As the North West basked in glorious sunshine this extra special Rugby League weekend began at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. With the Challenge Cup Final and 1895 Cup Final taking place tomorrow at Wembley the Friday night fixtures added to the excitement. Salford’s pitch at the AJ Bell Stadium was undergoing maintenance hence this home fixture against Wakefield Trinity being moved down the road to Warrington.
After Sunday’s victory at Castleford the Red Devil’s welcomed back Joe Burgess, Tui Lolohea and Sebastine Ikahihifo to the squad. Declan Patton had begun to form a promising partnership at halfback with Chris Atkin but Patton had to miss out this week due to Covid protocol.
For supporters who have that bit of anorak in them they will remember that Salford played Wakefield at Leigh for the final game of the 2012 season. Trinity won that night 34-42.
Richard Marshall made just one change to his starting thirteen from last Sunday with Lolohea replacing Patton. Their were two changes on the substitute bench, loan pair Ben Davies and Dan Norman were replaced by Sam Luckley and Sebastine Ikahihifo.
The games first real chance went to Ken Sio after some nice play from Morgan Escare. Sio was just about held up by some desperate Trinity defence.
A terrific kick chase forced a drop out and Salford piled the pressure on. Trinity struck back though to land a real sucker punch. Lee Kershaw raced away with an interception before Innes Senior grabbed the try.
After a energetic start to the game Salford’s confidence seemed to be draining. Reece Lynne scores Wakefield’s second try from close range and Trinity were 0-12 after seventeen minutes.
A Liam Kay knock on just yards from his own line presented Salford a chance. They took it on the next set when Escare found some space to touch down. Krisnan Inu booted the goal off the touch line.
After some Harlem Globe Trotting from Pauli Pauli Salford went on the attack and it was Lolohea’s drop off pass that sent Inu strolling in to score before he levelled the scores at 12-12 with a successful conversion.
Chris Atkin opened up Trinity beautifully and looked to be on his way but somehow lost the ball. Wakefield attacked but Salford held the line well to go in all square at the break.
Salford started the second half on top, Greg Burke and Inu both knocked on in try scoring opportunities as Trinity soaked up the pressure resiliently and when the offer of two points from a soft penalty came along Mason Lino had no hesitation and edged Wakefield in front 12-14.
Salford held their line well to keep David Fifita out then moments later Jay Pitts. The hard work was rewarded when Pauli found Inu with a magic offload. Inu scored the try and the Red Devils very own talisman made the touch line conversion look easy to give Salford the lead for the first time in the match.
Moments later Inu extended the lead to 20-14 with a penalty goal as the game entered the final ten minutes.
The Red Devils began to turn the screw forcing a drop out. A huge carry from big Jack Ormondroyd set the platform and quick hands sets up a try for Ken Sio.
An inspirational second half display from Inu who has a huge influence on this team with his vocal leadership. Salford make it back to back wins and play Leeds at Headingley next Friday.
Enjoy the Challenge Cup Final weekend.
Salford 24 Wakefield 14.