Super League: Salford Red Devils battle out draw with Hull KR
Last Updated: 10/05/14 8:28pm
Francis Meli: try double for Salford Red Devils
Salford Red Devils earned a 16-16 draw against Hull KR to halt their four-match losing run on captain Adrian Morley's 37th birthday, but there was little else to celebrate from a dreadful game that mirrored the miserable weather.
Veteran winger Francis Meli scored two of the Red Devils' three tries, while Kris Welham, Kevin Larroyer and Neville Costigan touched down for Rovers.
It was scoreless for the opening quarter which the visitors to AJ Bell Stadium dominated with nothing to show for it.
An early 40-20 kick from stand-off Travis Burns enabled them to lay siege to the Salford line and full-back Jake Mullaney and prop Lama Tasi both conceded goal-line drop-outs.
Former Salford winger David Hodgson fluffed the best scoring opportunity, dropping Welham's pass with the line at his mercy, and it was the Red Devils who struck first on 21 minutes.
There was little pattern to Salford's attack and their try came out of the blue, with Rangi Chase's long pass giving an unmarked Meli a clear run-in at the corner to break the deadlock.
Mullaney was wide with the conversion attempt and the scores were level four minutes later when Burns combined with his half-back partner Kris Keating to get Welham over for an equalising try.
With Burns and Keating bringing structure to their team's attack, the Robins were always the more likely to score next and they duly took the lead on 29 minutes when Mullaney fumbled Burns' kick in the wet conditions to gift a try to second rower Larroyer.
Burns added the goal to give his side a 10-4 interval lead but a 40-20 kick by Chase early in the second half immediately got the home side on the ascendancy.
A couple of contentious decisions by referee Phil Bentham, which enraged Hull KR co-captain Burns, enabled Salford to maintain the pressure and they scored again when a strong run from centre Junior Sau paved the way for Meli to go over for his second try.
Mullaney's touchline conversion levelled the scores but Hull KR regained the lead on 59 minutes when loose forward Costigan gathered a loose ball following Burns' grubber kick to go over for his side's third try.
With neither side able impose themselves on the contest, it remained in the balance right to the end.
Salford levelled the scores for a third time on 63 minutes when centre Martin Gleeson followed up Chase's high kick to touch down and Mullaney kicked his second goal.
Costigan was inches short of the line as Rovers went for the victory that probably deserved and Ben Cockayne fumbled a drop-goal attempt while Chase struck the woodwork with his attempted one-pointer.
Second rower Gareth Hock burst clear in the last minute to create on last opportunity for Salford but the chance went begging as the game ended in frustration for both teams.