Weather wise it was arguably the best day of the season so far. Warm temperatures, glorious sunshine and a very excited crowd just before kick off.
The swashbuckling Warrington Wolves ground to a halt against St. Helens last weekend leaving there supporters expecting a response.
After four consecutive league defeats Ian Watson’s Salford side progressed in the Challenge Cup last Friday but today would provide the ultimate test against a side tipped by many for glory in 2019.
After withstanding early pressure Salford clicked in to gear scoring the opening try. Kris Welham touching down after a teasing kick through. Krishnan Inu adding the conversion.
Greg Burke playing at loose forward showed some fantastic neat footwork to link up with Gil Dudson before hooker Joey Lussick crashed over via the padding on the goal posts. A brave effort from the young Australian giving Salford a great start.
The Red Devil’s were swarming all over the Wolves in defence and with ball in hand continued to press through the heart of their hosts. Quick play the balls and a very mobile pack of forwards doing the damage.
Robert Lui and Jackson Hastings at half back gave Warrington so much to think about linking up superbly at times.
Inu nudged Salford 0-14 ahead with a penalty goal just before the 20 minute mark.
Their is no doubting the world class calibre of player the Wolves possess and with Blake Austin they certainly have a gem. Austin charged over showing the power of a second row forward and the gifted talent of the wonderful half back he is to get Warrington on the score sheet.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon so far came when Daniel Murray fought his way over the line to score his first try of the season and his first Super League try for Salford. The young prop forward was delighted and so were Salford’s travelling army of supporters for a player who is a firm fans favourite.
The Wolves continued to threaten but you did get the feeling it wasn’t going to be there day with passing going astray. Ryan Atkins twice attempted to put Josh Charnley through the gap with the pass ending up in the crowd.
6 minutes before the break Inu again took the two points on offer from a penalty after Jackson Hastings was up ended in the tackle.
Robert Lui darted over for a crucial try just before the half time hooter as the Wolves defence parted like the Red Sea to offer up the gap for Salford’s number 6. Inu converted to send Salford in 6-28 up at half time after a near flawless 40 minute performance.
The first action of the second half saw Niall Evalds tackled without the ball in a try scoring situation. Inu again took the two points on offer from the penalty.
The game was then put to bed by a breath taking Salford move, Derrell Olpherts fed the scrum before the ball was fanned out across the pitch. Immaculate handling and crisp clean passing for Jake Bibby to dive over in the corner for the try of the game.
With eighteen minutes remaining Welham was rather harshly sin binned by referee Gareth Hewer. Warrington made the extra man count scoring a try off the very next play. Bryson Goodwin finishing well.
Salford managed the remaining stages of the match about as clinical as is possible. Frustrating the Wolves with a punishing kicking game and some ferocious defence.
This performance could well of eclipsed the Catalans display from a month or so ago. From minute 1-80 Salford dominated and were a joy to watch.
Ian Watson’s side now face Wigan Warriors at home on Easter Monday.
Watson was delighted speaking after the match “our resilience to defend goal line was outstanding I thought the mentally of boys was terrific, it’s a great scalp for us.”
Warrington 12 Salford 36.