The Red Devils put in a near perfect first hour in their final warm-up game for the Super League season as they dismantled a strong Wigan Warriors side running out 32-16 victors at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday.
There were hugely impressive home debuts for the likes of Justin Carney, Rob Lui, Ben Murdoch-Masila and newest recruit Josh Jones amongst others who didn’t do much wrong.
Michael Dobson was dominant with Lui in the halves and the new look Devils smashed into tackle after tackle and rampaged through the Warriors line time and time again.
There was a noticeable intake of excitement every time Carney got the ball and the crowd were delighted to show their appreciation as Murdoch-Masila put in hit after hit and went on great runs through the centre himself.
Gareth O’Brien was impressive and safe at full back and was another who stood out. Kopczak, Sarsfield and Flanagan were like machines with their work-rate as new captain Tommy Lee prompted and urged his side around the park.
The home side made a fantastic start to the game and after increased pressure in Wigan’s own half, a knock on by the visitors gave the Red Devils prime position for Mark Flanagan to dive over the line just right of the sticks. Michael Dobson kicked his first of four conversions.
Wigan put in a number of strong attacking sets but the Red Devils defence stood well and kept them at bay and it wasn’t until just after the 30 minute mark that any more points were put on the board.
Josh Griffin crossed for the Red Devils in the left hand corner to further the lead. The tries kept coming from this point as minutes later Michael Dobson managed to stretch himself over the line to score just left of the sticks followed by a Rob Lui try after fantastic team work on the left wing between Sa’u and O’Brien sent him over.
Half Time Score – Salford Red Devils 22-0 Wigan Warriors
Just after half time the home side furthered their lead once more after Ryan Lannon darted his way through the Wigan defence to score. Lannon got one of the biggest cheers from the crowd for his actions as he scored potentially the try of the match – punching the air as he swatted the final defender out of the way.
Greg Johnson scored in the corner shortly after to take the Red Devils lead to 32-0 with just half an hour remaining of the game.
Wigan scored three late tries through Dominic Manfredi, Oliver Gildart and Tony Clubb with Sam Powell converting two out of three but nobody left the AJ Bell Stadium under any illusion that the Warriors had been beaten out of sight.
Now the work continues and it is on to the 2016 Super League Season.
Your Red Devils travel to Hull FC first on Friday 5th February, KO 8pm before our first home game against St Helens on Thursday 11th Feb, KO 8pm. Tickets for the Saints game are available now through the Tickets link.