When the fixtures first come out in pre season Wigan at home is a game I always look out for and I’ve got a feeling a lot of people at other clubs do. Wigan Rugby League club are one of the most famous names in our sport around the globe.
After last years Grand Final success under Shaun Wane, 2019 has been a struggle so far with just one league victory from there opening six matches.
It would certainly be a little naive to expect an easy afternoon for Salford though. This Wigan side still boasts many international players and a fantastic attacking threat. The pace at there disposal particularly in the three quarters will be a threat for any team.
New coach Adrian Lam is under pressure to get results, Wigan are a club who expect success. Lam is currently interim boss with Shaun Edwards expected to take over for the 2020 season however doubt has been cast on this appointment just recently.
The sun was out to welcome both sides at kick off with a thrilling match in prospect.
After last weeks narrow defeat at Castleford Ian Watson kept faith with Adam Walker. Ed Chamberlain came in for his first appearance of the season replacing Kris Welham in the Centre. The only other change saw Adam Lawton back in the seventeen.
Salford got off to the perfect start Joe Burgess spilling the ball from a high kick leaving the hosts with a fantastic attacking opportunity. Robert Lui came up with a precision last tackle kick for Josh Jones to touch down. Chamberlain failed to convert but he did land a penalty goal five minutes later to extend the lead to 6-0.
Wigan hit back superbly with a burst of three quick tries. Jarrod Sammutt ghosted through to find George Williams in support to race to the line. Zak Hardacker levelled the scores at 6-6.
Thomas Leuluai scores from close range before Joe Greenwood showed tremendous strength to charge over. Hardacker added both conversions to leave Wigan in a commanding lead 6-18.
Salford replied with two well worked tries of there own in a fantastic spell of attacking rugby down there right edge. Chamberlain put Olpherts over in the corner before they both linked up with Niall Evalds. Neat passing and a clinical finish from full back Evalds. Chamberlain’s conversion on the hooter sent Salford in at half time just two points adrift at 16-18.
The Red Devil’s snatched the first points of the second half. Adam Walker on his home debut with a real opportunistic ball still on the Wigan try lineup hand Salford a slender lead.
Once again the crisp and clinical left edge of Wigan had far to much pace for Salford. Greenwood’s offload sent Williams away to score his second try as the lead changed hands yet again. Hardacker with another conversion giving Wigan a 22-24 advantage.
Williams completed his hat trick in the 57th minute. Another long range break away try to take the game away from Salford. Hardacker’s successful kick gave Wigan an eight point lead and that was enough for them to see the game out.
Salford coach Ian Watson was disappointed with his sides edge defence in another game he felt his side could of won.
The Red Devil’s face another tough away trip to West Yorkshire next Sunday to face Wakefield Trinity.
Salford 22 Wigan 30