Salford Red Devils were back in action at the AJ Bell Stadium against an in form Warrington Wolves. The wolves had claimed back to back victories over Easter beating Widnes last Thursday and then Castleford on the Monday.
Former Salford star Ben Murdoch Masila was missing through injury.
The Wolves came out firing in the opening stages, Toby King and Josh Charnley combining well exchanging passes before King touched down in the fourth minute. The video referee Robert Hicks awarded the try after checking for a foot in touch. Stefan Ratchford missed the conversion.
Soon after Ratchford was involved again, his looping pass found Charnley who raced in at the corner. Ratchford hit the post this time with the conversion attempt. 0-8.
Warrington continued to dominate as Toby King came close to scoring his second try only for the quick thinking Junior Sau to beat him to a high kick.
Tyrone Roberts high kick caused panic as the Salford defenders allowed the ball to bounce. Roberts couldn’t believe his look as he cantered to the line for the wolves third try of the opening quarter.
Robert Lui playing at fullback for the injured Niall Evalds got Salford on the score sheet with an excellent try. Slicing through the Wolves defence to race to the line. Lui added the goal 6-14.
Lama Tasi made a thrilling break on the next set as Salford began to put Warrington under pressure. Unfortunately the support wasn’t there and the chance was gone.
As the second half got under way Ryan Lannon came up with a mistake deep in his own half. Salford’s defence held firm as Warrington tried to put the game to bed. Roberts, Ratchford and Kevin Brown pulling the strings Salford struggled to cope with the attacking options and off load game there visitors possessed.
Jake Bibby had the crowd on their feet as he picked up a loose ball to go on a rampaging run down the touch line beating two defenders before being tackled. This seemed to lift the Red Devils and moments later Lui’s pin point kick found Bibby who only had to fall on the ball over the try line. Somehow his indecision led to an error and blew a certain score.
Defences were definitely on top in the second half, the only try coming 8 minute from time as Ratchford turned creator again to put Brown through a gap to touch down. Ratchford converted to put the game beyond Salford at 6-20.
The former Salford favourite added a penalty goal in the 76th minute 6-22.
Salford’s effort and endeavour was there for all to see this afternoon. Losing Logan Tomkins late on this week was another blow for coach Ian Watson who with the smallest squad in Super League is certainly doing it tough at the moment. Ian thrives on challenges he faces and was in fine form after the match in a brutally honest press conference and interview.
Speaking to Ian after the game he said “we’ve got a team of fully committed lads who are working their backsides off for the club, we just lack that bit of quality to beat the top teams. We compete for large parts of the game.”
Salford’s spine has changed numerous times this season and the side is nowhere near as settled as this time last year. For the young players in the Salford side they’re learning valuable lessons at the moment.
It’s a much needed 8 day break now for The Red Devils who travel to Huddersfield Giants next Sunday, 3pm kick off.
Salford 6 Warrington 22
Paul Whiteside interviews Head Coach Ian Watson after our home loss to Warrington Wolves – SoundCloud