Tries: Barrett, Calderwood (2), Vaealiki, Paleaaesina, Richards, O'Loughlin
Goals: Richards (6)
Salford City Reds 16
Tries: Fitzpatrick , Highton, McGuinness
Goals: Wilshere (2)
Wigan kept alive their Play-Off hopes with what proved to be a comfortable win in the end against the struggling Salford City Reds at the JJB Stadium on Friday night.
A tight first half saw the Reds go in with a slender 6-10 lead but the Warriors put them to the sword in the second half scoring six tries.
Salford had never won at Wigan in the Super League era and while the two points for Brian Noble’s side maintains the push for a top six spot, the defeat for the visitors from the Willows sends them to the brink of relegation into the National League.
It took just two minutes for Wigan to take the lead, a short pass from Shane Millard 30 metres out sent Trent Barrett through a gap and he used his pace to beat Karl Fitzpatrick to the try line. Richards missed the goal, 4-0.
Salford looked for a quick response but good defence by the Warriors stopped Andy Coley in full flight and then a Ratchford high kick to the corner was well taken by Liam Colbon.
On 13 minutes, Shane Millard almost extended the home lead as he weaved away from two defenders, just to be held just short.
The visitors wasted a good chance a minute later, Simon Finnigan into a gap with support but he took the wrong option 20 metres from the Wigan line.
On 17 minutes, the Reds got their first points, Luke Robinson with a grubber kick through and Karl Fitzpatrick was the quickest to react to the ball to dive over for the try. John Wilshere’s conversion struck the posts, 4-4.
On 29 minutes the visitors broke forward again, down the middle with quick hands but wasted another good opportunity.
On 33 minutes, the game boiled over, as punches were thrown. When it died down Wigan had two players sent to the sin bin, in Vaealiki and Paleaaesina. Salford had Littler yellow carded.
On 36 minutes, Wigan were awarded a penalty, 40 metres out, from which Pat Richards added the goal to make it 6-4.
Salford took advantage from the kick off, as Wigan lost possession straight away. With a numerical advantage Paul Highton crashed over for the Reds second try which Wilshere converted, 6-10. That’s the way it stayed until half time.
On 45 minutes, with both sides back to 13 a side the Warriors scored a great try. Barrett sending Pat Richards away from just inside his own half. Richards drew Fitzpatrick to send Mark Calderwood away. Richards added the extras, 12-10.
Two minutes later and Wigan were in again. This time Mickey Higham with the break and Barrett sent out a defence splitting pass to David Vaealiki who was in for the Warriors third try of the night, this time in the corner. Richards struck a superb conversion, 18-10 and all of a sudden the home side looked to have a grip on the match. This was not the case though.
Salford struck straight back, Kevin McGuinness getting the ball with nothing on, he was able to weave left and right and duck under for a try on 53 minutes. Wilshere added the extras, 18-16.
A high tackle by Higham was then put on report.
On 58 minutes, Wigan scored their fourth try. Higham releasing the ball close to the Reds line and Paleaaesina crashed over. Pat Richards goal made it 24-16 and the Warriors had some breathing space once more.
The game was just about won on 62 minutes as Phil Bailey scored again for the Warriors out wide. Pat Richards made it 30-16.
Wigan were on fire as the Reds defence opened up, Calderwood sending in Sean O’Loughlin on 65 minutes, the goal was added, 36-16.
There were still more points to come as a kick to the corner was pounced upon by Mark Calderwood for his second try with just three minutes left. That brought up the 40 points, this time the conversion was missed.
It was a good all round team effort, Barrett was again influential but Mickey Higham was announced as the Sponsors man of the match.
Harrison Hansen started and replaced the injured Gareth Hock. Danny Hill stepped onto the bench.
Richards, Calderwood, Bailey, Vaealiki, Colbon, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, Millard, Paleaaesina,Hansen, Fletcher, O'Loughlin.
Subs: Higham,Goulding, Hill, O'Carroll
Salford City Reds
The Reds welcomed back Andy Coley and Simon Finnigan to the starting line-up.
Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, McGuinness, Moule, Wilshere, Ratchford, Robinson, Phillip Leuluai, Alker, Korkidas, Coley, Sibbitt, Finnigan
Subs: Dorn, Gower, Highton, Littler
Referee - Ashley Klein
Attendance - 13,611