Salford Red Devils were beaten by reigning Super League champions Wigan Warriors in a pre-season game at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The current champions proved to be too much for the Red Devils, turning on the heat late in the game to put to bed any chance of a Salford comeback.
Salford took the lead early on through Ken Sio’s first try for the club, however the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Salford couldn’t build on the good start though. Soon after the Warriors leveled the game through Liam Farrell. He went over for the Wigan, with Zak Hardaker converting successfully to give the visitors the lead.
Just ten minutes later Wigan extended their lead. Sam Powell getting his first try of the game for the Warriors, Hardaker again with the conversion.
Tom Davies further extended the Super league champions lead in the 37th minute. Wigan proved too quick for Salford. Hardaker this time missing the conversion, keeping the game 4-16.
Salford came out after the break looking sharp. The Red Devils closed the score to 10-16 almost immediately. Gil Hudson almost forced his way through the Wigan back line before being narrowly stopped. luckily for the Reds though, Joey Lussick was on hand to take the ball over and close the gap. Ed Chamberlain successfully scored the conversion.
Just a few minutes later the Devils had the chance to level the game. Niall Evalds did well to find winger Jake Bibby, who held off three Wigan players, before taking the ball over the line for a try.
Salford were only denied a level game by a bizarre piece of misfortune from Joey Lussick. With Hastings and Chamberlian both off the field, Lussick stepped up for the conversion. His shot seemed destined to go through before at the last second bouncing off both the post and the upright and falling away from the sticks.
From then on it was a one team game. Morgan Escare was too quick for Salford as broke down the sideline for Wigan to convert their fourth try of the match. Zak Hardaker was again on top form with the successful conversion.
Wigan continued to press, denied only by some great Salford defending, especially from substitute Derrell Olpherts. The Warriors did get their fifth try of the game just 9 minutes later though. Zak Hardaker finishing off a fine Wigan move down the left-hand side. He once again converted to give Wigan a 14 pointy lead.
There was time for one final try for the home side. Derrell Olpherts getting on the end of a Juniour Sa’u tip to convert superbly in the corner. Lussick’s following conversion was just wide of the posts.
Coach Ian Watson will be pleased with the effort from his side in this pre-season game, but in the end the current Super league champions proved to have just too much in the locker for Salford. Here is how some of the player reacted on Twitter after the game.
Obviously not the result we wanted but great to test ourselfs against the best @WiganWarriorsRL there’s a reason they’re champs. Thanks for the games lads all the best for the season, Let’s go round one! ? Some great building blocks in the trials, Can’t wait for the real thing.
— Jackson Hastings (@JackoHastings) January 20, 2019
That’s all friendly games done. Thanks to @WiganWarriorsRL for the hit out all the best for the year. Looking forward to round one!!! Big thanks to our @SalfordDevils FANS for coming out today. #wearesalford ?⚪️?⚪️
— Junior Sa’u (@junior_sau) January 20, 2019
Good last hit out today against @WiganWarriorsRL ! Plenty of positives and still things to work on before round 1 ! Thank you once again to our amazing fans and supporters @SalfordDevils looking forward to having you all there round 1 against Huddersfield ???
— joeylussick (@joeylussick) January 20, 2019
Awsome feeling playing my first game for the @SalfordDevils and running alongside me team mates.Massive thanks to @WiganWarriorsRL for testing us out and MASSIVE thanks to our fans.#SwaySway #TogetherStronger
— Ken Sio (@ken_sio1) January 20, 2019