Despite spring not being to far off it was tricky wintry conditions for this pre season match at the AJ Bell Stadium. Although the rain had been persistent right up to kick off the pitch, as always looked in top condition.
Salford coach Richard Marshall had picked a strong squad with most new players looking for a run out against last seasons Grand Final Runners up Wigan. The Warriors had John Bateman in their side after his return from the NRL. Looking at the team line ups both sides meant business.
Salford made an enterprising start forcing repeat sets from a smart kicking game but failed to post any points in the early stages.
Andy Ackers looked sharp playing at hooker and Danny Addy got through plenty of work in the pack.
Salford opened the scoring after a penalty was awarded. Tui Lolohea kicked through for Ken Sio who was pulled back. On the last tackle Kallum Watkins showed great composure and football skills to touchdown considering the very greasy playing surface. Krisnan Inu added the conversion to give Salford a well deserved 6-0 lead.
Shortly after Wigan hit back to score under the posts. Sam Powell diving over from dummy half. With the successful conversion the scores were level.
Salford continued to attack with really purpose and another pin point Lolohea kick found Ken Sio who claimed it cleanly to slide over for a super try. Inu stretched the lead to 12-6 with the conversion.
Salford forward James Greenwood got injured just before the break and hobbled off after a fair few minutes of on field treatment.
A very enjoyable first half finished 12-6 in Salford’s favour.
As the match progressed Salford continued to impress, looking hungry and in particular very composed. Considering the amount of new faces the team looked very well organised and solid in defence.
With just over twenty minutes remaining exciting young Salford hooker Connor Aspey came on off the bench. He settled straight away with his good ball distribution and nippy darts from dummy half.
Salford increased their lead with another nice try, this time French fullback Morgan Escare scoring.
Dan Sarginson was very impressive against his former club with another all action display carrying on from where he left off last season.
Danny Addy and Ken Sio linked up really well as Salford looked to turn the screw in the final ten minutes, only good defence from Wigan prevented another try.
In the closing minutes super ball movement from right to left provided Inu the chance which he lapped up, forcing his way over the line showing great strength, Salford’s fourth try of the match.
The Red Devil’s were first to everything all afternoon, showing real urgency and a terrific work ethic. The teams fitness must also be admired as they tackled Wigan to a standstill at times holding them up over the line on countless occasions.
A real performance to build on for Richard Marshall and a very good afternoons work.
Salford 20 Wigan 6.