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Super League: Iestyn Harris confident Salford Red Devils heading in right direction
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Salford coach Iestyn Harris saw signs of improvement from his mis-firing side in their 16-16 draw with Hull KR, which ended a four-match losing run.
Veteran winger Francis Meli scored two tries as the Red Devils twice came from behind to secure a point from a scrappy Super League match which left both coaches with mixed feelings.
"There is a feeling of frustration," Harris said. "There were some pleasing things. I thought defensively we looked comfortable and that's probably the first time you could say that all season.
"We want to improve that and then make some adjustments with the ball. I think there were some small improvements.
"We're disappointed not to get the two points but it could have gone the other way as well. There were some good lessons for us."
Harris chose Theo Fages as the half-back partner for Rangi Chase when Australian scrum-half Tim Smith became "unavailable" but the Frenchmen failed to re-appear for the second half after picking up a shoulder injury.
"Theo deserved a chance and it was unfortunate that he got injured," Harris said. "If he had been on in the second half, we might have had a bit more fluency."
Hull KR also lost a half-back, Travis Burns, with a head knock towards the end but not before he had played a key role for his side.
"He copped a high shot," said Rovers coach Craig Sandercock. "The poor bloke put his body on the line."
The Robins were arguably the better side, with Kris Welham and Kevin Larroyer scoring tries that put their side into a 10-4 half-time lead, and Sandercock was left to bemoan his side's misfortune.
"I'm proud of the boys," Sandercock said. "One day we might see a stroke of luck perhaps go our way.
"The amount of ball Salford had in the second half was unbelievable. It was a real good effort in defence."
Both teams failed with drop-goal attempts to break the deadlock while Sandercock was disappointed his side failed to take a penalty kick at goal with the scores still locked at 16-16.
"The boys should have taken the two," he said. "The message went out, but that's rugby league for you."
Meanwhile, match commissioner David Campbell confirmed he would be including in his report two separate incidents of bottles being thrown onto the pitch, while one Hull KR fan was escorted by stewards out of ground after attempting to enter the field of play.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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