This fixture has been one of the most anticipated by Salford supporters over recent years. A healthy rivalry has developed and the atmosphere at both the AJ Bell Stadium and the Halliwell Jones Stadium is always electric when the two sides lock horns.
Before the two clubs moved to their new stadiums their were some pretty memorable matches at the old Willows ground and Wilderspool.
A big Salford win on good Friday 2005 was christened Black Friday by Wolves coach and club stalwart Paul Cullen. In 2002 Salford won at Wilderspool 2-22 in the penultimate match of the season. On a memorable night on the terraces the Salford faithful went crazy as Alan Hunte ran the length of the field to score a super try. Sadly for Salford they were relegated a week later after a miserable defeat at home to Castleford. The Wolves survived relegation that year by the skin of there teeth. For the record Warrington have never been relegated in there long one hundred and forty five year history.
Player movement between the two clubs has always been quite busy.
2021 will see the end of an era at the Wolves with head coach Steve Price moving on at the end of the season after four seasons with the club. Current Castleford coach Daryl Powell will be taking over and it will be interesting to see if any of his current Tigers players follow him over from West Yorkshire to Warrington.
One player who has made the Salford twenty one man squad this week is Joe Burgess. A sensational try scorer in his time at Wigan with the ability to score from anywhere on the pitch. At 26 years of age Joe could be heading into the prime of his career. Richard Marshall will have a selection headache in the wing department with Ken Sio and Rhys Williams both playing well consistently so far this season.
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
2020 Salford 20 Warrington 18
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.
Mike Wainwright, gave great service to both clubs.
A match to remember Saturday 11 August 2006.
Salford City Reds 35 Warrington 34.
2006 was a special season for Salford and the supporters. The club had made real progress under coach Karl Harrison playing some thrilling Rugby League both home and away. 7 league victories out of the first 9 matches had set the platform for a high position in the league. It was a 5th place finish at the end of the regular season achieving a spot in the playoffs.
This match towards the end of the regular season was a real cracker. Salford had won on the opening day of the season at Warrington by 6-24. This was followed up by another win on Good Friday away at the Wolves 6-22.
The Wolves led 14-12 at the break and stretched their advantage to 22-12 with a Chris Bridge try and a penalty from playmaker Lee Briers.
But the Reds ran in four tries during a blistering 18-minute spell.
Warrington hit back through Michael Sullivan and Brent Grose but an Andrew Dunemann drop-goal kept the Reds clear.
Dunemann was a real star for Salford in 2006, a fantastic organiser and great reader of the game he arrived with a great pedigree after being a real star with Halifax and Leeds previously.
Salford’s tries that night came from Simon Finnegan, Gareth Haggerty, Andy Coley 2, Aaron Moule and Luke Robinson.
The shed was absolutely bouncing as Salford were on the way to breaking new ground in the Super League playoffs.
Gareth Haggerty, try scorer in 2006.
The team line ups that night were;
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Langi, Dunemann, Robinson, Lima, Alker, Rutgerson, Coley, Finnigan, Charles.
Replacements: Gower, Wilshere, Highton, Haggerty.
Warrington: Grose, Reardon, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Fa’afili, Briers, Bridge, Rauhihi, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood.
Replacements: M. Gleeson, Barnett, Wood, Bracek.
After coming so close to victory on Saturday against Wigan this match will no doubt be another huge test. One things for sure though, Richard Marshall’s side seem to be gaining in confidence. A few weeks ago a lot of the play seemed to be off the cuff and lacking any sort of structure. In the Wigan match Salford looked dangerous with the ball and with a little bit more cohesive play could have scored a few more tries. Morgan Escare added another dimension to the attack and gave the opposition a bit of a headache. At times this season Salford have looked predictable and laboured with the ball in hand but with the excited crowd behind them last time out we looked a totally different side. Marshall will be disappointed with the two tries conceded from close range and the other try was unfortunately against the run of play.
Wigan have a real resilience about them and they tend to hang in matches, eventually grinding out a result. This weeks opposition Warrington Wolves have plenty of quality in every position. Sometimes they have a tendency to over play things and that mental steel and toughness is lacking. This has seem them come up short in the chase for a League title in recent seasons. The Wolves have had plenty of success though in the last few decades winning the Challenge Cup on four occasions and being runners up twice since 2009.
Warrington celebrate Challenge Cup success in 2009.
They also appeared in four Grand Finals losing to Wigan three times and also Leeds. Big things are expected at the club in the build to every season now. The signing of Greg Inglis prior to this season kicking off produced a huge buzz around the town and sparked much media interest.
In recent years Salford have produced some of their best rugby against their near illustrious rivals from just down the M62 causing a few upsets along the way.
On the current League table Warrington sit in fourth place with four wins, a draw and two defeats in their opening seven games. Salford have just one win so far and six defeats. With tricky away fixtures coming up in June The Red Devils will be looking to kick start their season.
Greg Inglis is likely to miss the next few months with injury. Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin will be looking to continue their good form and former Salford player Stefan Ratchford is likely to start at full back for the Wolves.
Salford have included Sam Luckley and Connor Aspey in the twenty one man squad. Declan Patton and Tui Lolohea are expected to continue their new half back partnership. Two players who’ve played in the hooking role this season are both missing, Andy Ackers and Danny Addy. Chris Atkin has impressed in that role in recent weeks and is expected to get the nod. It’s been a difficult position to find continuity in due to injuries and suspensions.
On paper this looks an exciting encounter with both sides looking to impress in front of the television cameras.
The action gets underway at 7:45pm.
Keep safe and enjoy the match.