Match report as Wigan Warriors beat Salford Red Devils in the opening game of the season at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday night.
Warriors run in seven tries without reply in dominant win
- Tom Davies, Oliver Gildart (2), Morgan Escare, Liam Marshall (2) and Tony Clubb with Wigan’s tries.
Wigan Warriors ran in seven tries without reply as they put Salford to the sword with a dominant opening night win.
It was the Red Devils who took the lead first, as Kris Welham eased over the line but that was as good as it got for the home side. Soon after, Tom Davies responded for Wigan and went over in the corner. The Cherry and Whites went ahead with a quarter of the game gone as Oliver Gildart touched the ball down.
Wigan raced out of the blocks in the second 40 as Morgan Escaré scooped up the ball from a clever kick by Liam Marshall to extend the Warriors’ advantage. A three-minute brace from Marshall extended the visitors’ lead before Gildart got his second soon after.
Tony Clubb put the cherry on top for the Warriors late on with Niall Evalds scoring a late consolation for Salford.
Dan Sarginson made his Super League return for the Warriors. Joe Burgess, John Bateman and Sean O’Loughlin were all ruled out through injury – all three are thought to be not serious with the trio expected to travel on the Club’s NSW tour this weekend.
Ian Watson gave Jack Littlejohn his Salford debut with Luke Burgess also making an appearance after re-signing for the Red Devils.
It was Salford who opened the scoring as Kris Welham went over. A neat kick through by Gareth O’Brien was picked up by Welham and the centre strolled over the line to give the Red Devils an early lead. O’Brien added the extras to make it 6-0 with just four minutes on the clock.
The Warriors responded seven minutes later with a try from Tom Davies in the corner. A well-worked move down the right side resulted in Dan Sarginson assisting the approaching Davies who darted over the whitewash. Sam Tomkins missed the kick but just two points separated the two sides.
Wigan went in front soon after as Oliver Gildart touched down. An unexpected and perfectly timed low kick into the in-goal line by George Williams allowed the centre to chase and get the ball down. Tomkins added the two points to make it 6-10.
Just before the break, the home side went down to twelve as George Griffin was sent to the bin by referee Robert Hicks for a dangerous tackle, however, the score line stayed at 6-10 at half time.
Salford Red Devils 6-10 Wigan Warriors
The Cherry and Whites started the second half in spectacular fashion as Morgan Escaré dived over. After a break on the left side, Liam Marshall placing an accurate kick over Salford’s last man and the bounce was kind for Escaré to collect and ease over. Tomkins made it 6-16 with the conversion.
Wigan went further in front with a try from Marshall on the 56th minute. A brilliant kick by Tomkins was chased down by the winger on the left and he managed to get there first to touch the ball down. Tomkins added the two points and the Warriors led 6-22.
Wigan’s left edge was pulling Salford apart and Marshall soon got his second try in quick succession after a fantastic move. A delicate kick by Williams was chipped over the top by Marshall on the bounce and the winger chased onto the ball and collected to dart over. Tomkins made it 6-28 with the successful kick.
Just two minutes later and the Warriors were in again to all but seal the win. Williams again at the heart of the attack found Marshall who raced away down the left wing and found the supporting Gildart who eased over. Tomkins made no mistake with the kick and Wigan led 6-34.
The Warriors put on the style in the latter stages of the match as Tony Clubb stormed over the line. The prop bulldozed his way past two Salford men to score from close-range. Tomkins added the extras again, his sixth kick from seven attempts.
Salford gained some consolation with just six minutes remaining through a Niall Evalds try but Wigan were deserving winners.
Salford Red Devils 12-40 Wigan Warriors
Fantastic support tonight from the cherry and white army! 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/Yzs87p4eOm— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) February 2, 2018
Salford Red Devils – 12
Tries: Welham, Evalds
Goals: O’Brien 2/2
Wigan Warriors – 40
Tries: T Davies, Gildart 2, Escaré, Marshall 2, Clubb
Goals: S Tomkins 6/7
Salford Red Devils: 5. Niall Evalds, 24. Jake Bibby, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Junior Sa’u, 2. Greg Johnson, 6. Robert Lui, 1. Gareth O’Brien, 23. Lee Mossop, 19. Josh Wood, 14. Lama Tasi, 11. Josh Jones, 12. Weller Hauraki, 17. Tyrone McCarthy.
Interchange: 16. Luke Burgess, 10. George Griffin, 7. Jack Littlejohn, 8. Crag Kopczak.
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 3. Dan Sarginson, 4. Oliver Gildart, 22. Liam Marshall, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower, 9. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Tony Clubb, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 15. Ryan Sutton.
Interchange: 20. Morgan Escaré, 19. Willie Isa, 17. Taulima Tautai, 16. Frank-Paul Nuuausala.