After last Thursday’s home drubbing against St Helens, Salford coach Ian Watson will be looking for a response from his players. It’s certainly a tough place for any team to go but with Salford’s thin squad and injury problems a difficult evening awaits.
Wigan have made a really solid start in 2018. Victory at The AJ Bell Stadium on the opening weekend of the season by 12-40 Wigan showed they can play a quick tempo game with their young pacy back line. Last season Salford produced a thrilling performance in the regular league season at Wigan with a 16-31 victory, their first since 1997.
The Warriors beat Salford in the Super Eights last year and more significantly in the Challenge Cup semi final. Hull Fc beat Wigan at Wembley in the final and a final league position of 6th after 30 rounds has left coach Shaun Wane in determined mood.
Super League home record
Wigan won 18
Salford won 2
1997 Wigan 14 Salford 21
1998 Wigan 34 Salford 6
1999 Wigan 64 Salford 2
2000 Wigan 52 Salford 20
2001 Wigan 70 Salford 4
2002 Wigan 32 Salford 0
2004 Wigan 20 Salford 10
2005 Wigan 40 Salford 12
2006 Wigan 20 Salford 12
2007 Wigan 40 Salford 16
2009 Wigan 34 Salford 18
2010 Wigan 60 Salford 10
2011 Wigan 52 Salford 18
2012 Wigan 38 Salford 6
2013 Wigan 46 Salford 6
2014 Wigan 45 Salford 4
2015 Wigan 19 Salford 12
2016 Wigan 20 Salford 16
2017 Wigan 16 Salford 31
2017 Wigan 42 Salford ( Super eights)
They played for both
Over the years there have been plenty of players who’ve been at both clubs at some point in their career. Here are a few of them,
Mal Aspey, Neil Baynes, Steve Blakeley, Gavin Clinch, Andy Coley, Michael Dobson, Mark Flanagan, Martin Gleeson, Sean Gleeson, Wayne Godwin, Bobbie Goulding, Andy Gregory, Steve Hampson, Ged Byrne, Paul O Neil,
Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Nathan Mcavoy, Lee Mossop, Jack Murphy, David Myers, Martin Offiah, Sam Panapa, John Pendlebury, Luke Robinson,
Tim Smith, David Stephenson, Trevor Stockey, Ged Stazicker, Scott Taylor, Logan Tomkins, Colin Whitfield, Stephen Wild and Phil Ford.
Sunday 17th August 1997 a match to remember
Wigan 14 Salford 21
Salford completed a rare league double over Wigan in 1997. After an excellent 14-4 victory at The Willows earlier that season Salford came up with an outstanding display of open attacking rugby in the sunshine at Central Park.
Tries from full back Gary Broadbent, hooker Peter Edwards and classy stand off Steve Blakeley grabbed Salford their tenth league win of 1997. Drop goal specialist Mark Lee slotted over another one pointer to make the game safe.
The team line ups that day were ;
Wigan: Jason Robinson, Daryl Cardiss, Gary Connolly, Kris Radlinski, Andy Johnson; Henry Paul, Craig Murdock; Terry O’Connor, Jon Clarke, Neil Cowie, Simon Haughton, Mick Cassidy, Andy Farrell. Interchange Stephen Holgate, Gale Tallec, Paul Johnson, Lee Hansen.
Salford: Gary Broadbent; Fata Sini, Scott Naylor, Nathan McAvoy, Darren Rogers; Steve Blakeley, Mark Lee; Paul Southern, Peter Edwards, Cliff Eccles, John Cartwright, Esene Faimalo, Craig Randall. Interchange Lokeni Savelio, David Bradbury, Scott Martin, Ian Watson.
Wigan are quite a formidable side on their home ground. This season they’ve won all five of their home games quite convincingly against Castleford, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Hull KR and Widnes. The Warriors pack is usually very mobile and the pace in there back line is enough to cause any team problems.
Sam Tomkins seems to be back in form and popular French man Morgan Escare has become a cult hero amongst the supporters. With George Williams pulling the strings at half back Friday’s game will be a real test for Ian Watson and his team.
With just two victories in this league fixture for Salford in the Super League era you have to go right back to 12th of May 1979 for another Salford win. Keith Fielding with four tries, Maurice Richards and David Stephenson crossed for the other two with Colin Whitfield kicking four goals in a 13-26 win at Central Park. The odds may be stacked against Salford but ever the optimist you never know. The action gets under way at 8pm.
Enjoy the game everyone, Paul Whiteside.