Wigan Warriors held on for an 18-12 victory in Salford Red Devils’ first Super League play-off match for over a decade.
A disallowed try from Ken Sio denied Salford the chance to go in front in the second-half, after George Griffin had gone over to see them level at the break.
Salford will now host Castleford Tigers in a must-win encounter at the The Salford Stadium.
After a tight start to the match, Oliver Gildart opened the scoring off a George Williams pass.
Joey Lussick added some impetus following his introduction to the field, forcing his way over the line, but finding himself held up.
The Red Devils continued to apply pressure and were rewarded two tackles later, when Griffin went over to the left of the posts.
Krisnan Inu added the conversion, meaning it was all square at the break.
Half-time: Wigan Warriors 6-6 Salford Red Devils
Salford started the second-half on top. Niall Evalds looked to send Ken Sio in at the corner in the 49th minute, but Joe Burgess was able to tap the ball into touch.
Minutes later, Evalds did get the ball to Sio, but the video referee ruled he had a foot in touch.
A try-saver by @OliverGildart3 for @WiganWarriorsRL last night 🎇👏#OwnTheMoment pic.twitter.com/UmIkyLsv8U
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) September 21, 2019
Wigan capitalised on this with a quick-fire double of two tries in four minutes. Thomas Leuluai claimed the first, as the hosts took advantage of a loose ball and Burgess raced away to send Williams over for the second.
Jackson Hastings then stepped through in the 62nd minute and Inu converted to put Salford within a single score.
It's that man, @JackoHastings
A try for Salford Red Devils live on Sky Sports #SLWigSal pic.twitter.com/GhLQxCHbgg
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) September 20, 2019
Lee Mossop drove over the line with eight minutes remaining, but was held out by some committed defence and Wigan continued to hold firm against the Salford pressure.
Salford Red Devils will now host Castleford Tigers at the The Salford Stadium on Sunday, in one of the biggest games in the club’s recent history. Tickets for the match are available HERE, with adult tickets available from just £20.
Wigan tries: Gildart (24), Leuluai (53), Williams (57) Wigan goals: Hardaker (3/3)
Salford tries: Griffin (37), Hastings (62) Salford goals: Krisnan Inu (2/2)
Wigan Warriors: Hardaker, Marshall, Hankinson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Leuluai, Clubb, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Smithies, Flower, French, Greenwood, O’Loughlin.
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Sio, Welham, Bibby, Inu, Lolohea, Hastings, Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, McCarthy, Lussick, Walker, Flanagan, Lannon.
Referee: Robert Hicks
Image credit: Steve McCormick