Despite a valiant comeback by the Red Devils, a late Dom Manfredi try sealed victory for the Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.
The Red Devils had an early chance as Rob Lui darted through the Wigan line from the play of the ball. Junior Sa’u couldn’t quite capitalise on an offload by the Salford stand-off.
An error by the home side, gifted the Red Devils the ball 20m out from the line and Wigan were then penalised.
Salford took the early lead by opting for a penalty kick, Gareth O’Brien successfully putting the Red Devils ahead just three minutes into the game.
However, just minutes later the Warriors responded as a spill of the ball by Mark Flanagan and quick thinking by Anthony Gelling and George Williams during the free play put Oliver Gildart over in the left hand corner. Matty Smith missed the conversion.
The Red Devils responded as O’Brien made a break down the left wing but Gildart intercepted his pass to Sa’u to keep the visitors at bay.
Dom Manfredi looked to have scored the next Wigan try as he collected a Matty Smith high ball but Referee George Stokes deemed him to be offside.
They were rewarded for their efforts just minutes later though as a Gelling break down the right hand side, with an offload to Tautai then Smith who passed out wide to Gildart to cross for his second of the game.
The two sides really fought for possession for a thrilling first half that ended as Josh Griffin made a fantastic break down centre field but was tackled just 20m out from the try line.
HALF TIME SCORE – Wigan Warriors 10 – 2 Salford Red Devils
Straight from the restart, Anthony Gelling found a gap in the Salford defence to score and further the lead to 16-2.
Whereas the Red Devils of old may have fallen and succumbed to a heavy defeat here, the team dug deep and responded.
First through a Junior Sa’u try as he found himself on the end of a Dobson grubber kick. Back to back penalties gave the Red Devils another chance with 15 minutes left of the game and Josh Griffin added another score. O’Brien missed both conversions.
Ben Murdoch-Masila put in a fantastic effort next as he chased his own chip kick over the Wigan defence to tackle Gildart in goal to give the Red Devils a drop out and moments later BMM barged over the line. Josh Griffin added the conversion to equal the score.
The Devils were unlucky moments later when Manfredi crossed in the right hand corner to seal the victory for the Warriors.
FULL TIME SCORE – Wigan Warriors 20 – 16 Salford Red Devils