Daniel Zealey reviews Salford’s second half comeback to defeat the league leaders, Wigan. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Goal Chris Hankinson (Wigan)||Salford 0-2 Wigan|
|12th||Goal Tui Lolohea (Salford)||Salford 2-2 Wigan|
|14th||Try Jackson Hastings (Wigan)||Salford 2-6 Wigan|
|15th||Goal Chris Hankinson (Wigan)||Salford 2-8 Wigan|
|36th||Try Sam Powell (Wigan)||Salford 2-12 Wigan|
|37th||Goal Chris Hankinson (Wigan)||Salford 2-14 Wigan|
|59th||Try Niall Evalds (Salford)||Salford 6-14 Wigan|
|60th||Goal Tui Lolohea (Salford)||Salford 8-14 Wigan|
|65th||Try Niall Evalds (Salford)||Salford 12-14 Wigan|
|67th||Goal Tui Lolohea (Salford)||Salford 14-14 Wigan|
|72nd||Try Kevin Brown (Salford)||Salford 18-14 Wigan|
Both sides kicked a penalty early in the contest, before former Red Devil, Jackson Hastings, crossed for the games opening score.
A try for Sam Powell gave the visitors a 14-2 lead at the break.
However, Ian Watson’s side fought back with Niall Evalds scoring twice and Kevin Brown touching down what proved to be the match winner.
Salford hosted Wigan in a repeat of the 2019 playoff final.
Chris Hankinson opened the scoring for Wigan with a penalty, however Tui Lolohea levelled the scores five minutes later.
The open try came after 14 minutes. Former Salford player, Jackson Hastings received the ball ten metres away from the Salford line before stepping past three defenders to touch down.
Wigan extended their lead five minutes before the break. Joe Bullock was able to offload despite having four defenders attempting to wrap the ball, Sam Powell picked the ball up and barged himself underneath the sticks.
Wigan lead 14-2 at half time.
Salford’s chance of recording a first home win against Wigan looked unlikely. However, just before the hour mark Niall Evalds exploited a gap in the Wigan defence to close to gap.
The Warriors looked to kill the game off as they pressed. A poor kick near the Salford line found Evalds with the ball in his arms and an open field. The fullback raced 90 metres to touch down underneath the sticks. The scores level with 14 minutes remaining.
In the 72nd minute Kevin Brown scored what proved to be the winner. He picked the ball up from dummy half five metres out before grounding near the corner.
With no home victory over Wigan for five years, it always looked a hard task for Salford and with them trailing at the break it looked inevitable they suffered another defeat.
Niall Evalds proved key with his two tries, both out of nothing. His first, an instinctive move as a gap opened up, while the second came from him blocking the kick. The 26 year old fullback has been under rated at times and could be set for a big season and could help Salford’s form improve.
Salford: Evalds; Sio, Welham, Sarginson, Williams; Lolohea, Brown; Mossop, Lussick, Yates, Lannon, Roberts, McCarthy.
Interchanges: Pauli, Ikahihifo, Flanagan, Kear.
French; Manfredi, Hankinson, Bibby, Marshall; Leuluai, Hastings; Burgess, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Smithies.
Interchanges: Bullock, Havard, Clark, Smith.