Warrington Wolves have made another great start to the season. Playing some free flowing expansive Rugby League, Steve Price’s team are looking to go one better in 2019 having missed out to Wigan in last years Grand Final.
Blake Austin has been a revelation at half back and despite losing Kevin Brown to a season ending injury The Wolves have so far filled the gap with the talented Declan Patton playing out of his skin. With Stefan Ratchford at full back and a very powerful and fast back line Price has all the tools in his arsenal to challenge at the very top once again.
Warrington Head Coach Steve Price.
With 8 victories from the first 10 matches last weekend’s thumping at St. Helens raised a few eyebrows. Having said that Saints have again looked mesmerising with just one defeat themselves in Perpignan against Catalans.
Warrington and Salford have met on quite a number of occasions in the Super League era on Good Friday with both sides celebrating success.
The Wolves have certainly had the edge since their move to the new stadium.
The League Championship is the ultimate goal for Warrington having not been champions since 1955. They’ve come mighty close over the last few years being beaten in the Grand Final’s of 2012, 2013, 2016 and 2018.
Despite these final disappointments the Wolves supporters have had plenty to cheer. Lifting the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Since leaving Wilderspool the club has gone from strength to strength. After slow progress at first the challenge cup final and trip to Wembley in 2009 caught the imagination of the supporters, attendances rocketed with the Wolves now one of the leading lights in the sport both on and off the field.
This looks a tough task for Ian Watson and his Salford side but one they will relish having proved already this season they can be a match for anyone.
A big crowd and special atmosphere is expected with this being a favourite away trip for many of Salford’s supporters.
Super League away record.
1997 Warrington 23 Salford 8
1998 Warrington 4 Salford 37
1999 Warrington 28 Salford 14
2000 Warrington 32 Salford 18
2000 Warrington 38 Salford 10
2001 Warrington 14 Salford 39
2002 Warrington 18 Salford 9
2002 Warrington 2 Salford 22
2004 Warrington 46 Salford 20
2005 Warrington 48 Salford 14
2005 Warrington 32 Salford 22
2006 Warrington 6 Salford 24
2006 Warrington 6 Salford 22
2007 Warrington 42 Salford 6
2009 Warrington 62 Salford 20
2010 Warrington 32 Salford 2
2011 Warrington 16 Salford 18
2012 Warrington 24 Salford 20
2013 Warrington 68 Salford 10
2014 Warrington 36 Salford 20
2015 Warrington 22 Salford 8
2016 Warrington 40 Salford 14
2017 Warrington 12 Salford 38
2018 Warrington 30 Salford 14
They played for both
Here are a few players to wear the red of Salford and the primrose and blue of Warrington.
Vinny Anderson, Richie Barnett, Steve Blakeley, Martin Crompton, John Duffy, Phil Ford, Martin Gleeson, Andy Gregory, Danny Halliwell, Neil Harmon, Alan Hunte, David Highton, Danny Lima, Lama Tasi, Tyrone McCarthy, Francis Maloney, Adrian Morley, Chris Morley, Ben Murdoch Masila, Richie Myler, Adam Neal, Gareth O Brien, Rob Parker, Stefan Ratchford, Stuart Reardon, Ian Sibbit, Kevin Tamati, Mike Wainwright and John Wilshere.
Mike Wainwright, a great servant to both clubs.
A match to remember Friday 10th April 1998.
Warrington 4 Salford 37.
This good Friday fixture was just over 21 years ago. Thinking back it doesn’t seem that long ago at all. Where have all those seasons gone!!
The 1998 season was our second in Super League and after modest success in 1997 under coach Andy Gregory Salford supporters were excited to kick on.
The league campaign had got underway the previous week with a narrow 14-18 home defeat at The Willows against St. Helens.
The new look Reds had recruited heavily in the build up to the season and expectations were high.
A very healthy crowd packed the terraces at Wilderspool as the two sides ran out for kick off. The atmosphere at the ‘zoo’ as it was affectionately known was always special as well being quite intimidating for an away supporter. Salford always took a very big, vocal following there and it was probably my favourite away day.
From minute one Salford dominated in attack and defence. Warrington were shell shocked. The miserable weather conditions didn’t really allow free flowing rugby but Salford wore there opponents down with grit and determination. Scoring some excellent team tries as well as tackling the wolves to a stand still. The hosts only score came from centre Toa Kohe-Love.
The Reds bagged seven tries, Darren Rogers two, Dave Bradbury, Gary Broadbent, Paul Forber, Scott Naylor and David Hulme all crossing.
New signing Martin Crompton kicked four goals and dropped a goal to cap off a remarkable afternoon.
The teams that day were;
Penny, Roach, Kohe-Love, Fawcett, Forster, Doyle, Briers, Fogerty, Farrar, Nutley, McCurrie, Tuuta, Wainwright. Subs, Rudd, Causey, Chambers, Knott.
Broadbent, Hassan, Naylor, Mcavoy, Rogers, White, Crompton, Savelio, Edwards, Esene Faimalo , Joe Faimalo, Bradbury, Hulme.
Subs, Martin, Lee, Forber, Southern.
Referee, Robert Connolly.
There’s no doubt about the fact that Warrington will start Friday’s match as firm favourites. One thing about Easter though is it does have the tendency to throw up some surprise scores. It does seem a tricky task to win both matches over the weekend and many coaches try and plan, rotate and manage their squads accordingly.
Where does Ian Watson start with preparation for Friday?
Blake Austin has so far been the go to player for The Wolves. Bossing matches and coming up with match winning plays and contributions. Their is also a fantastic cutting edge in the three quarters to contend with along with a very powerful and robust pack of forwards.
Defence needs to be top notch and Salford have proved this season that they can defend having nilled London Broncos and Catalans. Chances may be few and far between but when they do come The Red Devils need to be clinical.
One player who will definitely be missing for Salford is winger Ed Chamberlain. This could pave the way for Derrell Olpherts return and will almost certainly hand the goal kicking responsibilities to Krisnan Inu.
Ian Watson has pointed out of the past few weeks that poor starts to matches have cost his side dear so it’s imperative Salford start well on Friday.
Easter is a special time for Rugby League followers. With some mouth watering local Derby matches being televised along with some great radio coverage across the regions.
Safe travels and enjoy the game everyone.