's golden-point drop goal was the deciding score but in truth it was Mullaney's outstanding touchline conversion with the last kick of normal time that was the winner.
The Australian defied a partisan crowd of just over 5,000 - which had the vociferousness of three times that amount - to upgrade Francis Meli's hat-trick try and level at 36-all, which allowed Chase to go on and secure a 37-36 victory.
"Pressure eh?" Noble said of Mullaney's kick. "He was furious with himself after the game because he doesn't feel he had the best game but he's worth his weight in gold when he lands one from the sideline.
"When that happens you just hope for the best. I didn't know if he would kick it. He's been kicking the ball sweet in practice and, when there's been so many fantastic things in the game and it comes down to a goal kick, it's great."
Salford had trailed 28-18 at one stage and looked set to follow-up last week's 30-8 league defeat with a first-hurdle cup exit in the fourth round.
But some superb playmaking from Chase and reliable finishing from veteran wing Meli kept them alive and allowed them the chance to record a first victory at Hull since they knocked them out of the cup at the same stage five years ago.
"We saw a lot more from us tonight," coach Noble added. "Hull didn't make a mistake in the second half and that made it hard for us. What you clearly saw was our team spirit and attitude is intact.
"We knew Hull were a good team and we gifted them quite a lot of plays from what we did. We relinquished field position but the way they handled extra time and golden point was first class."
With limited opportunities to play golden-point rugby, Noble admitted there is little he can do to prepare his players for a sudden-death situation.
"It's all about calmness and field position," he said. "More often than not you get scrambled and don't do the right thing. It's not something you practice and you don't think you will get involved in it."
Media-friendly owner Marwan Koukash was quick to voice his opinion of the Red Devils' fine success, stating the victory was for the fans.
"This win is for the fans. They deserved it more than anybody else," he Tweeted. "Thanks for your support tonight. You were awesome, outnumbered not out voiced."
While Noble rightly celebrated, opposite number Lee Radford was left to bemoan a tale of two drop goals.
Jacob Miller was off-target with one for Hull as they led by six points and was then a mere spectator as Chase landed his money shot.
"We had a drop goal 12 metres out and you fancy your chances," he said. "But then they come up with that one and that's why Salford pay the big cash for the players they have."
Radford restored some pride in his first season as a coach with last week's win which came after a home humbling by Widnes, but he clearly felt a step back had been taken in this one.
"We didn't make them work hard enough," he continued. "The young ones did the job but we didn't make them work hard enough for anything," he added.
"We scored 36 and that should have been enough. We conceded 37. It was they score, we score as a game and we just didn't make them work hard enough."