Salford Red Devils fell to a narrow eight-point defeat at the hands of Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors at the The Salford Stadium.
The hosts went into the break two points behind with Josh Jones, Derrell Olpherts and Niall Evalds scoring for Salford while George Williams, Thomas Leuluai and Joe Greenwood went over for Wigan. Zak Hardaker’s third conversion being the difference between the sides.
Salford regained the lead when Adam Walker scored his first Red Devils try on his home debut, but Williams would score twice more to complete a hat-trick and consign Salford to defeat.
It took just four minutes for Salford to open the scoring when Jones latched onto a low Rob Lui kick. Chamberlain couldn’t add the extras but would make amends after the ten-minute mark by converting a penalty goal.
The Red Devils hold on the game fell away as Wigan scored three tries inside seven first half minutes. Williams was first to score after he collected Jarrod Sammut’s pass at the second attempt before Leuluai and Greenwood both forced their way over for the visitors. Hardaker converted all three.
However, Salford pulled off a late first half fightback with Olpherts scoring following an initial half-break from Ed Chamberlain. Just minutes later, Chamberlain and Olpherts linked up again to find an onrushing Evalds to score. Chamberlain converted the latter meaning Ian Watson’s men trailed by two points at half-time.
Salford took the lead just a minute after the break as Walker stripped the ball from Manfredi’s grasp to score his first Red Devils try on his home debut. Chamberlain followed with the conversion to further Salford’s lead.
The lead would last just eight minutes as Wigan broke down the left-hand side with Joe Burgess finding Williams in support to score from distance. Wigan scored an identical try on the hour-mark as the halfback completed his hat-trick. Hardaker would convert both to ensure a 22-30 victory for Adrian Lam’s team.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Olpherts, Chamberlain, Bibby, Sio; Lui, Hastings; Murray, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Flanagan.
Interchanges: Nakubuwai, Griffin, Lawton, Walker.
Wigan Warriors: Hardaker, Manfredi, Gildart, Sarginson, Burgess; Sammut, Williams; Clubb, Leuluai, Navarrete, Isa, Greenwood, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Shorrocks, Hamlin, Flower, Bullock.
Salford Tries: Jones (4’), Olpherts (37’), Evalds (40’), Walker (42’)
Salford Conversions: Chamberlain (11’, 40’, 43’)
Wigan Tries: Williams (25’, 50’, 61’), Leuluai (29’), Greenwood (32’)
Wigan Conversions: Hardaker (26’, 30’, 33’, 51’, 62’)
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Man of the Match: Josh Jones.
Half-Time Draw Results:
- £382 cash prize – 04700
- Jar of Uncle Joes Mintballs – 04070
- £10 cash – 03892
- £10 cash – 03760