Sam Stone scored two tries as Salford held on to beat Castleford 26-22 and get their Super League season off the mark.

The Red Devils raced into an early 12-0 lead through tries from Stone and Amir Bourouh.

Castleford rallied before the break with tries from Sam Wood and Jack Broadbent getting them within two points but Nene MacDonald’s fine try on the stroke of half-time gave Salford breathing space.

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Salford Red Devils' Sam Stone scores their side's first try of the game during the Betfred Super League match at the Salford Community Stadium, Salford. Picture date: Sunday February 25, 2024.
Image:Early pressure from Salford pays off as Stone crosses the line

Stone then stretched the lead further before Joe Westerman crossed for Castleford, who added a late try through Liam Horne but could not bridge the gap despite a late charge.

Relentless early pressure from Salford eventually paid off in the 10th minute as Stone barrelled over from close range, and Castleford had barely had chance to regroup before the hosts scored again three minutes later when Brad Singleton offloaded for Bourouh to cross under the posts.

Salford looked minded to pile it on as they came forward again but momentum shifted when Stone’s pass was intercepted by Luke Hooley, giving Castleford the opportunity to make an impression.

They thought they had made a breakthrough when Innes Senior powered over on the left-hand side, but his foot was on the line and the try was waved off.

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Instead they waited until the 23rd minute to get off the mark as Wood found a gap to dive over and get his first try in Castleford colours.

Castleford Tigers' Joe Westerman celebrates scoring their side's third try of the game during the Betfred Super League match at the Salford Community Stadium, Salford. Picture date: Sunday February 25, 2024.
Image:Castleford Tigers’ Joe Westerman celebrates scoring their side’s third try of the game

The visitors had been revived and got a second try in the 33rd minute as Hooley moved the ball quickly for Broadbent to score an easy try, but Danny Richardson missed the conversion into the wind as Salford stayed ahead.

And they stretched that advantage right before the break with a spectacular try. Marc Sneyd’s kick forward looked destined for the arms of Hooley on the line but MacDonald darted forward and plucked the ball out of the air and bounced over, with Sneyd adding the extras.

Richardson did not return after the break due to a head injury and things got worse for Castleford in the 49th minute as Stone ran on to Sneyd’s bouncing kick for his second try and a three-score lead.

Castleford needed a spark and got one as George Lawler kept his feet to off-load the ball for Westerman to score in the 56th minute.

They were offered hope of a late fightback when Jack Ormondroyd caught Jacob Miller high and was sent to the sin bin with 14 minutes left to play, but Sneyd stretched Salford’s lead with a penalty before Horne added what proved a consolation try for Castleford inside the final two minutes.

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