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Match Report: Wigan 20 Salford 16
Posted by Bilko on February 26 2016 - 00:20

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Thursday 25th February 2016
Wigan Warriors 20 Salford Red Devils 16
DW Stadium, Wigan
First Utility Super League 21 - Round 3 of 23
Kick Off 8:00pm

- Wigan       - Salford    
22 Lewis Tierney       1 Gareth O'Brien    G 
5 Dom Manfredi  T      2 Justin Carney    
3 Anthony Gelling  T      3 Josh Griffin  T   G 
4 Dan Sarginson       4 Junior Sa'u  T   
20 Oliver Gildart  T2      18 Greg Johnson    
6 George Williams       6 Robert Lui    
7 Matty Smith    G2    7 Michael Dobson    
10 Ben Flower       8 Craig Kopczak    
16 Sam Powell       9 Tommy Lee    

Ryan Sutton


George Griffin

14 John Bateman       11 Ben Murdoch-Masila  T   
12 Liam Farrell       33 Josh Jones    

Sean O'Loughlin

      13 Mark Flanagan    
15 Tony Clubb       1 Niall Evalds    
17 Lee Mossop       16 Olsi Krasniqi    
19 Taulima Tautai       19 Logan Tomkins    
26 Greg Burke       20 Jordan Walne    


Well for the second Super League game in a row, Wigan managed to snatch victory from the jaws of victory.

Like at Huddersfield, when we chucked a 12-6 lead down the pan to go 13-12 before winning, this time it was a 16-2 lead that was whittled all the way down to 16-16 before a late winner.

You could have filled a bingo card on the amount of times I said "game management" during the Wish FM commentary of this match but it's something that Wigan continue to lack.

10-2 up first half we conceded four penalties to help them down field and we were lucky in that we had good try line defence to see it out because Salford were not playing badly.

Second Half we got 16-2 up but no lessons learned from the first half. Four more penalties conceded, plus a one on one ball strip lost, and Salford got back to 16-16 this time.

We pushed our luck and have got away with it twice now. The annoyance is not so much it happening but the lack of learning from it. This has to improve.

It also frustrates more here because generally I thought it was a good show this. A great result because I don't think Salford are mug team anymore. They played well and threw a lot at Wigan.

Three times they broke clear early on and Wigan were fortunate to survive on each occasion. Defence not great deep in the field, particularly on the left edge, but on the goal line it was excellent. Salford probed with good kicks, forced some drop outs, but Lewis Tierney was dealing with a lot of those tests very well indeed.

All Salford got for their early pressure was a 2-0 lead from a penalty goal by Gareth O'Brien whilst Wigan found two tries which were both scored by Oliver Gildart.

First one he got the ball wide left and then stepped back inside to flat foot two defenders before finishing well. The second one, well it was an exact carbon copy really with the same nifty footwork getting him over. Matty Smith missed the first conversion but hit the second for 10-2.

In between those two scores, Dom Manfredi had a try ruled out, presumably for offside, which was a shame because it was a great leap and finish.

That 10-2 score saw out till half time but I reiterate that Salford had been showing better than only two points on the board. The half time hooter sounded with them a bugs dick from scoring.

Second Half couldn't have started better. George Williams' good break set up the territory and Anthony Gelling was sent though a big gap to finish. Smith converted for 16-2.

I've already stated my frustration at Wigan not controlling the game from here but I didn't actually think they had collapsed. Salford had been probing well all night and it wasn't a surprise that they began to eventually get over the line with it, possibly as Wigan were tiring also. It had been a shock that they hadn't done so earlier.

One key move to it had been them benching Michael Dobson, switching Gareth O'Brien from full back to half back, alongside Robert Lui, and Niall Evalds coming on at full back.

It just started to work better after that and tries from Junior Sa'u (57) and Josh Griffin (67) set up the momentum before Ben Murdoch-Masila ran over the top of Liam Farrell to score a third try and it was 16-16 with 6 minutes to go.

You might have expected Salford to win from that position but it was Wigan who snatched the result although video replays suggest its on the dodgy side. A possible knock on by a hard working Taulima Tautai before a questionable finish by Dom Manfredi in the right corner from Gelling's pass. I've not seen it myself yet, and am only going off what I've read on twitter, but if not dodgy it was an unbelievable finish by Manfredi.

So Wigan won 20-16 and it is three wins from three and at the final whistle we are top of the table. We normally start poorly so it's good to be picking up the results, especially when they are not totally smooth performances. This was a better effort than we saw against Catalan and Huddersfield though and hopefully we'll continue the upward curve against Hull next week.

5th Minute Wigan 00 Salford 02 Penalty Goal: Gareth O'Brien (1/1)
8th Minute Wigan 04 Salford 02 Try: Oliver Gildart
Wigan 04 Salford 02 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)
22nd Minute Wigan 08 Salford 02 Try: Oliver Gildart (2)
Wigan 10 Salford 02 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 10 Salford Reds Devils 02
44th Minute Wigan 14 Salford 02 Try: Anthony Gelling
Wigan 16 Salford 02 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/3)
56th Minute Wigan 16 Salford 06 Try: Junior Sa'u
Wigan 16 Salford 06 Missed Conv: Gareth O'Brien (1/2)
67th Minute Wigan 16 Salford 10 Try: Josh Griffin
Wigan 16 Salford 10 Missed Conv: Gareth O'Brien (1/3)
73rd Minute Wigan 16 Salford 14 Try: Ben Murdoch-Masila
Wigan 16 Salford 16 Conversion: Josh Griffin (1/1)
76th Minute Wigan 20 Salford 16 Try: Dom Manfredi
Wigan 20 Salford 16 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (2/4)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 20 Salford Red Devils 16

George Stokes



First Utility Super League 21 - Round 11 Results
Sun 21 Feb Salford Red Devils 28 Widnes Vikings 20 5,089
Sun 21 Feb Hull Kingston Rovers 12 Wakefield Wildcats 14 7,207

First Utility Super League 21 - Round 3 Results
Thu 25 Feb Hull FC 24 Castleford Tigers 31 10,247
Thu 25 Feb Wigan Warriors 20 Salford Red Devils 16 10,897
Fri 26 Feb Hull Kingston Rovers 22 St Helens 31 6,517
Fri 26 Feb Warrington Wolves 34 Wakefield Wildcats 16 10,631
Sat 27 Feb Catalan Dragons 32 Leeds Rhinos 28 8,178
Sun 28 Feb Huddersfield Giants 18 Widnes Vikings 36 5,183

2016 First Utility Super League 21 Table - After This Round
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Widnes Vikings 4 3 0 1 136 74 +62 6
2 Warrington Wolves 3 3 0 0 84 34 +50 6
3 Wigan Warriors 3 3 0 0 50 35 +15 6
4 Castleford Tigers 3 2 1 0 87 46 +41 5
5 Hull FC 3 2 0 1 104 61 +43 4
6 Salford Red Devils 4 2 0 2 108 92 +16 4
7 St Helens 3 2 0 1 71 82 -11 4
8 Catalan Dragons 3 1 0 2 48 78 -30 2

Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs

9 Wakefield Wildcats 4 1 0 3 50 110 -60 2
10 Hull Kingston Rovers 4 0 1 3 58 99 -41 1
11 Huddersfield Giants 3 0 0 3 47 84 -37 0
12 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 0 3 50 100 -50 0

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