You got the feeling it was going to be our night after just 5 seconds. From a Chris Ashton kick off the ball hit the cross bar and Wigan got the possession. It was quickly whipped out wide for Phil Bailey to score in the corner. 24 seconds that took and the scoreboard read "Salford 0 Wigan 4 - 0 minutes".
It's amazing you go years without seeing a freakish thing like that and then it happens twice in 8 months. Last September at Harlequins Wigan hit the crossbar then and Bryan Fletcher scored. It's definetly a good tactic which is working.
That bad start didn't seem to affect Salford as they hit back on 8 minutes. They were breaking through the Wigan defensive line with ease and apparent Wigan transfer target Andy Coley took advantage as he charged over the line. John Wilshere converted - 6-6.
Wigan retook the lead on 12 minutes as Trent Barrett scored a try he made all by his self. Sheer class. Richards made it 12-6.
Coley then scored a second for the Reds in pretty much similar circumstances. They broke clear and eventually Coley finished off with a charge over the line. Wilshere converted - 12-12.
For a third time Wigan took the lead on 25 minutes and it was Barrett again. He made a diagonal run to the line and Richards again converted to make it 18-12.
Then for a third time Salford hit back, this time with a bit of luck. A poor kick from Stuart Littler kindly bounced into the hands of Kevin McGuinness who sent Simon Finnigan over. The conversion from Wilshere made it 18-18.
Wigan try, Salford try, Wigan try, Salford try, Wigan try, Salford try - hmmm no surprise that Wigan scored next and it was a crucial one right on half time. Thomas Leuluai scored it and Richards conversion sent us into the sheds 24-18.
It was great entertainment this but really poor defending. Pretty much a case of Wigan struggling to defend from deep whilst Salford couldn't defend on their own line. We all know though Wigan improve and step up after half time and again this was the case.
Just 2 minutes after the restart, Mick Higham sent Harrison Hansen in and the two tries either side of half time had taken us from 18-18 and in a scrap to 30-18 and in control as we took a two score lead for the first time in the match.
It was clear that Wigan's defense had tightened up whilst Salford were continuing to demonstrate why they have the leagues worst defensive record. We were far from our best but they just couldn't repel anything we threw at them.
The game was pretty much sealed as Trent Barrett completed his hatrick on 53 minutes. He took the pass from Tommy Leuluai for what was only his second career hatrick - His first was way back on August 1st 1998 in a 28-26 Illawarra win at Newcastle.
Salford did managed to get 1 second half try when Aaron Moule scored on 57 minutes. 24-36 with 23 minutes to go - I suppose it was still game on but you just felt we would score more tries.
Salford's efforts pretty much summed up soon after as Luke Robinson for some reason tried to get distance on a penalty kick despite already being in Wigan's half. He comically spooned it straight to a Wigan player and Wigan would go on to take advantage with 3 more tries. Two from Shane Millard and then the final try from Darrell Goulding. Millard's tries both came as he darted over from dummy half and Goulding wrapped it up with 7 minutes to go. I think I cursed Pat Richards in the end as I confidently said "We'll get 60 here" just before he failed with his last two conversion. Ah well 50 will have to do.
Strangely I fell we played better when we won 25-6 at Salford last month because they defended so much better than night. Wigan have got to sort their own defense out but I suppose I should be greatful that we didn't get a sin binning away from home - for once!