21 Tháng Hai, 2024

Super League: Warrington Wolves 36-20 Salford Red Devils – Team comeback keeps winning start

Warrington staged a stunning second-half comeback to beat the Salford Red Devils to maintain a winning start to the Super League season.

Ben Currie sent The Wire into the lead before Ellis Longstaff, Ryan Brierley and Marc Sneyd led Salford 20-6 at half-time.

But Matty Ashton dived into a corner and Thomas Mikaele and Josh Thewlis crossed as the hosts rallied.

George Williams and Matt Dufty put themselves on the scoresheet as Warrington scored 30 points in the second half without an answer.

Warrington came into the match after morale-boosting victories over Leeds and Huddersfield which put them top of the formation table.

Their striking start to the campaign, in contrast to the unhappy 2022 season, seemed to continue as Currie chased Williams’ hallmark to put them ahead.

Salford counterattacked with a familiar face as Warrington Longstaff, on loan, latched on to Joe Burgess and crossed the line within 11 minutes of his debut for the Red Devils.

The visitors didn’t stop there as Brierley ran from 70 yards for Salford’s second goal, with Sneyd rushing for the third just four minutes later. His good work with the boot saw them go into the break with a 14-point lead.

Ashton’s impressive acrobatic jump to the line just two minutes into the restart helped the Wire start to recover and should have had a second if the great defender Brodie Croft hadn’t stopped him on the line.

Warrington’s stunning reaction was aided by sending Brierley to the basket for holding Josh Drinkwater just before the hour. Mikaele took advantage of the extra player when he crossed a minute later.

The hosts should have come in another moment later, but Dufty knocked the ball out of Daryl Clark’s pass and knocked as he raced towards the line.

But Wire continued to increase the pressure and Williams sent a brilliant long range kick into a corner which was well chased and landed by Thewlis. A brawl ensued, initiated by Tyler Dupree, who bumped into him as he approached.

Salford was penalized and Warrington was awarded an eight-point touchdown, but Stefan Ratchford missed his initial conversion before successfully taking the penalty that followed.

Williams gave them an eight-point lead when he crashed, shortly before Brierley returned to the pitch.

With five minutes left, Warrington was awarded another eight-point try as Kallum Watkins was deemed to have made contact with Dufty’s head during his pass, and Ratchford’s accurate kick completed a memorable win.

Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley told BBC Radio Manchester:

“I’m proud of the effort. I’m sorry for the players. I thought they deserved more off-match. In the first half, when we had equal possession of the ball, I thought we showed how powerful we are as an attacking team.

“There was a landslide in the second half. Restart, Penalty Shot, Territory and Possession. This is a high quality team. It all adds up to too much defensive pressure.

“Ultimately, it can look a bit ugly. Ball possession and numbers take a toll on you. I have nothing bad to say about our group. There are parts we’re not happy with and things we’ll improve.”

Warrington: Dufty, Thewlis, Minikin, Ratchford, Ashton, Williams, Drinkwater, Mikaele, Clark, Vaughan, Currie, Mata’utia, Harrison.

transfers: Kasiano, Walker, Bullock, Whitehead.

Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Ormondroyd, Ackers, Dupree, Watkins, Longstaff, Partington.

transfers: Sidlow, Vuniyayawa, Atkin, Wright.

Judge: Jack Smith.

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