A second-half brace from Niall Evalds helped Salford Red Devils seal the win over Wigan Warriors in an exciting game at the AJ Bell Stadium.
And the last time the two sides met, Salford came out winners in 2019’s Betfred Super League semi-final.
The game began with some scrappy play as both sides conceded penalties, Chris Hankinson scoring for Wigan followed by a Tui Lolohea goal minutes later to make it 2-2 after ten minutes.
A Wigan scrum in the 13th minute, metres out from Salford’s line, saw Jackson Hastings punish his former side with a try.
Some encouraging rugby followed from the Red Devils outfit, getting close to a try of their own numerous times.
Niall Evalds found a gap in the centre of Wigan’s line, but unable to feed a teammate, kicked it out of touch in an attempt to find Ken Sio.
Five minutes from half-time, Wigan scored again. This time Sam Powell slid over under the sticks to gift Hankinson a simple conversion.
Halftime: Salford Red Devils 2 Wigan Warriors 14
The second forty minutes was a far better performance from the Red Devils, who seemed a lot hungrier.
On the hour mark Salford got themselves on the scoreboard after a Mark Flanagan offload bounced kindly for Evalds, who turned the Wigan defence inside out before sliding over under the posts.
And five minutes later, Evalds picked up a loose ball and with some blistering pace, ran the full length of the pitch to equalise for the Reds.
With a spring in their step, the Reds were playing arguably the best they had all season against a strong Wigan outfit.
And seven minutes from time, Salford clinched a winner. Rhys Williams broke the line but was met by Bevan French. Some great passing down the line ended with Kevin Brown diving over to the left to make the last few minutes of the game tense.
Wigan came close at the end, but a massive tackle by Dan Sarginson on French, metres from his line, summed up the Reds’ determination.
The Red Devils are set to be in action next Friday, when they host Castleford Tigers. Tickets can be purchased from the AJ Bell Stadium ticket office, by calling 0161 786 1570, or online HERE.
Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 18 Wigan Warriors 14
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Sio, Welham, Sarginson, Williams, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Lussick, Yates, Lannon, Roberts, McCarthy, Pauli, Ikahihifo, Flanagan, Kear.
Wigan Warriors: French, Manfredi, Hankinson, Bibby, Marshall, Leuluai, Hastings, Burgess, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Smithies, Bullock, Havard, Clark, Smith.
Salford Tries: Evalds (60, 65), Brown (73).
Salford Goals: Lolohea (3/4)
Wigan Tries: Hastings (13), Powell (35).
Wigan goals: Hankinson (3/3)
Referee: J. Child
Image Credit: Steve McCormick