Salford Red Devils suffered a frustrating Betfred Super League defeat as local rivals Warrington Wolves ran out 22-6 winners in a feisty affair at the The Salford Stadium.
Tries from Toby King, Josh Charnley, Tyrone Roberts and Kevin Brown ensured The Wolves secured the derby day bragging rights despite a creditable effort from Ian Watson’s side.
Despite making a strong start to the contest, Salford fell behind in the 4th minute when a knock-on from Weller Hauraki resulted in a Warrington break and allowed Josh Charnley to dart towards the Salford line.
Unfortunately for The Red Devils, Derrell Olpherts’ defensive effort wasn’t enough to prevent former Wigan man Charnley from flicking the ball inside to Toby King, who subsequently dived over – although former Red Devil Stefan Ratchford was unable to land the resulting goal.
The visitors controlled the early stages and found themselves over several minutes later as Ratchford’s looping pass forged an opening for Charnley to cross over the whitewash unchallenged, Ratchford then missed a second successive conversion as the ball rebounded off the post.
Salford found themselves further behind in the 22nd minute as Tyrone Roberts’ high kick caused mayhem as both Olpherts and Robert Lui tried to retrieve the bouncing ball and half-back Roberts took advantage of the confusion to pounce onto the loose ball and touch down, Ratchford converted his first goal of the day to extend The Wire’s lead.
However The Red Devils responded well and clawed their way back into the game as some quick hands from Jack Littlejohn and Hauraki paved the way for Lui to break through the Warrington line and cross over before adding the extras.
Lui’s score seemed to instill some confidence amongst the Salford ranks, first Lama Tasi made arguably the break of the season to pin the visitors inside their own half and then Ryan Lannon produced a slick chipped kick over the back of the Warrington line before forcing Stefan Ratchford in-goal.
The visitors flew out of the blocks after the break and thought they’d crossed over again in the 44th minute as Charnley dived over – but the try was chalked off due to a knock on from Ryan Atkins earlier in the build up.
Salford almost fought back with a further effort as Robert Lui stabbed the ball towards the right-hand corner but the ball fell agonisingly behind the onrushing Jake Bibby.
Midway through the half, The Red Devils had their own try disallowed as Weller Hauraki’s effort was ruled out due to Kris Welham being found guilty of obstructing Kevin Brown after breaking through the line.
Warrington ended any hopes of a Salford comeback after capitalising on an error from Olpherts, Ratchford stepped over several tackle attempts before finding Brown who duly crossed over – Ratchford then added the extras to take The Wolves up to the 20-point mark.
Steve Price’s side completed the scoring four minutes later through another goal from Ratchford after Lama Tasi gave away a penalty following an altercation with Charnley in the tackle.
Salford Lineup: Lui, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts, Shorrocks, Littlejohn, Mossop, Wood, Kopczak, Jones, Hauraki, Flanagan. Interchanges: Lannon, Nakubuwai, Tasi, Burgess.
Warrington Lineup: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, T. King, Charnley, Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Westwood. Interchanges: Atkins, Philbin, Crosby, Akauola.
Salford Scorers: Tries- Lui (26’) | Goals- Lui (27’)
Warrington Scorers: Tries- King (4’), Charnley (11’), Roberts (22’), Brown (72’) | Goals- Ratchford (23’, 73’, 77’)
Man of the Match: Robert Lui
Referee: Gareth Hewer Touch Judges: A. Martin & R. Thompson