Wigan Warriors returned to the top
of the Tetley's Bitter Super League but were given a fright by impressive
Wigan swept into an early 12-0 lead but battling Salford hit
Tony Smith opened Wigan's account, racing clear from dummy- half after
only four minutes, with Andy Farrell tagging on the conversion.
Then Neil Cowie's charging run set up the chance for Farrell to put
Mick Cassidy over for another converted try.
Reds full-back Gary Broadbent was forced to make a try saving tackle on
David Hodgson, but Salford rallied with their best show for weeks.
Kris Radlinski, the Wigan full-back, was called on to make two last
ditch tackles on Jon Roper and Gary Broadbent.
Salford deservedly notched their opening try in the 36th minute when
the outstanding Broadbent took Paul Southern's pass to go over.
Jon Roper, making his debut on loan from Warrington, took over the goal
kicking when Steve Blakeley limped off and added the conversion to cut the
gap to 12-6 at the break.
Andy Farrell's skills set up two tries in the opening eight minutes of
the second half, with his chip ahead collected by Radlinski and the
full-back again going over in the 50th minute. Two Farrell conversions
increased the lead to 24-6.
But Salford refused to throw in the towel and gave Wigan anxious
moments when they clawed back to 24-18.
Gary Broadbent side-stepped Dennis Betts for a try in the 57th minute,
with Darren Brown and Martin Offiah then combining for Jason Nicol to go
Roper added both goals, and Wigan faced a worrying last 10 minutes
before Farrell waltzed through a rare gap in the Reds defence two minutes
from time and added his fifth conversion from five attempts.
Wigan boss Frank Endacott paid tribute to Salford after his side's
30-18 win at the Willows.
Endacott said: "Salford made us work very hard for both points.
"They stretched our defence regularly and I was concerned with 10
minutes to go after Salford came back strongly.
"A few cracks showed in our defence but we will be back to our best
against Bradford next week."
Salford coach John Harvey admitted: "It was a great effort by my
players and to get to the stage where Wigan were worrying about the result
with five minutes to go was very praiseworthy.
"We played with plenty of heart and if we perform like that against St
Helens next week we could surprise them as well.
"The performance will do our confidence plenty of good."
|Gary Broadbent (2)
Kris Radlinski (2)
|Jon Roper (3)
||Andy Farrell (5)