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17th August 1997: Wigan 14 Salford 21

Wigan Warriors v Salford Reds - 1997 Super League II Round 19.
Sunday 17th August 1997. Kick Off 3:00pm at Central Park.

Match Report from www.theboltonnews.co.uk

The heat is on coach Eric Hughes and his players after another below par performance sent Wigan crashing to their fourth defeat in five Super League games.

The Warriors are in a recession and Hughes appears powerless to lift them out of it.

They were second best to a tireless but uninspired Salford side who did the basics right and appeared hungrier for success.

Wigan's big guns failed to perform and the rest were left looking very ordinary leaving their top four aspirations fading fast.

The Warriors defence was suspect, their attacking options limited and their kicking game woeful. Each side scored three tries but Salford, inspired by their coach, former Central Park favourite Andy Gregory, always held the upper hand.

Hughes blamed several of his players for not performing to their best.

"We have four exceptional players in Jason Robinson, Andy Farrell, Kris Radlinski and Mick Cassidy who perform every week but others are not putting it in. I would like to shake the side up a bit but I haven't got the players to bring in. There is a lack of urgency in our play and that is down to a lack of competitiion.

"We had three Academy lads in today but until the off-field battle is resolved my hands are tied. It is frustrating for everyone at the club but it is not the best environment to work in." The lack of urgency was highlighted in the 10th minute when Gary Broadbent exposed weak covering to dive over and Steve Blakely goaled.

Nine minutes later and former Wigan player Blakely made a half break to send hooker Peter Edwards over and goaled again.

Three minutes later Wigan woke up when Simon Haughton burst through before sending Radlinski racing over but on the stroke of half-time Mark Lee added a drop goal.

Wigan closed the gap at the start of the second half when Andy Johnson jinked his way over but Salford quickly maintained a points cushion when Aussie forward John Cartwright put Blakely in and he added the goal and a penalty.

Robinson nipped over late in the game and Farrell goaled but by then it was too late.

WIGAN: Robinson, Cardiss, Connolly, Radlinski, Johnson A, Paul, Murdock, Cowie, Clarke, O'Connor, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Hansen (for Cowie 25), Holgate (for O'Connor) Johnson P (for Murdock 65), Cowie (for Hansen 71), Tallec.

Salford Reds 21   Wigan Warriors 14
Gary Broadbent
Peter Edwards
Steve Blakeley
Tries Andy Johnson
Jason Robinson
Kris Radlinski
Steve Blakeley (4)
Goals Andy Farrell
Mark Lee
Field Goals  

Other Information

Attendance: 6,518

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