Tag: DW Stadium

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: WIGAN v SALFORD

With a two-week gap since their last outing, Salford Red Devils will probably have been glad just to get back to their task of playing a game once again, with this their first return to the DW Stadium, since that magnificent victory over Wigan Warriors in the semi-final of the 2019 play-offs.

Certainly, that appeared to be the case, as they settled into their game in the first half, producing a well organised and challenging opposition to the home side, from the outset, and although the Warriors had a greater proportion of possession, and the better field position in the very early stages, the Red Devils soaked up the pressure, limiting their hosts to a solitary, unconverted try in the right corner, from winger Halsall, on twelve minutes.

From that point, the visitors took control, showing all the positive elements of their defence and attack which had been in evidence, at Leeds, a fortnight ago.  In particular, it was a joy to watch the Salford forwards making such good inroads into the opposition’s defensive line, often turning a difficult start to the set, close to their own line, and finishing it with a kick from within the Wigan half, which, with a good chase, completely turned the tables on the Warriors, leaving them to struggle to get away from their line.

From all the work and endeavour came the reward of points on the board, the first of which came with Joe Burgess’s crossing in the corner, in his first league game against his former club, after good handling through six pairs of hands.

One aspect of their attack which did seem to need some further attention, however, was their ability to score from close range.  On a number of occasions, the Reds got within five or ten metres of Wigan’s try line, only to lose possession early in the tackle count, and that failure to turn position into further points was to cost them dearly as the game proceeded.

Nevertheless, they were able to leave the field at halftime with a two-point lead, courtesy of Harvey Livett’s last minute penalty goal, which compensated for his missed conversion attempt earlier, and enthusiasm for a second victory on Wigan soil must have begun to grow among the Salford faithful.

Sadly, this time the Reds had merely flattered to deceive, as they failed to live up to the expectations they had placed upon themselves in the first half.  In retrospect, it may appear to be that Wigan simply upped their game, and that Salford were unable to compete with them, thereafter.

That, however, would be an over-simplification of events, particularly at the start of the half.  Yes, Wigan did become rather more mobile in defence, and increased their line-speed to try to apply greater pressure, but possibly more importantly, the Red Devils fell away from the good things which they had produced to such fine effect in the first forty.

Errors with ball in hand started to become more evident, providing the Warriors a much more unequal level of possession, and an almost constant foothold in the Salford half, all of which led them to drift away from the game plan, with players trying to fix things in their own way, thereby causing at least a little confusion among the rest of the team.

Most discouragingly, the discipline, which they had shown throughout the opening stanza, deserted them, and the penalty count started to rack up against them, not, thankfully, compounded by dissent this time, for they left Lee Mossop to carry out his role, as captain, of seeking clarification from the referee, on certain decisions.  Poor execution and judgement were the main causes, especially once Jackson Hastings was moved to half back bringing a new dimension to Wigan’s attack, and the Warriors were only too eager to keep their score increasing, by slotting over three kickable attempts.

Although no longer classed as a penalty, infringements at the ruck are still punished by set restarts, the extra tackles from which add quite significantly to the fatigue and pressure on teams, particularly when the restart comes on the final tackle of a set, as happened on three occasions in that second period.  With so much turning against them it has to be said that the Salford defence did exceedingly well to keep their line intact until twenty-seven minutes after the restart, when John Bateman successfully squeezed through.

Most, on Friday evening, will have felt an over-riding feeling of disappointment that having done so much to put themselves in such a good position, the team fell away somewhat in the second half.  That in itself is an extremely strong indicator of the considerable progress the club and the team have made in recent years.

MATCH REPORT | WIGAN WARRIORS 16-6 SALFORD RED DEVILS | FRIDAY 6TH AUGUST 2021

Despite leading at the interval and going toe to toe for the majority of the game, Salford Red Devils fell to a 16-6 defeat against Wigan Warriors tonight at the DW Stadium.

The hosts only pipped Salford by one in terms of number of tries scored but it was three penalty goals due to poor discipline that arguably cost Salford the game.

Wigan went over first after 13 minutes through Sam Halsall, who dived over in the right corner.

Salford born Ellis Robson, who is currently on loan from Warrington Wolves, came on just before the 20-minute mark to make his Red Devils debut, five minutes before Marshall’s men got themselves on the scoreboard.

Fast hands down the line from right to left opened up a gap in the left corner for former Wigan man, Joe Burgess, to dive over acrobatically.

In the 32nd minute, an altercation between Josh Johnson and Morgan Smithies saw both sides lose a player to the sin bin, with both men not returning until two minutes into the second forty.

Just before the hooter to signal halftime, Salford were awarded a penalty 30 metres out and opted for the two. Harvey Livett converted and the Red Devils went into the break with a slight lead.

Halftime: Wigan Warriors 4-6 Salford Red Devils

The second forty saw Wigan awarded three penalties, opting for the two each time, with Harry Smith converting all three.

The latter of the Wigan penalty goals involved Ata Hingano seeing yellow after a high tackle on Jackson Hastings in front of Salford’s sticks with 17 minutes to go.

John Bateman sealed the victory for Wigan in the 68th minute, powering over to the left of the sticks to ensure his side finished the game as victors.

Salford now regroup and look to our home game against Huddersfield Giants on Friday 13th August, which promises to be an exciting affair with unrestricted crowds at the AJ Bell Stadium for the first time since Friday 13th March 2020. Get your tickets HERE.

Wigan Warriors: Hastings, Halsall, Isa, Bibby, Marshall, Field, Smith, Havard, Powell, Clubb, Pearce-Paul, Smithies, Shorrocks, Bateman, Bullock, Byrne, Hardaker.

Wigan tries: Halsall, Bateman

Wigan goals: Smith (4/5)

Salford tries: Burgess

Salford goals: Livett

Referee: T. Grant

Image credit: Steve McCormick

TICKETS ON SALE FOR WIGAN AWAY

Tickets for our away game against Wigan Warriors on Friday 6th August, kick-off 7:45pm, are now on sale.

 You can purchase tickets online here, where you will be able to select postage up to Wednesday and collect from the AJ Bell stadium up until midday Friday. Charges will apply when purchasing online.

Alternatively, you can call the AJ Bell stadium ticket office on 0161 786 1570 and select option 1, or attend in person and purchase from the stadium reception.

The stadium will be open for tickets on Monday 2nd August till 8pm, Tuesday 3rd – 8am-3pm, Wednesday – online only, Thursday 5th – 1pm-8pm and Friday 6th – 8am-12pm.

Ticket prices are:

 

16-21: £18

Over 60s: £19

22-24: £21

Adult: £25

Under 8s: free

Under 16 season ticket holders: £5

Under 16s: £14

 

The last time we played our neighbours on their home turf, was that night in 2019 when we won 28-4 to progress to our first ever Super League Grand Final.

If you require a wheelchair bay or disabled / carers tickets please call the stadium.

Anyone having difficulty in contacting the ticket office can also send an email to ticketoffice@ajbellstadium.co.uk with details for a call back.

Tickets will go off sale at midday on Friday and we only have a limited allocation so tickets will be issued on a first come, first serve basis. There will be no option to collect your tickets from the DW Stadium.

See advice from Wigan below:

“As the rules on social distancing and the need to wear a face covering have been relaxed, both Wigan Warriors and the DW Stadium would encourage supporters to carry on wearing face coverings and on sanitising their hands to protect both yourself and each other.

“With turnstiles and concourse facilities now being opened up, Wigan Warriors and the DW Stadium would also ask that supporters look to maintain (whenever possible) social distancing etiquette.”

Ian Watson | “That’s the level we’ve got to get used to playing at”

Head Coach Ian Watson remained upbeat despite a 0-30 defeat at Wigan and was pleased with the resiliency shown following large periods of defence at the DW Stadium.
Watson said: “In the second half we defended 28 sets and we only had ball in hand for 11.
“Wigan were really good and showed a patient mentality by getting a lot of repeat sets which meant we had to defend a lot and that’s what winning teams do.
“That’s something we can learn from Wigan. We need to learn to be better with the ball, we turned over too much ball with our errors, but these came on the back of a lot of defending.
“I thought our defensive systems were a lot better which I know is a bit weird when you concede that many points, but they were a lot better tonight. Especially in the first 25 minutes where the game was a real arm-wrestle.
“Wigan are used to being at that intense level and that’s what we’re trying to educate some of our younger guys to be at that level, so they can consistently grind out in games.
“That’s the level we’ve got to get used to playing at.”
You can watch the full post-match press conference here:

Match Report | Wigan Warriors 30-0 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils fell to a second successive Betfred Super League defeat as Wigan Warriors ran out comfortable 30-0 winners on a frustrating evening at the DW Stadium.
Sam Tomkins’ brace alongside further scores from Oliver Gildart, Tony Clubb, George Williams and John Bateman ensured the Warriors moved to within two points of league leaders St Helens.
The Red Devils were fortunate not to have conceded just four minutes into the contest as George Williams broke clear before flicking inside to the onrushing Liam Marshall, however the latter couldn’t keep hold of the ball after some good pressure from stand-in full-back Derrell Olpherts.
Olpherts was involved again minutes later after teaming up with Jake Bibby and Kris Welham to force Willie Isa into touch just when a try looked certain.
Despite making a strong start to the contest, Salford’s efforts were undone midway through the half as former Red Devil Oliver Gildart cut inside before racing clear under the sticks to touch down.
Sam Tomkins converted the resulting goal and the Warriors were in again moments later as Marshall capitalised on an error from Bibby before finding Tony Clubb who powered over the line from close-range, despite the best efforts of two Salford defenders.
Shaun Wane’s men were in a ruthless mood and found themselves over for a third occasion in the 31st minute as Williams jinked his way through the Salford line to cross over before Tomkins added his third goal.
The Wigan full-back then attempted to land a drop-goal from the 30m mark but Olpherts comfortably collected as the ball fell short of the sticks seconds before the half-time hooter.
After the break the hosts flew out of the blocks and thought they’d scored as Sam Powell darted over the line, but referee Chris Kendall came to Salford’s aid after ruling the try out.
Wigan weren’t to be denied for long however, the lively Tomkins picked up a short ball from Tommy Leuluai before forging his way under several Red Devil counterparts to cross over.
Salford regrouped and almost found their way over as Daniel Murray pierced his way through the Warriors line, but the forward knocked on after an explosive tackle from an opposition defender.
Things soon worsened for Ian Watson’s side when Tomkins wormed his way over to grab his second try in what was a carbon copy of his first effort.
The Warriors weren’t done there however, John Bateman produced a sublime dummy to deceive the Salford line before diving over with ease to complete the victory.
Wigan Lineup: S.Tomkins, Davies, Sarginson, Gildart, Marshall, Williams, Powell, Navarette, Leuluai, Flower, Isa, Bateman, J.Tomkins.
Interchanges: Clubb, Sutton, Tautai, Escare.
Salford Lineup: Olpherts, Johnson, Sa’u, Welham, Bibby, Shorrocks, Littlejohn, Kopczak, L.Tomkins, Bennion, Hauraki, Lannon, Murray.
Interchanges: Tasi, Burgess, McCarthy, Nzoungou.
Wigan Scorers: Tries- Gildart (22’), Clubb (25’), Williams (31’), S.Tomkins (58’, 67’), Bateman (75’) | Goals- S.Tomkins (22’, 25’, 31’)
Salford Scorers: Tries- N/A | Goals- N/A
Man of the Match: Kris Welham
Referee: Chris Kendall. Touch Judges: Anthony Martin & Gareth Jones. In-Goal Judges: Curley Etchells & Jack Pulletin.
Attendance: 10,733

Preview | Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 4th May

Salford Red Devils travel to Wigan Warriors looking to make it back-to-back away victories for the first time in 2018.  
The Red Devils suffered defeat last weekend to St Helens but still remain inside the top eight while the Warriors sit in 2nd place two points behind the Betfred Super League leaders Saints.
Form
Salford Red Devils come into the game looking to bounce back following a heavy defeat against current Betfred Super League leaders St Helens last weekend at the AJ Bell Stadium.
However, the Red Devils had hit a good spell prior to the last Friday’s defeat with back-to-back wins over Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity. The away win against Huddersfield was the team’s first since May of 2017 and they will be looking to earn consecutive wins on the road for the first time this season at the DW Stadium.
Wigan have been in fine form lately losing just one of their last nine games; a Good Friday defeat to local rivals St Helens. The Warriors have overcome the likes of Hull Kingston Rovers, Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings since losing to the league leaders at the end of March.
Head-to-head
In this week’s head-to-head we pit two centres against each other in experienced Salford veteran Kris Welham and young Wigan star Oliver Gildart.
Welham has been one of Salford’s ever-present players this season and has continued to impress after a great debut season in 2017. The centre scored in the meeting between the sides earlier in the season and has crossed for four tries this season.
Gildart – who has spent time on loan at Salford before – has been one of the standout performers for Wigan again this season already scoring eight tries including a brace against the Red Devils.
The meeting earlier in the season saw Wigan cause issues down the left-hand flank and it will be interesting to see which centre comes out on top this weekend as it could have a big influence on the final result.
Team News
Levy Nzoungou and Gavin Bennion are set to make their debuts for the Salford Red Devils at the DW Stadium on Friday evening.
Young forward Daniel Murray also returns to the squad after sealing a new two-year deal at the AJ Bell Stadium. Lee Mossop, Mark Flanagan and Josh Jones are absent.
Robert Lui is still recovering from a minor injury he picked up in the win over Wakefield while Manu Vatuvei and Kriss Brining are long-term injuries with the latter undergoing surgery earlier this week. Niall Evalds also misses out due to failing a concussion assessment last weekend against St Helens.
Jake Shorrocks could feature against his parent club while Ben Nakubuwai also returns to the 19-man squad.
Joe Burgess is the big absentee for Wigan after he picked up a season-ending injury earlier in the week. Liam Farrell also misses out with an ankle injury.
However, John Bateman returns after recovering from an illness while Ben Flower and Sam Tomkins – who missed out against Widnes last week – both return to the squad.
Squads 
Wigan: Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, J. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Williams.
Salford: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Littlejohn, Kopczak, L. Tomkins, Hauraki, Tasi, Lannon, Burgess, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Bibby, Nzoungou, Murray, Bennion, Shorrocks.
Officials 
Referee: C. Kendall.
Touch Judges: A. Martin & G. Jones.

Ian Watson | “All the boys know we are much better than that”

To many of us, as supporters, it would probably appear to be a cruel twist in the fixture arrangements for us to be turning out against the likes of St Helens and Wigan, in consecutive weeks, and particularly so, on this occasion after having had such a challenging encounter, last Thursday, in the first of these.
Not so, however, Head Coach, Ian Watson. He is most gratified with the way the fixture list has unfolded in this respect, as he explains.
Watson said: “I think this is a good one for us after the way the St Helens game went. It’s going to be all about our performance now, on the back of last week, with the opportunity to right a few wrongs, because we felt, as a team, that we fell short of the standards that we have set ourselves. All the boys know that we are much better than that.”
The slightly longer than usual week of Thursday to Friday has consequently been of benefit to them all in getting to grips with this.
“We have really stripped things down to the basics, as much for personnel issues as anything else, and focused on the fundamentals. St Helens, last week. just ran a lot harder than we did, fought hard to play the ball quickly, and the speed of the game then became too quick for us.
“We had spoken about controlling this in order to prevent it happening, which we have been very good at doing in most games, but for the first time this season their pack managed to get the better of ours. Our pack has been outstanding all year, but we are going to be up against a big physical side again this week, which is going to be a good game to have after last week.”
There can be no gainsaying the quality of St Helens, however, who shrugged off the sending off of Matty Lees, to produce try-scoring opportunities throughout the whole game, regardless of their numerical inferiority.
“Saints are a great team this season and have played with consistency throughout the year. They use their speed and quality of execution to play on your edges, where you’ve got the spaces, but that was down to us just losing the speed of the game, and, in particular, the speed of the ruck. Once you lose that, it does not matter whether they have twelve men or thirteen, you are going to be on the back foot and getting caught out wide.”
It is most remarkable how the team went from a great performance against Wakefield, to the one we experienced against St Helens, which shows just how far the pendulum can swing in one week only. It now just has swing back, as quickly.
“It will all be down to performance, and our attitude in the approach to this game. If that is right the result will take care of itself.
“We have a very small squad, and at the moment we have around only nineteen to twenty fully fit players from whom to select.
“It is our job, as coaches, though, to work with the squad we’ve got to ensure that we qualify for the Super 8s, at the end of the season. Wigan away, on Friday night, is the perfect opportunity to put things right and put our reputation back out there for people to see.”

Factfile | Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils | Friday 4th May

Ahead of tomorrow’s Betfred Super League game against Wigan Warriors we take a look at all the facts and stats as Salford look to make it back-to-back away victories.
Previous Meetings
The Red Devils last victory over the Warriors ended a 20-year wait for an away win against Wigan as Ian Watson’s men earned a 16-31 victory at the DW Stadium. Niall Evalds grabbed a brace alongside scores from Kris Welham, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Greg Johnson to give Salford a memorable victory. Read more about it here.
Salford’s most recent away victory prior to last season came August 17th 1997 as the Red Devils earned a 21-4 win. This was the last of a three-game winning streak against the Warriors with Salford. The Red Devils can only claim two separate wins against the Warriors since 2006.
Wigan have won their last three outings against Salford with a Ladbrokes Challenge semi-final, a Super 8s and a 2018 opening weekend win included in that run.
Overall in the Betfred Super League, Wigan have won 37 of the meetings between the two sides, the Red Devils have won six and there is yet to be a draw between the two teams.
Try-scorers
As seems to be a regular feature this season fullback Niall Evalds is the Red Devils most prolific scorer against Wigan in recent meetings. The England Knights squad member has crossed for four tries in last four appearances against Wigan however won’t be available for this Friday’s visit to the DW Stadium.
Kris Welham has also scored twice against Wigan since joining Salford.
Oliver Gildart – who spent time on loan with Salford in 2015 – has scored six tries in the last five meetings between the teams. Gildart has crossed for braces in the most recent match, last year’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final and the opening game of the 2017 Betfred Super League season.
Joe Burgess and Liam Marshall have also scored doubles in recent meetings with the Red Devils.
2018 stats
Winger Jake Bibby is currently Salford’s leading try-scorer for the 2018 Betfred Super League season with seven tries. Marshall is currently leading the way for Wigan with nine tries closely followed by fellow backs Gildart and Burgess.
Former Wigan Warrior Logan Tomkins has amounted the most tackles for Salford so far this season with 386 which is one more than current leader for the Warriors Willie Isa who sits on 385.
Bibby also has the highest number of clean breaks so far this season for Salford totalling 15 two more than Wigan’s frontrunner Burgess who has 13.
Overall, Salford are the 6th most prolific try-scorers in the Betfred Super League this year with 39 tries while Wigan sit 2nd with 62.
 
Tickets can still be purchased from the AJ Bell Stadium Club Ticket Office up until 4pm on Friday 4th May. Purchase from the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and the Club retain 25% of your purchase. You can also book a place on the Supporters’ Coach at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone.

Squad | Ian Watson could name two debutants against Wigan

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s trip to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Warriors.
Off-season additions Levy Nzoungou and Gavin Bennion could both be in line to make their competitive debuts for the Red Devils following successful spells on loan.
Club Captain Weller Hauraki returns to the squad alongside another one of the off-season newcomers Ben Nakubuwai who – before last weekend – had played 11 consecutive fixtures in 2018.
Daniel Murray could also be set to return to the team off the back of a new two-year deal with the Club.
Mark Flanagan, Lee Mossop, and Josh Jones are the forwards who miss out while Rob Lui is still recovering from a minor injury picked up in the recent victory over Wakefield.
Niall Evalds is ruled out due to failing a concussion assessment in last weekend’s defeat against St Helens.
Manu Vatuvei and Kriss Brining remained sidelined with the latter due to undergo surgery in the coming days.
The full 19-man squad can be seen below:

Ian Watson – "We just weren't good enough"

Red Devils head coach Ian Watson feels his side lost the forward battle in their defeat to Wigan at the DW Stadium on Friday.
Watson said: “We had a little bit of possession on their line early on and we probably we needed to take a couple of points there to give us a bit of a foothold.
“But, we didn’t and they marched us down the field and I thought their middles were outstanding and absolutely dominated us, to be fair.
“There’s a quality of player you do miss but it’s no excuse it wasn’t good enough from us as a group.
“We’ve been discussing that in there as a team we want to compete going forward it’s just managing to turn the form books upside down as we’ve been saying.
“We just weren’t good enough and I thought Wigan were outstanding. We’ve met probably the three best teams at the moment in Hull, Castleford and Wigan as well and we’ve not done ourselves any favours with our performances.
“The effort was better in the second half and that’s what we’ve said if we had some of that effort in the first half we might have had a little bit of a different outlook on the game.
“But, like I say, I think we met Wigan on a good day and they’re getting ready for a big Challenge Cup final.
“What we wanted to do was try and rectify that semi-final defeat more than anything but I just thought they were too good for us today to be honest.
“Hopefully, this couple of weeks will give us a bit of time to get a couple of players back on the field which can give us a little bit more experience – we need to find a balance between training and freshening up both mentally and physically.”