Wolves suffer Wembley hangover in Salford defeat


WARRINGTON Wolves suffered a Wembley hangover as they were soundly beaten 25-14 at home by Salford Red Devils.

Without George Williams, Warrington were lacklustre in possession and were left shell-shocked by three excellent first half tries by the visitors, who move level on points with them in the Super League table.

Despite enjoying some control of the middle in the early exchanges, nearly pinning Chris Hankinson in goal, Warrington fell behind on six minutes following a searing break down the right by Ethan Ryan which dragged Salford up the pitch. After he was brought down by Josh Drinkwater, Salford shifted the ball left and Kallum Watkins’ offload found Macdonald who had enough to ride the tackle of Matt Dufty and go under the posts.

Tim Lafai had a chance to score off another break, only to be held up by Ben Currie, a couple of tackles later Warrington were penalised for ripping the ball out of the tackle and Marc Sneyd added the penalty for 8-0.

Another electric Salford try followed on 16 minutes, as Watkins again helped to create space for Deon Cross to race away on the left and he used Sneyd as a decoy on the inside and ran straight through an average tackle attempt by Dufty to touch down.

Sneyd was controlling the game and he got a try of his own, Watkins picking up a loose ball and bursting through the middle to offload to Ryan who had Sneyd on his left shoulder.

Salford led 19-0 at halftime after Sneyd added a drop goal on the hooter.

Any hopes of a Warrington comeback looked to have been extinguished within three minutes of the restart when Chris Hankinson found his way over the line on the left, only to be denied by the video referee for an obstruction.

That enabled Warrington Wolves to at least try and get back in the match, and they gave themselves some hope with two tries in three minutes just before the hour mark.

The first came when Stefan Ratchford’s kick was grounded by Rodrick Tai, playing on the wing in the absence of Josh Thewlis, after a video referee check that seemed to take an eternity.

Then Ashton raced away on the other side after a Watkins knock on was pounced upon by Toby King, and though both conversions were missed, Warrington were at least back within two scores at 19-8.

But after Danny Walker’s attempted 40/20 was denied as he stepped barely inches over the 40 metre line, Salford earned a penalty and they made the pressure pay as Sneyd kicked to the corner for a diving Cross to touch down.

That virtually ended the game as a contest, though Warrington Wolves did at least add the final score on the hooter, Tai getting on the end of a Dufty kick in the right corner.

Warrington Wolves : Dufty, Tai, Wrench, King, Ashton, Ratchford, Drinkwater, Musgrove, Walker, Vaughan, Nicholson, Holroyd, Currie. Subs: Harrison, Bullock, Powell, Wood.

Salford: Hankinson, Ryan, Macdonald, Lafai, Cross, Atkin, Sneyd, Singleton, Mellor, Wright, Stone, Watkins, Partington. Subs: Wilson, Shorrocks, Lewis, Dudson.


About Author

Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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