RESERVES FAIL TO CAPITALISE ON COMEBACK

Warrington 32  Salford 22                     Match Report

A most impressive first half comeback saw the Salford Red Devils’ Reserve side overturn a ten point deficit, to take a 10-16 half-time lead over the Warrington Wolves Reserves, at Victoria Park, last Saturday, but, disappointingly, were unable to sustain it as the home side took command in the second half to secure the victory.

The Red Devils are beginning to make a habit of getting off to a slow start, falling behind on the scoreboard, and then coming from behind to take the lead.  That, on this occasion, as much as their below par performance in the second half, was responsible for their defeat.  It would have been far more achievable for them had they been defending a 0-16 lead at the turnaround.

Two quick tries, in the 3rd and 5th mins, put the Wolves in the driving seat, but as has happened most recently, against Wigan and London, the Salford players pulled together to overcome this in the second quarter.

It was not until the fifteenth minute, though, that they were able to launch their first attack, but, most remarkably, completed it with a try by fullback, Nathan Connell, recently returned from duties with the first team, the week before, from a kick towards the posts, over the line by scrum-half, Kai Morgan, who also added the extra two points.

Apart from these two players, there was also another pair in the side both of whom have quite a wealth of first team experience.  Amir Bourouh sadly had the misfortune of having to sit out much of the first half out, awaiting a half time head injury assessment, after a knock, on 8 mins.  King Vuniyayawa, however, contributed much to the side’s mid-half fightback.  

Having already impressed with some really strong carries forward, he was instrumental in the next Salford score.  This started with an arcing run from the middle of the field fifteen metres out towards the left touchline, and as he was tackled just short of the line, he slipped the ball to centre, Brad Hammond, who crossed too far out for the conversion to be successful.

Not only this, he, it was, whose strength and power took him through the defence to score between the posts, for their one and only try of the second half, with Morgan adding the straight-forward conversion.

Before that, however, the Reds had enjoyed a grand ending to the first half, when they took the lead, five minutes from half time, with second rower, Charlie McCurrie, charging over, and although initially being prevented from grounding the ball by a cluster of defenders, most smartly rolled over sideways to place it down on the other side.  With the aid of a ricochet in off the post, Morgan was able to chalk up another two points to widen the Salford lead.

The second half, however, was to be all Warrington’s – certainly as far as the scoring was concerned – though it has to be said that a couple of those were attributable to the most extraordinary of circumstances.

Nevertheless, the Reds continued to endeavour to press their hosts on a number of occasions, but without success, and so, with frustration building up, errors started to set in, which merely sourced the Wolves’ opportunities to attack all the more.

Coach, Stuart Wilkinson, elaborated on this further:

“It was a disappointing afternoon, overall.  We had a poor start and then, in the second half, we went away from what the good things that we had been doing up to half time.  It is indicative of the point in our development at this time, where there has been plenty of spirit in evidence, but also a lack of awareness of the impact of errors and especially giving away penalties.  This is something that can only be eliminated by learning, over time

“Despite this, we have been competitive right to the end, in every one of our games, and this was most evident in the contribution of substitute, Leunbou Bardyel-Wells, whose commitment and endeavour was absolutely outstanding.  His impact caused so much anxiety in the home crowd, that they even cheered when he received a couple of hard hits, while carrying the ball, which is a significant compliment in itself.”

 SALFORD

Nathan Connell, Joe Coope-Franklin, Scott Egan, Brad Hammond, Ethan Fitzgerald, Joe Purcell, Kai Morgan, Jamie Pye, Amir Bourouh, King Vuniyayawa, Henry Davies, Charlie McCurrie, John Hutchings

Interchanges:

Finley Yates, Jack Gatcliffe, Leunbou Bardyel-Wells, Josh Wagstaffe

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