Salford are set to face Warrington in their second pre-season friendly before the beginning of the 2018 Betfred Super League season.
The Red Devils head to the Halliwell Jones Stadium (3pm kick-off) looking to make it two wins from two in pre-season.
This weekend’s match will make it two derby matches in quick succession for the Red Devils after beating Swinton last weekend.
Last season was a difficult one for Warrington who finished in the bottom four and had to fight their way through The Qualifiers to secure Super League rugby for another season. However, new coach Steve Price has arrived at the Club and has been very active in his transfer activity which many feel will make Wire a serious threat in Super League in 2018.
Salford managed to do the double over Warrington last season earning a narrow victory at the AJ Bell Stadium before a memorable 38-12 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the backend of May marked seven consecutive wins for Ian Watson’s men.
Last Time Out
It was a comfortable victory for Ian Watson’s men in their first game of the year as they ran out 50-12 winners over local rivals Swinton at the AJ Bell Stadium. Greg Johnson, Tyrone McCarthy, Kris Welham, Niall Evalds, Gareth O’Brien, Derrell Olpherts, Robert Lui and Gavin Bennion all getting in on the act in a nine-try performance.
Warrington head into the game on the back of a pre-season victory over Rochdale Hornets at the Crown Oil Arena last weekend. The Wolves earned a hard-fought 10-24 victory over Rochdale but did have a number of regular first teamers absent from the side. Luis Johnson, Harvey Livett, George King and Taylor Prell grabbed the visitors tries.
As mentioned, Salford managed to win back-to-back games against Warrington in 2017 however it hasn’t always been plain sailing against the Wolves. Before last season the Red Devils suffered nine straight defeats against Warrington.
The Red Devils have only won two of their last eleven visits to Warrington however they have won their most recent as well as a memorable win in 2011 which you can read about here.
This week’s head-to-head sees one of our new additions take on a former Salford forward as we pit Ben Nakubuwai against Ben Murdoch-Masila. Both men had terrific World Cup campaigns both reaching the semi-finals with Fiji and Tonga, respectively.
Both forwards are dangerous in the opposition third and can power their way over the line on the back of a short ball and we could see a real battle between the two Bens this weekend.
Ian Watson will be running with a similar squad to last weekend’s fixture against Swinton. Kriss Brining, who didn’t feature last weekend, will again miss out as a precaution however Luke Burgess is set to make his first appearance since returning to the AJ Bell Stadium. Ryan Lannon is serving his second game of a three-match suspension.
Former Red Devil Ben Murdoch-Masila could feature in his first game for Warrington following a successful World Cup campaign with Tonga. Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown and Chris Hill all come into the squad but Ben Westwood isn’t named.
Salford: (Starting Line-Up): Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Jake Bibby, Junior Sa’u, Manu Vatuvei; Robert Lui, Gareth O’Brien; Lee Mossop, Josh Wood, Lamai Tasi, Josh Jones, Weller Hauraki, Tyrone McCarthy. (Interchanges): Greg Johnson, Kris Welham, Jack Littlejohn, Craig Kopczak, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan, Luke Burgess, Ben Nakubuwai, Levy Nzoungou, Daniel Murray, Gavin Bennion.
Warrington: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Mitch Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Jack Johnson, Luis Johnson, George King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Pat Moran, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Joe Philbin, Taylor Prell, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Morgan Smith.
Tickets are still available from the Club Ticket Office for tomorrow’s game at Warrington or alternatively you can purchase tickets tomorrow from the the Warrington Ticket Office prior to kick-off.