Noble hails golden boy Mullaney

Andover Advertiser: Jake Mullaney's last-gasp goal took the game into extra-time Jake Mullaney's last-gasp goal took the game into extra-time

Brian Noble hailed Salford full-back Jake Mullaney as being "worth his weight in gold" after his brilliant touchline conversion helped the Red Devils to a stunning Challenge Cup win at Hull.

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 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.

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."

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 effort.

"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. 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."

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