Wigan 16 Salford 31
Match report as Wigan lose 16-31 to Salford at the DW Stadium
Warriors rally in spirited display
- Tom Davies, Ryan Sutton and Lewis Tierney all cross the whitewash with debutant Josh Woods adding two conversions
Wigan put in a spirited display as they went down a 31-16 defeat at the hands of Salford.
The visitors had the better of the first half and led 16-0 at the break after tries from Kris Welham, Niall Evalds and Ben Murdoch-Masila.
Salford flew out of the blocks in the second half as Evalds’ second along with a Greg Johnson try saw them stretch the lead to 28-0 after just 48 minutes.
Wigan would not lie down though and scored three tries in 19 second half minutes through Tom Davies, Ryan Sutton and Lewis Tierney. Debutant Josh Woods added two conversions but a late Gareth O’Brien drop-goal and penalty goal saw the Red Devils seal the win.
Josh Woods debuted at stand-off for the Warriors with Lewis Tierney, Nick Gregson, Joe Bretherton and Romain Navarrete also coming into the side. Morgan Escaré (knee), George Williams (knee) and Ben Flower (Achilles tendon) all missed out with Sean O’Loughlin on international duty captaining England and Michael Mcilorum suspended.
Mark Flanagan missed out for the away side with Gareth O’Brien back on the bench. Logan Tomkins started at hooker against his old club.
Wigan’s left-side defence gave away a penalty just a few minutes in for a ball-steal and from the resulting set Salford took the lead as quick hands down the line allowed Kris Welham the space to go over. Michael Dobson’s conversion attempt off target, Salford 4-0 after four minutes.
The Warriors needed to steady the ship and looked to do that with some solid sets both in defence and attack.
Around 20 minutes in Liam Farrell just failed to collect Sam Powell’s bouncing kick as the try beckoned, the Warriors immediately regretted it as Salford rolled up field and Dobson’s pass to Niall Evalds allowed the Salford full-back to score.
Rugby League really can be a cruel game at times. Having blown a chance to take the lead Wigan were once again behind their own posts just minutes later when the Red Devils launched another attack and went right to Ben Murdoch-Masila who went over. Dobson converted both and Salford led 16-0.
Wigan rallied late on with Lewis Tierney making a half-break but they were unable to really trouble the Salford defence and went in 16-0 down.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 0-16 Salford Red Devils
The Red Devils started the second half in similar fashion to the first with a try four minutes in. On the last tackle Dobson’s pinpoint kick bounced into the arms of Evalds and he had his second of the game.
Sam Powell had failed to reappear in the second half after going down with an ankle injury in the first half. Salford were looking ruthless though and soon they made space on the right wing for Greg Johnson to put the afterburners on and fly in on the right edge. Dobson again on target for both conversions and the visitors were 28-0 to the good.
The South Stand were not to be disheartened and really got behind the team who responded with a great defensive set to restrict Salford to 30 metres. Lui’s kick went out on the full and Wigan cashed in as they moved the ball right for Tom Davies to score in the corner.
Suddenly Wigan had their tales up and they went close again just minutes later but the ball went to ground on the Salford line.
Wigan had another chance soon after though as Salford played the ball to no one and Liam Forsyth pounced to give the Warriors a set on the Reds’ line. Wigan went left and Ryan Sutton pounced on a Joel Tomkins flat pass to burst through and score. Josh Woods added the conversion, his first points for the Warriors, 28-10 now the score.
The Warriors really had a spring in their step and forced a drop-out from Salford after a neat kick from Ganson. The young Wigan hooker who had played the full 70 minutes thus far looked lively and it was his pass that let Lewis Tierney scamper over.
The game was soon over as a contest though as the visitors brought Gareth O’Brien on and good field position allowed him to drop a goal. Wigan conceded a penalty for a late challenge on O’Brien as he dropped a goal allowing Salford the chance to also kick a penalty goal which O’Brien duly added to round off the win.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 16-31 Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors - 16
Tries: Tom Davies, Ryan Sutton, Lewis Tierney
Goals: Josh Woods 2/3
Salford Red Devils - 31
Tries: Kris Welham, Niall Evalds 2, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Greg Johnson
Goals: Michael Dobson 4/5, Gareth O’Brien 1/1 + 1DG
Wigan Warriors: 21. Lewis Tierney, 36. Tom Davies, 32. Liam Forsyth, 5. Joe Burgess, 35. Liam Marshall, 39. Josh Woods, 16. Sam Powell, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 33. Josh Ganson, 19. Ryan Sutton, 20. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 11. Joel Tomkins
Interchange: 17. Taulima Tautai, 23. Nick Gregson, 24. Joe Bretherton, 26. Romain Navarrete
Salford Red Devils: 5. Niall Evalds, 21. Greg Johnson, 22. Kris Welham, 3. Josh Jones, 24. Jake Bibby, 6. Robert Lui, 7. Michael Dobson, 14. Lama Tasi, 9. Logan Tomkins, 17. Adam Walne, 15. Ryan Lannon, 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Olsi Krasniqi
Interchange 8. Craig Kopczak, 20. Kris Brinning, 26. Daniel Murray, 1. Gareth O’Brien
Referee - Chris Campbell
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