MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 17-12 WARRINGTON WOLVES (ROUND 9)

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 17-12 WARRINGTON WOLVES (ROUND 9)

by | Apr 27, 2024

Salford Red Devils recorded a sixth win in nine after a hard-fought contest with Warrington Wolves.

Paul Rowley’s side have continued their fine start to 2024 by beating one of the division’s most in-form teams and now move joint 2nd on the Betfred Super League table.

The hosts started the game with a high intensity, maintaining great pressure in both defence and attack. Tim Lafai shot off the defensive line to put pressure on Stefan Ratchford, forcing him to throw a forward pass and cause the first error of the game.

It was the same source who opened the scoring moments later, with a run perhaps typical of the quality Lafai brings to the team.

Some quick hands from Marc Sneyd got the centre free on the left edge. Deon Cross was outside him, but the Samoan produced a stunning, tackle-busting run to open the scoring.

From the restart, Salford were straight back on the offensive and Ryan Brierley was the next to go bursting through the Warrington defence.

One-on-one with Matt Dufty, Brierley was taken down and couldn’t accurately flick the offload, which bobbled out of play.

Building back upfield, Salford conceded a set restart and prop, James Harrison consequently darted through the line to level the scores, with Ratchford adding the extras.

Wire were soon on the board again when Brierley – chasing back a deft grubber – misjudged the bounce and allowed George Williams to sneak around the back and score – confirmed by the video referee.

But just when it looked like the visitors were in the ascendency, Joe Mellor – who had an outstanding game at hooker – scurried from dummy-half to crash over, right next to the posts.

With half-time looming, some neat set-up play allowed Sneyd to nail a drop goal from around 30 metres to put Salford in front.

A nip-and-tuck start to the second-half, with both sides trading sets, ended with Ratchford punishing a string of Salford penalties to kick a penalty-goal.

It was certainly an eventful afternoon for the video referee, and he was called into action again when the on-field call of no try went against Brierley for a double-movement.

It was Mellor who made a break up the middle and Brierley was denied by a last-ditch Toby King tackle.

There was a similar situation up the other end, with Paul Vaughan thinking he’d crashed over for a crucial try, but the on-field call of no try was upheld by the video referee.

Sneyd tried his luck from the tee after a high tackle from Vaughan, but his effort, although catching the wind, was just to the right of the sticks.

Then, the game-winning moment, courtesy of a lung-bursting run from Nene Macdonald down the right wing.

The PNG international backed his pace to beat one man, but then sent a stellar kick back infield for Brierley and Chris Atkin to chase.

The former was brought down off the ball by Danny Walker when he looked certain to ground, and after some forensic analysis by the video referee, he agreed with the on-field call of penalty-try.

Sneyd added the extras and rounded-off a huge scalp for the Red Devils, who will now travel to face another in-form team, Huddersfield Giants in Round 10.

MATCH FACTS:

Salford line-up: Ryan Brierley, Ethan Ryan, Nene Macdonald, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Chris Atkin, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Joe Mellor, King Vuniyayawa, Kallum Watkins, Shane Wright, Oliver Partington.

Interchanges: Cade Cust, Joe Shorrocks, Andrew Dixon, Gil Dudson.

Tries: Tim Lafai, Joe Mellor, Ryan Brierley.

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (2/4)

Drop Goals: Marc Sneyd (1/1)

Warrington Wolves line-up: Matt Dufty, Josh Thewlis, Stefan Ratchford, Toby King, Matty Russell, George Williams, Leon Hayes, James Harrison, Danny Walker, Paul Vaughan, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Matty Nicholson, Ben Currie.

Interchanges: Sam Powell, Joe Bullock, Joe Philbin, Jordy Crowther.

Tries: James Harrison, George Williams.

Conversions:  Stefan Ratchford (2/3)

HT: 11-10

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