Wigan dig deep to hold off a spirited Salford in qualifying final

The Guardian Sports 2 months ago

Wigan withheld a spirited effort from Salford Red Devils to move a step closer to retaining the Super League title. The Warriors will face the league leaders, St Helens, on Friday to determine the identity of the first team in this year’s Grand Final: but the losers could run into a Salford side who, on this showing, are by no means outsiders for the title.

Few gave Ian Watson’s side a chance of competing with the bigger sides in the play-offs after somehow finishing third against all the odds, but they gave the reigning champions an almighty fright here, with George Williams’ second-half try proving to be the winner. However, their final position in the league table means they get another chance to keep their season alive.

They face Castleford in a do-or-die game next Thursday, with the winners facing the losers of St Helens versus Wigan. The hosts led early on here thanks to Oliver Gildart’s fine solo try but Salford were well worthy of the share of the lead they claimed at half-time thanks to George Griffin’s well-worked try.

With Krisnan Inu converting to make it 6-6 at half-time, it was clear the Red Devils were very much in the game – a point reinforced nine minutes after the restart, when they came desperately close to going ahead. Wonderful handling created just enough space for Ken Sio to dive over in the corner but, on closer inspection, his leg had strayed into touch, resulting in the try being ruled out.

That proved a crucial moment. From it Wigan assumed control of the contest and forced the error that swung the game in their favour.

Fine defensive work close to the Salford line forced Inu into a needless offload, and Tommy Leuluai pounced on the loose ball to put the Warriors ahead.

Four minutes later Salford’s race looked run when Joe Burgess’ break was supported superbly by Williams. With Zak Hardaker converting both, the hosts led 18-6 but Salford were not done.

The Red Devils responded magnificently when it looked as though Wigan were about to kick on, with a wonderful individual try from Jackson Hastings halving the deficit and setting up a thrilling finale.

Indeed there were further close calls for the Red Devils in the dying moments but the Warriors, as they have done on so many occasions at this time of the year, dug deep and hung on to ensure victory.

Source link
Read also:
BBC News › Sports › 2 months ago
Champions Wigan are one win away from a Super League Grand Final after getting past Salford in the qualifying final.
BBC News › Sports › 2 months ago
Salford reach their first Super League Grand Final by beating five-time champions Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium.
The Guardian › Sports › 2 months ago
Former Wigan player Lee Mossop scored the final try as Salford romped to a 28-4 thrashing of his old side and an improbable place in the Grand Final
The Guardian › Sports › 2 months ago
• St Helens 40-10 Wigan• Saints secure place at Old Trafford; Wigan now take on SalfordSt Helens have provided plenty of occasions this year where it has been easy to run out of superlatives but this may have been their best yet. This was not so...
The Sun › Sports › 2 months ago
LIAM Byrne knows he is in for pain as he hopes to end local side’s hopes of a dream Grand Final – but it is nothing compared to training despite having a broken arm! The Wigan man was a season ticket holder at Salford, was in the crowd for 2016’s...
BBC News › Sports › 2 months ago
Defending champions New Zealand produce a clinical display to hold off a spirited South Africa in their World Cup Pool B opener.
BBC News › Sports › 2 months ago
St Helens reach their first Super League Grand Final since 2014 as they thrash reigning champions Wigan.
The Guardian › Sports › 1 month ago
Salford did not pull off a miracle against St Helens on Saturday but it was an occasion their fans will treasure for ever
BBC News › Sports › 2 months ago
Salford move within one win of Super League's Grand Final after beating Castleford in their play-off eliminator.
The Guardian › Sports › 1 month ago
Australia have continued their perfect start to World Cup qualifying with a 7-1 hammering of a spirited Taiwan side in Kaohsiung
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google