Salford Red Devils 12-40 Wigan Warriors

Salford Red Devils were unable to open their Super League campaign with a victory as Wigan Warriors ran out deserved 40-12 winners at the The Salford Stadium on Friday evening.
Kris Welham and Niall Evalds crossed for The Red Devils, but the visitors were far superior in what was a clinical seven try display.
Oliver Gildart and Liam Marshall claimed a brace apiece while Tom Davies, Morgan Escare and Tony Clubb also crossed for the visitors.
However, it was The Red Devils who made the brighter start to the contest, it took just three minutes to open scoring as Gareth O’Brien’s grubber kick appeared to outwit the Warriors line, before Kris Welham picked up the loose ball and touched down under the posts, O’Brien successfully scored the resulting goal.
Wigan responded well and were rewarded for their efforts just eight minutes later as a superbly timed pass from Dan Sarginson resulted in Tom Davies going over in the corner, although Sam Tomkins’ conversion was unsuccessful.
The Warriors looked intent on making a real statement and they took the lead in the 16th minute when former Red Devils Oliver Gildart latched onto a low kick before sliding across the whitewash, Tomkins kicked his first goal of the contest.
Despite the margin, Salford responded well and were unfortunate not to have scored themselves when Gareth O’Brien broke clear, the move resulted in Greg Johnson eventually being found, however the winger was unable to capitalise on the opening and was subsequently pushed into touch by the Warriors’ defence.
This move appeared to rejuvenate The Devils, moments later they forced Wigan into their in-goal area after showing sheer resilience in defence throughout the set.
Unfortunately for the hosts, their good work was undone six minutes prior to the interval, Salford were temporarily reduced to 12 men as George Griffin’s tackle was adjudged to have been dangerous by referee Robert Hicks.
Wigan quickly picked up where they left off in the second period, three minutes into the half Liam Marshall broke down the wing before superbly executing a lofted kick over the back of the Salford backs, Morgan Escare scooped up the loose ball before crossing the whitewash relatively unchallenged.
Reds boss Ian Watson will be disappointed the start his side made to the half, a combination of lapses of concentration and individual errors prevented the hosts from building any real momentum when in attack as well as allowing Wigan to create numerous try-scoring opportunities.
The visitors continued to overhaul the Salford defence as they scored a remarkable four tries over an 11 minute period.
First, Sam Tomkins delivered a low kick, to which Liam Marshall latched onto before diving over, Tomkins added the extras to take the scoring up to 22-6.
Wigan demonstrated an excellent kicking game throughout and they extended their lead moments later when George Williams’ lofted kick deceived the entire Salford back-line and Marshall sprinted 30m to claim his second score of the contest.
Soon after, Marshall was heavily involved again, this time he turned provider as he timed his pass to his perfection and found the onrushing Gildart, who ran clear for the second occasion of the evening.
Remarkably, The Warriors weren’t finished there, Tony Clubb powered over in the 67th minute to inflict further misery on The Red Devils, Tomkins added the conversion to take the Warriors up to 40 points.
Salford’s determination was rewarded six minutes from time as Niall Evalds pulled off a fantastic finish in the corner to earn a much needed consolation try for, O’Brien again converted the extras to reduce the deficit to 28 points.
Salford Lineup: Evalds, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Johnson, Lui, O’Brien, Mossop, Wood, Tasi, Jones, Hauraki, McCarthy  Interchanges: Burgess, Griffin, Littlejohn, Kopczak
Wigan Lineup: S. Tomkins, Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall, Williams, Powell, Flower, Leuluai, Clubb, J. Tomkins, Farrell, Sutton  Interchanges: Escare, Isa, Tautai, Nuuausala
Salford Scorers: Tries- Welham (3’),  Evalds (74’)
Goals- O’Brien (4’, 75’)
Wigan Scorers:  Tries-  Davies (11’), Gildart (16’, 63’), Escare (43’), Marshall (56’, 61’), Clubb (67’)
Goals- Tomkins (17’, 44’, 57’, 62’, 64’, 67’)
Man of the Match: Gareth O’Brien
Referee: R. Hicks
Touch Judges: J. McMullen, G. Jones
Attendance: 5,568
By Ryan Booth

Factfile – Salford Red Devils vs Wigan Warriors

Ahead of tomorrow’s Betfred Super League opener against Wigan Warriors we take a look at all the facts around the fixture in this week’s ‘Factfile’.
Salford and Wigan have met 42 times in total since the Super League’s inception with the Red Devils winning six of those matches.
Salford earned a memorable victory over the Warriors last season at the DW Stadium – their first at Wigan in over twenty years. The Red Devils last earned a victory over Wigan at home back in 2006.
In fact, Salford earned back-to-back home wins over Wigan in the space of just over two months. The Reds won 28-10 at The Willows – a result you can read about here, before overcoming Wigan again 16-4 in mid-May.
Played for Both
There’s a handful of Red Devils who’ve featured for Wigan over the years with Logan Tomkins starting his career at the DW Stadium alongside brothers Sam and Joel who’ll feature for the Warriors tomorrow.
Logan has racked up 93 appearances for the Red Devils since signing permanently back in 2016 following a brief loan spell at the The Salford Stadium. Tomkins has found his way over for six tries in the red of Salford while also scoring three tries in his time at Wigan.
Team Captain Lee Mossop won the Challenge Cup with Wigan before joining Salford at the start of last season. Mossop appeared ten times for Salford last year while Mark Flanagan is also a former Wigan Warriors forward.
Wigan centre Oliver Gildart featured on loan for Salford in 2015 making three first team appearances and crossing for one try.
Opening weekend fixtures 
Tomorrow’s fixture is a repeat of the opening game of the 2017 Betfred Super League in which Wigan edged out Salford 26-16 in front of a bumper crowd of 6257 at the The Salford Stadium.
Salford will be looking for their first victory over Wigan on the opening weekend of the season after also losing to the Warriors in 2013. The Red Devils last victory on the first week of the season came back in 2014 against Wakefield Trinity with Salford narrowly beating the West Yorkshire side 18-14.
Wigan have a mixed record in recent years on the opening weekend of the season. Shaun Wane’s side beat Catalans back in 2016 but have suffered two opening day defeats to Huddersfield in recent seasons.

Factfile: Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils

The Red Devils last visit to the DW Stadium yielded Salford’s first victory at Wigan in 20 years as Ian Watson’s men came away with a memorable 16-31 victory.
But, Salford have had a torrid time of it at Wigan in previous seasons. The Red Devils last victory, before this season’s triumph, came back in 1997 with a 14-21 victory with four Steve Blakeley goals and a Mark Lee drop-goal being the difference.
It isn’t just on the road against the Warriors where the Red Devils have struggled but with just 2 victories in their last 22 meetings with Wigan it’s fair to say Wigan are Salford’s bogey side. Unfortunately, Salford endured a 17-game losing streak against Wigan between 2006 and 2014.
Narrow defeats to the Warriors in 2016 and 2015 were an improvement on the Red Devils visits to the DW Stadium in earlier seasons. Salford conceded 38 points or more in five consecutive visits to the DW.
The Red Devils do have several former Warriors in the side with Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Logan Tomkins all having donned the Cherry and White of Wigan at some point.
Flanagan featured for the Warriors in 2009 before moving to NRL side Wests Tigers while Mossop and Tomkins had longer spells with Wigan. Tomkins spent four years with the Warriors with one being spent on loan with the Red Devils before the move was made permanent in 2016 while his brothers Sam and Joel still represent Wigan however only Sam is in this weekend’s matchday squad.
Mossop also joined Salford from Wigan however his move came at the start of this season. The former England international won both the Challenge Cup and Super League with the Warriors throughout two spells with the club spanning seven seasons which were split by a year in Australia with the Parramatta Eels.
Wigan and Salford have met on three occasion this season with Wigan winning twice and the Red Devils earning one victory. Both sides picked up wins on the oppositions patch before Wigan knocked off the Red Devils at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in last month’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final.
Greg Johnson has scored in two of the three meetings this season for Ian Watson’s side while Niall Evalds grabbed a brace in the visit to the DW earlier in the season. However, it is Oliver Gildart who has dominated this fixture in 2017 scoring four tries against the Red Devils this season.
Fans can still purchase tickets for Friday night’s game against Wigan at the DW Stadium. Supporters are also reminded that they can now buy tickets for all of the Red Devils home Super 8s games against Wakefield, Huddersfield and St Helens. Season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home games.

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