A valiant Salford Red Devils were narrowly beaten by Wigan Warriors 30-24 in Round 10 of the Betfred Super League this afternoon.
Paul Rowley’s side certainly did not cower from one of the league’s strongest outfits and almost pulled off a superb result, but a solo try from Jai Field, – right at the death – earned Wigan the points
The hosts were the first on the scoresheet when some quick passing in the centre allowed John Bateman to find the dangerous Jai Field the space to race 40 metres beyond the Salford backline and slide over.
There was an instant response by the Red Devils, with some intense pressure on the Wigan try line earning Salford repeated sets.
Eventually, Brodie Croft’s neat pass allowed King Vuniyayawa to power underneath the sticks – Ryan Brierley kicked the extra’s on his 250th career appearance.
Salford built on their momentum and took the lead just eight minutes later. A well-worked move from left to right gave Brierley the chance to expertly dummy his man and find Matt Costello to score his first try of the season.
Wigan hit back with some intelligent play from Brad O’Neill, who spotted Kaide Ellis making a run and slipped him in behind to level the scores.
The Cherry and White’s found their groove and hit Salford with two quickfire tries. Just before the half-hour mark, Cade Cust skipped across the pitch before flicking a short pass to Liam Farrell to go over.
Just minutes later, Harry Smith found a gap in Salford’s centre to dart through and touch down before converting his own try.
Half-time: Wigan Warriors 24–12 Salford Red Devils
Rowley’s half-time team talk fired up the team and they came out for the second 40 in flying form.
Some great play gained quick metres in the Wigan half and Croft’s neat grubber kick allowed Alex Gerrard to slam down after some slight confusion with Brierley.
Then, just as Wigan were starting to build pressure, Ken Sio showed his class to intercept, charge over 70 metres downfield and fire Salford level.
As the clock ticked down and the tension around the DW Stadium grew, some brave Salford defending on their own try-line kept the Warriors out for a long while, but the resistance was eventually broken by Field.
After collecting an attempted Salford drop goal, the rapid full-back sprinted the entire length of the pitch down the right to win the game for the hosts.
Full-time: Wigan Warriors 30–24 Salford Red Devils
Wigan: Field, French, Thornley, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Ellis, O’Neill, Byrne, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies, Mago, Partington, Havard, Shorrocks.
Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Costello, Williams, Atkin, Croft, Burke, Ackers, Vuniyayawa, Addy, Watkins, Taylor (C), Ormondroyd, Gerrard, Escare, Luckley.
Wigan tries: Field (5’, 78’), Ellis (22’), Farrell (29’), Smith (33’)
Salford tries: Vuniyayawa (10’), Costello (18’), Gerrard (46’), Sio (54’)
Wigan goals: Smith (5/5)
Salford goals: Brierley (4/4)