The first run out for the "big guns" this season saw them win far
more comfortably than the final score of 34-16 suggests. A good run
out I thought with new signing Blake Green certainly catching the
Wigan hit Salford straight from the off after the home side
allowed the kick off to go dead for a drop out. It was quickly
punished as Sean O'Loughlin sent Jack Hughes over. Pat Richards
converted for 6-0.
Salford were all over the place in these early stages and Wigan
got a second try in the eight minute. O'Loughlin again the
architect. In at dummy half, he showed great vision in throwing a
pass right to Darrell Goulding that took out three defenders.
Goulding then just had to draw in the winger and send Josh Charnley
over in the corner. Pat's conversion missed - 10-0 Wigan.
You feared for Salford at this point. They were defending
dreadfully and Wigan looked full of vitality. But three penalties
and a lucky bounce of the ball helped them score in the 15th Minute
and that settled them down a bit. The luck came after Marc Sneyd's
woeful daisy cutting pass from dummy half was somehow not gobbled
up by Wigan defenders. It just fell kindly onto Chris Nero's foot
and he hacked on for an easy try. Sneyd couldn't convert though -
Wigan though soon got control of the game back with three tries
scored before the half hour. First try saw Wigan attacking left.
Blake Green got the ball, but rather than throwing right towards
Pat Richards on the wing, he flicked a lovely ball back inside to
send O'Loughlin over. Lovely skill! Pat converted for 16-4.
On the next set Wigan scored again. Green again the provider as
Salford fell for his dummy and that allowed him to send Jack Murphy
over towards the left wing again. Conversion missed - 20-4.
Then the third try saw Charnley claim his second as Goulding got
a brilliant offload away despite two men tackling him. Pat failed
to convert again. So 24-4 and that's how it stayed till half time.
Into the second half and it was two individual tries that saw
Wigan increase the lead before the hour, as many substitutes began
to come into force. First on 50 minutes Jack Hughes got Iain
Thornley away on the half break down the left wing. but Salford put
in two missed tackles on him and he strode over just to the left of
the sticks. With Pat subbed off, Charnley was now goal kicking and
somehow managed to skew it wide from bang in front. This is not the
first time Charnley has done this and to be frank, he should not be
goal kicking if that is the standard. Absolutely pathetic!
The 57th Minutes saw Matty Smith score against his old side.
Paul Prescott made the initial break from half way and Smith was in
support to finish it off. Difficult conversion from bang in front
for Charnley but he kicked this one for a 34-4.
The only surprise for me was that Wigan didn't get further
scores in the final quarter. Perhaps this was down to Logan Tomkins
now being in the hooking role and for me he is lacking the spark
required for that role. A bit too predictable at times.. It ended
up being Salford who got two late tries to, like I said, make the
final result seem closer than it was.
Salford got lucky again when a loose pass created a scramble for
the ball. Question of forward pass from me but instead referee
Steve Ganson gave "back to one" and Gareth Owen fell over the line
for the score. Sneyd converted for 34-10. Then with four minutes to
go Theo Fages scored through disappointing defence from Logan
Tomkins and Jack Murphy. Sneyd converted to complete the scoring at
All in all though it was a good workout, but I do feel the
opposition was on the weak side. The trip to Warrington next
weekend will obviously provide a much tougher test. Neither Gil
Dudson or Scott Taylor caught my eye again, in fact it was young
prop Greg Burke who showed most promise on this cold night.