These two sides will meet each other twice in a week. The Super League match takes place this Tuesday evening followed by a Challenge Cup Semi final clash on Saturday. We will take a closer look at the Cup tie later in the week.
Coming in to the League match Warrington are the form team in Super League. Since the season restarted in August Steve Price’s Wolves have won all six of their league matches as well as a tremendous Challenge Cup Quarter Final win over St. Helens. In fact you’ve got to go back to 28th February for Warrington’s last defeat when they were soundly beaten at Headingley by Leeds 36-0.
Looking at the playing roster Price has to pick from you have to say the Wolves have one of the strongest squads in the competition. Their is certainly plenty of flair and big names as well as the selection of international talent.
It’s a long time since Warrington last lifted the Championship Trophy in 1955. The club struggled through the early years of the Super League era with a fair few mediocre seasons. Since the move to their new stadium however they have made steady progress and slowly but surly become regular contenders in the end of season playoffs. Losing four Grand Finals since 2012 has been disappointing for the club but that blow has been cushioned by fantastic success in the Challenge Cup.
In the last decade the Wolves have played in six Challenge Cup finals being victorious on four occasions.
Stefan Ratchford and Chris Hill celebrate at Wembley in 2012.
Warrington are currently top of the table just ahead of Wigan on points difference.
Salford have saved some of their best performances over recent seasons for this fixture. Ian Watson’s side seem to always raise their game against a team who are probably geographically their closest rivals these days. Last season the Red Devils pulled off a trio of stunning performances beating Warrington away from home 12-36 and 12-22 before another solid 22-6 win at the AJ Bell Stadium in the regular season run in. Warrington will start favourites on Tuesday night but Watson will no doubt have his plan ready to plot their downfall once again.
Super League Home record.
1997 Salford 26 Warrington 14
1998 Salford 14 Warrington 25
1999 Salford 22 Warrington 26
1999 Salford 42 Warrington 26
2000 Salford 31 Warrington 12
2001 Salford 26 Warrington 18
2002 Salford 31 Warrington 18
2004 Salford 18 Warrington 37
2004 Salford 6 Warrington 32
2005 Salford 42 Warrington 10
2006 Salford 35 Warrington 34
2007 Salford 32 Warrington 34
2007 Salford 26 Warrington 32
2009 Salford 18 Warrington 16
2010 Salford 10 Warrington 27
2011 Salford 0 Warrington 60
2012 Salford 48 Warrington 24
2013 Salford 4 Warrington 46
2014 Salford 12 Warrington 28
2015 Salford 16 Warrington 34
2016 Salford 30 Warrington 31
2017 Salford 24 Warrington 14
2018 Salford 6 Warrington 22
2019 Salford 22 Warrington 6
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, 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, Lama Tasi and John Wilshere.
Alan Hunte gave solid service to both clubs scoring plenty of tries.
A match to remember Friday 29th June 1997
Salford 26 Warrington 14.
After promotion at the end of 1996 Salford took the Super League by storm in the early stages of 1997. League form saw Andy Gregory’s Reds riding high in the Table and also progress through the Challenge Cup beating top flight opposition all the way to the Semi Final. A new competition involving all the Super League Europe and Australian teams began, The World Club Challenge. Salford had just returned from a tough trip to Australia were they had fought hard against Adelaide Rams and North Queensland Cowboys but both games had ended in defeat.
Warrington were visitors to The Willows as Salford looked to get their season back on track. Nathan McAvoy scored a try in the early stages before defence from both teams put a halt to any points scoring. It was a real tussle of the forward packs but Salford’s ageing forwards set the platform for another McAvoy try just before the break. Steve Blakeley made now mistakes with the conversions to give the home side a 14-0 half time lead.
Nathan McAvoy scores a brace in 1997.
Warrington responded at the start of the second half building pressure. Young Kiwi star Nigel Vagana raced in to reduce the deficit before veteran winger Mark Forster scored a trademark try to put the Wolves right back in the contest.
Salford managed to hold their nerve, Phil Coussons finished off a lovely move to reinstate the points advantage. With just nine minutes remaining fans favourite Fata Sini powered over to put the game to bed with a nice try. Warrington scored a consolation try in the dying seconds from a promising young player named Paul Sculthorpe.
The teams that day:
Broadbent, Coussons, Rogers, Mcavoy, Sini, Blakeley, Lee, Platt, Edwards, Eccles, Savelio, Faimalo, Burgess.
Subs, Martin, Watson, Forber, Southern
Penny, Roper, Finau, Vagana, Forster, Shelford, Briers, Mann, Swann, Stevens, Hulme, Tatupu, Sculthorpe
Subs, Henare, Wainwright, Geritas, Thorniley
Referee: John Connolly
Tuesdays match .
One thing I noticed in Salford’s last two matches was the desire and comradeship that runs through this group of players. Against Catalans in the Challenge Cup they kept battling back even though they were never in front in the entire match until the golden point try. That sort of resilience is priceless and as we saw last season can take you as far as you want to go.
Hull last week was another tough test. Strike players Ken Sio and Niall Evalds we’re still out injured along with captain Lee Mossop. Jack Ormondroyd came in and worked his socks off on his debut. The talisman Krisnan Inu put in another huge performance and Kevin Brown rolled back the years with a golden display.
As I’ve previously mentioned Warrington are the team to beat. They are the form team in the country. A team that oozes quality with big name players all over the side. Pace, power and individuals who have so much big game experience. Gareth Widdop, Blake Austin, Daryl Clark and Chris Hill have played in cup finals and huge international matches. Young sensation Matty Ashton has set the Super League on fire with some outstanding performances so far this season. He scored tries for fun at Swinton in the Championship last year and has took the Top flight like a duck to water.
Matty Ashton, Warrington’s rising star.
Anthony Gelling and Josh Charnley form a solid partnership on one edge with Australian Jake Mamo becoming a fans favourite on the opposite side. Former Salford crowd hero and hard running forward Ben Murdoch Masila will also be ready to make an impact.
Last week Salford brought in two players on loan to bolster the squad. Olly Ashall-Bott signed from Widnes. The young full back impressed a couple of seasons ago playing against Salford for the Vikings and he will be looking to impress. Tom Gilmore another Widnes lad started this season with Halifax. Tom can play in the halves and is also a very useful goal kicker.
Dan Sarginson is expected to stay at full back after his superb displays in recent weeks. Dan’s whole hearted approach and strong running make him a thrilling player to watch at times.
Ian Watson’s team sheet will make interesting reading with two games in such a short space of time. One things for sure Watson and his players will be glad to be back on home soil at the AJ Bell Stadium for the first time since March. Even if the match is behind closed doors.
The action gets under way this Tuesday evening at 5:30pm.
Stay safe and enjoy the match everyone.