Wigan Warriors 45
Tries: Bowen, Gelling 3, Charnley, Williams, Clubb, Smith
Goals: Smith 6/8
Field Goal: Smith
Salford Red Devils 4
Tries: Josh Griffin
Goals: Josh Griffin 0/1
Wigan Warriors produced a complete display to punish Salford Red Devils 45-4 to boost their title ambitions and damage the Devils play-off hopes.
Anthony Gelling was impressive in the centres and scored a brilliant hat-trick as his side were dominant from the off.
Joel Tomkins featured in his first Super League appearance since 2011 following a brief stint in rugby union and looked like he hadn’t been away.
Salford slumped to back-to-back defeats as they had a short-lived period of dominance in the first half but Wigan’s determined line defence kept them to only four points.
Wigan were rewarded for their dominance when Matty Bowen opened the scoring as he got a fingertip to a clever Matty Smith kick just before the ball ran out of play.
Salford should have scored when Sa’u failed to spot the men on his inside in support and was tackled. That signalled the start of a good period for the visitors and they had some ball on Wigan’s line but the Warriors repelled the attacks with good line defence.
It wasn’t until the half hour mark that we saw the next points and it was Anthony Gelling who forced his way over out wide to score. It came off the back of a good use of the free play by Bowen who’s kick was eventually forced out for a Salford drop out.
The try was a controversial one though as O’Loughlin dove at the ball with his feet to get to Chase’s short drop out and caught the half back whilst doing so. It could have easily been a penalty however, it was play on and Gelling scored.
Charnley crossed soon after as his centre Gelling found him in space out wide and the prolific winger stepped well inside to race under the sticks.
Salford were given one last chance in the first half when Gelling knocked on deep inside his own half although they could not breach the strong Wigan defence as they went into the break 16-0 up.
The Red Devils started the second 40 disastrously as they knocked the ball on with their first set and were punished when Gelling grabbed his second with a spectacular finish in the corner. He jumped from dummy half and took on three defenders to ground before they could barge him into touch.
Josh Griffin got Salford on the board and showed great determination when he chased a clever Chase kick into the corner and reached around Matty Bowen, who was attempting to see the ball out of play, to ground the ball when it seemed impossible.
With 14 minutes left on the clock Matty Smith extended the Wigan lead with a field goal, leaving Salford with the task of scoring four times to win the game.
The game was over in the very next set though as the two stand out performers, Bowen and Gelling, combined when Bowen broke through the Devils defence before finding Gelling in support, who strolled over for his hat-trick.
There were a number of contenders for try of the night and George Williams may have clinched it with his incredible solo effort when he found a huge gap, deep in his own half, to race through and beat three Salford defenders with a mazy run to go all the way.
Salford came up with another error from a scrum and after a scramble, Tony Clubb kicked the loose ball ahead and was quickest to it as it stopped perfectly over the try line for the front rower to score.
Matty Smith had a try ruled out for obstruction earlier in the second half however, the video ref couldn’t deny him a second time as he dummied his way through a gap and showed great strength to get over the try line.
Salford were relieved to hear the hooter as it brought an end to a one sided encounter in which the home side romped to a 45-4 victory.