Stubborn Salford comeback to beat holders Wolves

The Salford Red Devils and Warrington Wolves faced off for a chance to face Leeds Rhinos at Wembley

In horrid conditions, it took a few minutes for the teams to get to grip with the conditions.

In the 8th minute, Gareth Widdop put in a deft kick on the third tackle, and Matty Ashton chased ahead.

Unfortunately, the full-back couldn’t get there ahead of Kevin Brown.

In the 12th minute, Tyrone McCarthy was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle, and the Wolves exploited the extra man, as the ball was spread to Toby King who opened the scoring.

Warrington nearly went over again, as Matty Ashton broke through the middle, but his kick was cleared over the dead-ball line for Dan Sarginson.

The Red Devils were caught offside just after the drop-out, and Ratchford pushed the visitors into a eight-point lead.

Despite having a man less on the field, the Red Devils pulled a score back just after the 20th minute.

Tui Lolohea kicked through and the ball evaded Ashton on the bounce, which allowed Kallum Watkins to react quickest and ground the ball as it hit the ground.

Warrington began piling pressure on the home side over the next ten minutes, with Salford holding firm.

That was until the 36th minute when Blake Austin dummied the ball, and then pushed his way outside Pauli Pauli for the try.

In the final 90 seconds, Warrington made another error in front of the posts, which allowed Salford to cut the deficit to six-points.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 8-14 Warrington Wolves

The first try of the second half was vital, and it was Salford who grabbed it.

Inu managed to pick the ball up in midair, following a cross field kick from Kevin Brown, and then grounded in syle to make it 12-14.

Inu failed to level up though, as he missed his conversion.

With just under half an hour to go, Warrington picked up a penalty of their own in front of the posts, with Gareth Widdop converting with Ratchford off the field.

With just over an hour gone, Warington extended their lead after a crucial knockpon by Sarginson just a metre from his own line.

Daryl Clark picked the ball up from the ruck, and then passed back inside to Ben Murdoch-Masila who powered over.

Five minutes later, Salford cut Warrington’s lead down to four.

Kevin Brown kicked ahead in behind, and with the ball skipping along the floor, James Greenwood managed to ground the ball just before the dead-ball line with no Wolves players around him.

Salford were pushing for the try to take the lead, but the Warrington defence was holding on firm.

That was until the 74th minute, when Joey Lussick picked the ball up from the ruck, and despite a slow play the ball, found a gap in the Wire line and slid under the posts to score.

The decision was taken to the video referee, but there was no evidence to overturn the decision.

Krisnan Inu converted from in front of the posts to make it 24-22 with five minutes left on the clock.

Warrington had one last chance to attack but would have to do so from over 60-metres out.

Their fifth tackle kick was comfortably gathered though, and the Red Devils managed to hold on.

FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 24-22 Warrington Wolves


Squads


Salford Red Devils

Sarginson, Williams, Watkins, Welham, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, McCarthy, Greenwood, Flanagan

Interchanges: Burke, Ikahihifo, Kear, Pauli

Tries: Watkins, Inu, Greenwood, Lussick

Goals: Inu (5/6)

Sin-Bins: McCarthy


Warrington Wolves

Ashton, Mamo, Gelling, King, Charnley, Ratchford, Widdop, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Austin

Interchanges: Philbin, J. Clark, Murdoch-Masila, Walker

Tries: King, Austin, Murdoch-Masila

Goals: Ratchford (3/3), Widdop (2/2)


Referee: L. Moore

Touch Judges: M. Griffiths, J. Smith

Video Referee: R. Hicks


Image Source: @ChallengeCup (twitter)

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