Tag: Wigan Warriors

OLIVER PARTINGTON SIGNS FOR SALFORD

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Oliver Partington from Wigan Warriors on a two-year deal.

Partington, who can play as a prop or loose forward, has played over 70 times for Wigan since his debut in the Betfred Super League in 2018, with a Grand Final appearance and one run-out for England Knights.

Despite his age, the 23-year-old has established himself at the elite level of rugby league and will be an important part of our forward pack from 2023 onwards.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Partington commented: “I’m over the moon to have signed for Salford. After speaking to Paul Rowley, I knew it was the right place for me. I can’t wait to get going with the lads and looking forward to meeting the fans!”

On Partington, head coach Paul Rowley said: “It’s great news that Ollie has chosen our club to continue his journey. I’m looking forward to seeing him playing alongside our lads and know he will fit in perfectly.”

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “I’m really excited about capturing the signing of Ollie. It’s a real statement of intent getting a player of his ability, and he’ll fit straight into the culture created at our club.

“I expect him to flourish as a player and progress into competing for international honours during his time here – hopefully for a long time to come.

“When I first met with Ollie, I was really impressed with his attitude to playing rugby and it is clear he will fit right in within our incredible group.”

Partington is available for sponsorship for the 2023 season. Please email hannah.edge@salfordreddevils.net if you are interested.

Join our new prop next year, by purchasing a 2023 season ticket HERE.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH:  SALFORD V WIGAN

As the teams trooped off for the extended (owing to live TV coverage) half time interval, at last Friday’s home Super League encounter, both coaches and groups of players must have had much with which to feel well satisfied.

Visitors, Wigan, will have been pleased with the fact that they were in front, even if by only six points, and with the manner in which they had managed the game, spending much of the half, particularly during the opening twenty minutes, on attack with adequate ball possession and field position.

Salford, for their part, will have been especially pleased with their defence, which had withstood all but one of the questions thrown at it, and also with the way in which they had gradually worked towards parity with the Warriors in terms of position and possession, in the second quarter.  That they had not managed to score, in order to level up the scoreboard, was a little disappointing but nevertheless they had come as close to doing so as Wigan had, to extending their lead.

That first forty had produced just one defensive error – by Salford’s right edge – where an overlap had been worked for left winger, Marshall, who promptly cut inside to set up Smith for a  try he, himself, converted.  Other than that, the game had been an intriguing arm wrestle, in which Salford had matched the cup holders in every aspect.  After the disappointment at Hull KR, the week before, the return of two big forwards not only steadied the side, it gave them some noticeable go-forward.

Sitaleki Akauola ran as strongly as we have seen from him, and he gave what was probably his best performance, since joining the Red Devils.  On his introduction, midway through the half, the imposing, Sam Luckley, set about giving a sterling performance, in which he took on, and diminished, the dominant power of the Warriors’ pack, by injecting some considerable hit-ups, which quickly started to take their toll on the opposition’s defenders.

So, with honours close to being even, thoughts turned to the coming forty minutes, and how things might shape up.  Wigan had shown not only in the previous week, against Castleford, that they can turn round, from the interval, as a completely different team.  Whilst there have been odd occasions earlier in the season, such as the Leeds and Castleford encounters, when Salford have done likewise, there have also been other occasions they have failed to do so, and consequently succumbed to the dominance of the opposition.

It did not take long after the restart for spectators of both persuasions to discover just which path the second forty of this game would take – a mere four minutes to be precise.  A crucial penalty went Wigan’s way, after an altercation involving players from both sides.  From that they built up an attack which brought Marshall his first try from Bibby’s kick, to take the Warriors into double figures.

The home side’s immediate response, with an attack of their own, went sadly wrong three minutes later, when Andy Ackers’s pass was intercepted by Field, from which he and French broke clear, down the right edge.  Thankfully, Salford’s excellent scrambling defence was equal to the attack, and although they were initially outpaced by the pair, they got back in sufficient numbers to snuff out the threat, forcing French to spill the ball.

Ironically, a mere two minutes later, an end-of-set kick landed straight in the arms of French, and he and Field promptly set off again, but this time, despite the endeavours of the Salford defence, the combined efforts of two of the fastest players in Super League, managed to get the winger in at the corner and the goal kick then put them sixteen points in front.

There could not have been a more morale deflating event possible, and that, coupled with the loss of energy Salford players had already expended in the first half, enabled the visitors to hit a purple patch, running in three tries in six minutes, as a result of their total domination of possession during this period.

Hurt as their pride was, the Reds struck back near the end with two deserved tries, both converted by Marc Sneyd, from kicks into the in-goal area.  The first, which followed the awarding of a repeat set, was from Sneyd’s kick into the corner, the bounce of which eluded Ken Sio, but was caught and grounded by his centre, Deon Cross.

Finally, the absolutely magnificent Kallum Watkins was first to get a hand to the ball, from Brodie Croft’s kick. The visiting, Shaun Wayne, can have been nothing but impressed by the recently converted, second rower’s performance throughout, and to secure the final try of the evening was only just dessert for him and his wholehearted efforts.

With yet another weekend ahead without a match, the Red Devils might well benefit from this one rather more than the last one, two weeks ago.  On that occasion it disrupted their run of wins, but this time they hopefully will use it to rediscover the form they had been showing in their previous four fixtures.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH:  HULL KR V SALFORD

Not for the first time, a team in a rich vein of form paid the price for a fixture-free weekend, with a loss of momentum and subsequently, a loss of quality in their performance.  That certainly appeared to be the case with Salford, in their outing to East Hull to take on the Robins, following two fine home victories over Leeds and Castleford.

The lapse of seventeen days between the last of those, and yesterday, was enough to take a little of the shine off their performances, as was exemplified by their failure to capitalise on the most clear-cut of try-scoring opportunities, six minutes into the game.

Fine handling from Amir Bourouh, Tim Lafae, Alex Gerrard, and Brodie Croft, virtually on their own try-line, successfully sent Deon Croft, supported by Ken Sio on his inside, sprinting down the right wing.  With only the covering Ethan Ryan to beat, a simple two on one was all that was required, but the pair, who normally have such a great understanding with each other on attack, had too much time to think about it and consequently over-complicated it with two, almost unnecessary, passes.

In fairness, Ryan did extremely well in the situation by not committing himself, totally to any tackle, and the chance petered out as the attacking pair ran out of room along the touch line.  The contrasting effects on the two sides, however, was the most significant outcome, with the home-side growing in confidence, and, soon after, taking a ten-point lead, with back-to-back tries.

Their tally continued to grow throughout the half to nineteen, through two goals, a try, and a drop-goal, but the Red Devils did manage to pull back six points with a converted try of their own, on 27 mins.  Hull had great difficulty in dealing with Harvey Livett’s kick into the in-goal area, with two players fumbling it for Tim Lafae to pounce upon.  Marc Sneyd added the goal-kick.

Singular as that score was, it was sufficient to put the visitors back in contention, and with only thirteen points separating the two sides at half time, confidence still remained that Salford could come back in the second half, just as they had done against much greater odds, at Wakefield.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.  A no-look flip-pass, close to the Robins’ try line, which might have initiated a try for Salford, was intercepted, and quickly led to their hosts extending their lead by a further six points, and, from that point, events turned significantly in their favour.

Most crucial of all were the two, virtually back-to-back, sin-binnings of Tyler Dupree and Livett, which meant that the rest of the team were left facing the buoyant KR with only twelve men for twenty minutes, during which time the home side exploited their numerical advantage, and continued to build up a quite commanding lead.

The Red Devils did however round off the match with a further couple of tries, sandwiching a final six-pointer for Hull, which gave the Salford fans something to cheer about, before their long journey home, Deon Cross latching onto the end of another kick into the in-goal area, and then Joe Burgess benefitting from Lafae’s interception to put him away,

Six weeks ago, the Red Devils most impressively improved their performances in the league game at Wigan.  This Friday will be the ideal opportunity for them to repeat that feat when the Cup holders visit the A J Bell for the return encounter.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CHALLENGE CUP TIE WIGAN V SALFORD

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CHALLENGE CUP TIE WIGAN V SALFORD

There must have been many a huge sigh of relief across those clubs still to be drawn from the bag, when Salford Red Devils were announced as the visitors to the DW Stadium, in the sixth-round tie, of this year’s Betfred Challenge Cup.  Not for nothing, are Wigan known as The Cup Kings, especially after their decade-long run of winning every final of the late eighties and early nineties.

In fairness, Salford do not have a bad record of recent results in cup ties against the Warriors, including that marvellous victory of 1996, which brought the aforementioned run of victories to its conclusion, with Salford having home advantage in the majority of those games.  This one was different, though, with it being the Red Devils having to do the travelling, and the usually tight, or unexpected, result was never on the cards, at least not judging by the final score.

A twenty-point victory sounds quite a comfortable win for the home side, especially when they kept the visitors to nil.  That is only part of the story, however, as those who attended will testify, with the Reds having every bit as much of the game as their illustrious hosts.  What they did not do, however, was turn any of their opportunities into points.

For a full fifteen opening minutes, the travelling Salford faithful must have been lulled into a feeling of growing confidence, as their favourites went head-to-head in an intriguing arm wrestle, which gave no indication of the disappointments to come shortly after, as they succeeded in containing Wigan between the two twenty metre lines.

Indeed, for the vast majority of the game, the Reds’ defence coped extremely well with the challenge presented by the Warriors.  Where it all went wrong was in the number of handling errors and set restarts, which quickly crept in, thereafter, and although not the first, it was one of the first of these, when Tim Lafai tried an adventurous offload to Joe Burgess, which paid dividends to Wigan with their first try under the posts, by Liam Byrne.

To compound matters even further, a set restart on the fourth tackle of the next set gave their hosts sufficient extra possession to score a back-to-back pair, and we all know how demoralising those can be, particularly when both conversion kicks are successful.

Yet the Red Devils did mount a number of promising, but unsuccessful attacks on the home line.  The first of these came on twenty-minutes, when a long pass at the end of a flowing move from left to right found Rhys Williams in space, but excellent Wigan covering forced him into touch before he could cross the line.

A similar foray into the Wigan ten metre area, although helped by a rare Salford set-restart, was snuffed out by the Warriors’ defensive pressure, forcing a lost ball on the final tackle.  In fact, Salford’s only partially successful attack came on thirty-three minutes, when they forced a goal-line drop-out.

Wigan’s determination to exploit each and every one of the Red Devils’ errors had been laid bare, on twenty-three minutes, when a Wigan set-restart was followed by a kickable penalty, which Hardaker confidently slotted over.  It might have been only two points, but it turned their lead into a three-score margin.

A concerted effort to curtail the errors, immediately after the interval, led to some of Salford’s most imaginative and entertaining ball-handling approach work, but Brierley’s fumbled attempt to take a crucial pass led to Leuluai regaining possession and sprinting away, down their right touchline.  With Hardaker and Field in support, it looked all the world like another try was on the way, but everyone had reckoned without the pace and determination of Joe Burges who hared back to snuff out the danger before Hardaker could get the final pass to Field.

This totally unselfish contribution to the Salford cause, from Burgess, was typical of the endeavour and commitment of all the Red Devils throughout the match.  It just proves rather fruitless, though, if you concede so many errors that they all contribute to your own downfall.

SALFORD SIGN YOUNG HOOKER AMIR BOUROUH

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Wigan Warriors hooker Amir Bourouh on a two-year deal, with the option of a further year.

The 20-year-old made his Betfred Super League debut against Salford in 2019 for Wigan, going on to make 7 appearances for the Warriors before being loaned out to Betfred Championship side Halifax Panthers this year.

Bourouh, who will arrive at Salford at the end of the year, has impressed during his 11 appearances for Halifax, scoring two tries and picking up a Man of the Match award in the Panthers’ 17-16 victory over Widnes Vikings in July.

Speaking on signing for the club, Bourouh said: “I’m really excited to play for the club and in front of the Salford fans.

“After speaking with Richard (Marshall) and Ian (Blease) and seeing their ambition for the future, my decision was easily made.

“I want to challenge myself in the Super League and hopefully contribute to success in years to come.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall, who was head coach at Halifax from 2015 to 2019, said: “Amir is a promising young hooker who I’ve been monitoring for a while. He’s shone during his loan spell at Halifax and after speaking with my connections there, they were very impressed with him and couldn’t speak highly enough of his qualities.

“There was quite a bit of interest in Amir and we are certainly pleased he has chosen us to continue his development. He will work really well with Andy Ackers and I am looking forward to working with him over preseason and beyond.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “I was so excited when I watched Amir live this season, more so in a player that I’ve not seen for some time.

“He’s a young gun looking to progress at Super League level but we will look after him the ‘Salford Way’ and let him develop his true potential with us in the long term deal we have agreed.

I can’t wait to start to develop something special at the club with Amir, he’s got it all. We will give him the platform to get to the top.”

Bourouh is the latest addition to Marshall’s squad ahead of the 2022 season, with halfbacks Ata Hingano and Brodie Croft also recently signing for Salford.

Red Devils recruitment is brought to you by Morson.

CAPTAIN LEE MOSSOP FORCED TO RETIRE THROUGH MEDICAL ORDERS

Salford Red Devils can confirm that skipper Lee Mossop has been forced to retire with immediate effect following medical orders.

Prop Mossop joined Salford in 2017 from Wigan Warriors and became captain in 2018. Throughout his career, Mossop has had 11 reconstruction operations on his shoulders to try and prolong his career as much as possible.

Although we are sad to see our skipper go, we have, and will, fully support Moose in the next stages of his life as he prepares for a career outside of rugby league.

Walking into the AJ Bell Stadium off the back of the 2016 campaign that almost saw Salford relegated to the Betfred Championship, Mossop played a pivotal role in changing the fortunes at the club with the recent success of the last two years.

In 79 appearances for the Red Devils, the prop scored 7 tries – a few of those in big games.

Moose captained Salford to our first ever Grand Final in 2019, scoring a massive try against his former club Wigan at the DW Stadium in the Semi-Final.

The following season, the 32-year-old led Salford out at Wembley for their first Betfred Challenge Cup Final appearance in 51 years.

Speaking on his retirement and his time at the club, Mossop said: “It’s with great sadness that today I have to announce my retirement from rugby league. It’s been no secret that I have struggled with shoulder issues the majority of my career but after seeing the surgeon last week, he has told me there are no more surgeries he can offer to help prolong my career anymore and instead, it will be one final operation to give me a better quality of life with my wife and young children.

“I’d like to thank firstly my family and friends who have supported me through my career, the clubs and supporters I have represented and the players who I have shared a field with.

I joined this club in 2017, planning on only being here one year as I thought I’d be forced to retire then but with a lot of hard work from the coaches and physio staff here, I’ve managed to represent this club for almost 5 seasons and been lucky enough to make some unbelievable memories for a club that I now love!

“I was lucky enough to lead this team out in a Grand Final with my little girls, which will always be one of my main highlights of my career. The fans have been fantastic to play in front of and the most passionate I have met.

“On behalf of me and my family, I thank Salford Red Devils and everyone associated with it for 5 incredible years. We will always owe a debt of gratitude to you.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall said: “What a fantastic career Lee leaves behind. Any good leader or captain’s purpose is to leave the shirt, club and environment in a better place. Well Moose ticks all those boxes. Since my first week at the club he has been a pleasure to work with. His passion for the team is unwavering. He leads by example both on and off the field.

This has not been an easy decision and more so when it’s taken out of your hands. He told me a few weeks ago that this was likely to end his career but said he would wear the shirt for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the time came when he couldn’t carry on. The consultant was adamant he had to finish due to chronic shoulder problems that have plagued him for several years. Being the true professional he is, he tore up preseason and started well. However, the game is unforgiving and it was simply too much to keep backing up.

“Lee leaves behind a great career and memories of trophy wins, overseas success and international honours. He should be proud of all he has achieved and more so the person he is today which has been shaped by all his experiences. We wish himself Chloe, Eden , Nancy and Flynn all the success in the future and a wonderful restful retirement.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “This is really sad news for Lee and the club, but I would like to put on record how Lee has been the ultimate skipper and supreme professional for the club since his arrival in 2017. I spoke to Lee retiring early in the week and I was truly gutted for him. It was a very emotional dressing room after the game on Friday against Wigan when he told the rest of team that he was hanging his boots up for good immediately. To see professional rugby league players sharing that emotion with Lee will be something that we all remember forever .

“As a natural leader, Lee has epitomised our club’s desire and ambition to compete at the highest level, not forgetting Lee leading us to our first Grand Final appearance and our first Challenge Cup appearance for over 50 years. Lee knows he is making the right decision for himself and his family now so he can have a quality of life after rugby. I totally respect his decision and it will be a hard task to replace a leader like Moose.”

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

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD v WIGAN

For the second time in three matches, the Salford Red Devils had the heart-breaking experience of losing by a single point from a late drop-goal.  Indeed, the only difference in this latest denouement was that there was no extra time involved, but the devastation at having the league points snatched from their grasp, minutes from the final whistle, must have been every bit as hard to take for our players as was that Golden Point Quarter-Final loss to Castleford Tigers.

It certainly was for we Salford fans, returning in numbers to the AJ Bell Stadium, after some fourteen months’ absence, but there again, we had not had to spend eighty minutes of intense concentration and physical buffeting which they had had to endure, in an encounter which had seen every single one of them give their all, in the Salford cause.

And how well they measured up to their illustrious opponents.  In similar fashion to the previous outing against St Helens, they were the quicker to settle to their task, and produced yet another magnificent display of defence, which had the visitors attacking flair completely subdued for lengthy periods of the game.

The difference, however, was that the attack, which against the Saints had been quite lacklustre, was a far more potent force, that had the Warriors on the back foot, particularly in the first half.  How confident they looked as they swung the ball along the line, ran the angles, and questioned the visitors’ goal-line defence at every opportunity, forcing them into conceding a first half 6:3 penalty count in the Reds’ favour.

Twice, on the ninth and twenty-fourth minutes they breached the Wigan try line to take the lead, only for their opponents to hit back with tries of their own on eighteen and thirty-three minutes, but thanks to a penalty goal, from the trusty boot of Harvey Livett, the Red Devils left the field at half time with a narrow four-point lead.

Salford’s opening try came as some compensation for Morgan Escare’s earlier disallowed effort owing to an adjudged obstruction from Ryan Lannon’s venturing into the Wigan line.  This time there was nothing to complicate the issue, as Livett got on the end of an offload from an overly ambitious Wigan player.  His thirty-metre sprint to the line saw him ground the ball in almost the same place as Escare had done a mere minute before.

The ever-improving Jack Ormondroyd laid the foundations for the second with a tremendous, forceful run which took him through the Wigan line and into the clear.  Jack Wells was excellent in providing the necessary support to be on hand to take the pass and cross close to the posts.

Good as the Salford performance overall had been to this point, however, errors did start creeping into it.  These succeeded in providing the Warriors with opportunities to put their hosts under pressure of their own.  Their first try came as a result of a set restart after two tackles and the extra plays enabled them to progress the length of the field and use the power of Singleton to force his way over for the first of his two tries.

Probably even more irritating to the coaching staff would have been the second, in which a poor attacking kick into the Warriors’ overcrowded, righthand corner, ricocheted into the arms of winger, Harry Smith, and he took advantage of a momentary lapse of concentration to round the advancing Salford left flank, each of whom appeared not to recognise the danger until he was on his way to getting into the clear.  With the whole field in which to run, Smith cleverly exploited the space to thwart two or three attempts to stop him before putting Farrell over to the left of the posts.

Coming as this did, just over five minutes before the interval, it put the visitors in a much better position to overturn their half time deficit, in the second half, and their penchant for doing so, this season, has been quite widespread as local rivals Leigh Centurions will testify.  Few would have gambled on four points being sufficient cushioning against such a robust outfit as Wigan, and so it proved.

The Reds’ second half performance did not quite match up to that of their first half, and the errors became a little more evident, starting with Ormondroyd losing control of the ball in a tackle in the very first set of the half – not an unknown occurrence this season – but with the considerable improvement, this time, of holding their line intact for the next set.

The balance of possession however started to shift in Wigan’s favour, primarily from an increase in the number of penalties and repeat sets which started to go their way, and the extra defensive work which was consequently thrust upon the Red Devils started to take its toll.  By the later part of the half they were clearly tiring, for let us not forget that there was probably also some residual after-effects from the exertions of the St Helens game, five days earlier.

To compound the situation, the end-of-set options which were taken did not seem to help matters.  Long, high kicks downfield require an energetic determined chase, and, with this becoming increasingly more difficult for them, Hardaker at fullback was put under rather less pressure.  Drilling the ball downfield into touch would, at least, have brought some few seconds respite for them to get some air into their lungs.

Consequently, it was Wigan, only, who, on 63 minutes, were able to cross and draw level, following Livett’s solitary penalty goal, and in the final moments of the half Salford were unable to raise the same degree of energy to pressure Jackson Hastings’s drop-goal that Wigan had put on Escare a few minutes earlier, and the half back promptly slotted the ball between the uprights to take the spoils.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 16-17 WIGAN WARRIORS | SATURDAY 22ND MAY 2021

A Jackson Hastings drop-goal was the difference this afternoon as Salford Red Devils fell to a 16-17 defeat against Wigan Warriors.

After taking the lead and going into the interval four points ahead in front of a busy AJ Bell Stadium, the visitors brought it back in the second forty and clinched the victory three minutes from time.

Marshall’s men took the lead inside 10 minutes through Harvey Livett, who pulled off a clever interception and ran almost the length of the field, grounding the ball towards the left of the sticks and leaving Hastings sprawled on the field.

Livett missed the conversion but did add another two to Salford’s lead four minutes later after Salford opted to take the two after they were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks.

Five minutes later however, Brad Singleton put Wigan on the scoreboard, stretching out to ground the ball in front of the Salford fans.

Salford took the lead again in the 25th minute through Jack Wells, who powered through the middle of the Wigan line to score his first try for the Red Devils just seconds after coming on.

Four minutes before the break, Harry Smith broke the line down the right, cut back in towards the centre and fed Farrell to ground the ball down the left. A missed conversion from the Warriors followed by another successful Salford penalty goal from Livett, gave the Red Devils a four-point cushion at the break.

Halftime: Salford Red Devils 14-10 Wigan Warriors

It took until just before the hour mark before the scoreline was altered and it was Livett again who converted another penalty goal to extend Salford’s lead.

Singleton doubled his try tally for the afternoon in the 65th minute, powering over to the right of the sticks this time.

Morgan Escare attempted a drop-goal five minutes later which was charged down by Singleton and it was former Red Devil, Hastings, who clinched the victory for the Warriors in the 77th minute after his drop-goal was successful.

Salford welcome Warrington Wolves in Round 8 of the Betfred Super League next Thursday.

Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 16-17 Wigan Warriors

Salford Red Devils: Escare, Sio, Watkins, L;ivett, Williams, Lolohea, Patton, Ikahihifo, Addy, Burke, Lannon, Pauli, Taylor, Atkin, Lussick, Ormondroyd, Wells.

Salford tries: Livett, Wells

Salford goals: Livett (4/5)

Wigan Warriors: French, Manfredi, Shorrocks, Bibby, Hardaker, Smith, Hastings, Singleton, Powell, Havard, Bateman, Farrell, Partington, Bullock, Byrne, Clark, Pearce-Paul.

Wigan tries: Singleton (2/2), Farrell

Referee: James Child

Image credit: Steve McCormick