It was another crisp and chilly evening as the two sides walked out for kick off.
Salford were missing Alex Gerrard and Sam Stone from last weeks match and brought Ellis Longstaff in for his debut. Adam Sidlow started on the bench and awaited his second debut for the club.
The game got off to a really quick start with both sides chancing their arm and moving the ball wide at every opportunity.
Warrington had most of the early territory and possession. The home side worked the ball well for the games first try. George Williams found Ben Currie with a perfectly measured kick.
Salford responded with a cracking try of their own. Good work from Oliver Partington to promote the ball and this got Salford moving. Quick hand and super support play saw Longstaff score a well worked try. Marc Sneyd levelled the scores with the conversion 6-6.
The visitors took the lead with another long distance try. Ken Sio picked up an interception from round his boot laces and did remarkably well to collect the ball cleanly. Ryan Brierley was in support and he showed tremendous pace to scorch down the pitch to score.
Salford were playing some of the rugby that got them so many admirers last season and Warrington were finding it a nightmare to defend against.
Tyler Dupree from a standing start motored through a gap and went on an exciting run. Salford kept the pressure on and it was Sneyd who powered through to extend the lead 6-18.
Sneyd rounded of a Super first half performance with a penalty goal to stretch the lead to 6-20 at the break.
After a thrilling first half much of the same was expected in the second half.
Warrington made the perfect start when Matty Ashton went over. Salford had failed to deal with a kick and that became a regular problem. Warrington kicks from Williams and Josh Drinkwater weren’t dealt with as the Red Devils seemed to panic and lack composure.
Once again the visitors were on the back foot as the Wolves flexed their muscles. Their huge pack were difficult to deal with. Salford defended numerous sets of six and set restarts but some light relief came with a penalty in the Warrington half. Salford looked set to run it but decided to take the two points on offer. Surprisingly Sneyd dragged it wide and the game started to turn.
Ryan Brierley was sin binned and this became a huge factor in the match. Warrington scores three tries while Salford were down to twelve men and one of them was an eight point try after Josh Thewlis was adjudged to have been fouled in the act of scoring. These are pretty rare in rugby league. Warrington now lead 28-20 after the game had been turned on its head. To add to Salford woes Matt Dufty scores and once again referee Jack Smith gave a penalty for being fouled in the act of scoring. Two eight point tries in a match is very rare I’d say. Warrington made it count this time with Stefan Ratchford converting both the try and the penalty to add to Dufty’s four pointer.
A game that promised so much at half time ended in disappointing circumstances for Salford. Two very contrasting halves of rugby league for the Red Devils but maybe a bit of mitigation involved, I’ll let you decide on that one.
Salford travel to Hull next Saturday for their next match in the a Super League.
Warrington 36 Salford 20.
Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos!