Wolves Red Hot against Salford
Salford City Reds 4 Warrington Wolves 46
By Rachel Arnett (photo courtesy of Neil Ashurst)
Warrington Wolves travelled to the Salford City Stadium hoping to get back to winning ways after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Hull KR and St Helens.
Salford on the other hand were going in off a strong performance against Wakefield which ended in a draw last weekend.
The last encounter between the two sides saw the Reds come out on top as convincing winners so there was everything to prove for the Wolves in this round 7 clash.
The Wolves 17 saw just one change with the return of Gareth O'Brien on the bench seeing Tyrone McCarthy miss out. The Salford team also saw one change with McPherson out and former Wolf Adam Neal in.
There were numerous club connections on show throughout the sides with former Reds Myler and Ratchford in the Warrington line-up and ex-Wolves players Martin Gleeson and Adam Neal in for the City Reds.
With Comic Relief red noses making an appearance throughout the crowd the two north-west sides were ready to go head-to-head.
Wolves returned to winning ways as they took control of the first half, mainly through their defence, and were also able to convert their opportunities into points. The Reds built some pressure and tested the visitors at times but couldn't finish off the plays near to the line. Despite the score line the second half was more evenly contested. The Reds broke the line to put themselves on the score sheet but the Wolves late scores hurt the home side.
The boot of Stefan Ratchford got the game underway with Salford first in attack.
The opening period of play saw the sides playing safe with end-to-end completed sets.
The Wolves were awarded the first penalty when Salford were caught offside on four minutes. The visitors attacked the line from 20 metres out and quick hands to the left saw Ryan Atkins touch down for the opening try in the corner. Hodgson added the extras to give the Wolves an early 0-6 lead.
A kick down field from Michael Monaghan was knocked back by Broughton and the chasing Wolves' defence caught him in-goal giving the visitors another set from a drop-out.
From the resulting set Riley crossed for the Wolves' second in the corner just managing to keep in play down the left wing. Riley was well-placed to collected a kick to the corner from Myler giving Hodgson a testing touchline conversion which skimmed wide of the posts. 0-10 after 10 minutes.
The momentum was in the Wolves' favour early on as they maintained possession. But a penalty to Salford 30 metres out gave them the position they needed to build up some pressure near to the try-line on 14 minutes. The Wolves' defence was able to stand up and keep them out but a drop-out did follow to give the home side another set to challenge with. Again the visitors held fast to regain possession.
Another penalty to Salford soon after opened up a door for the home side but quick hands out to the right went out of play as Murphy was unable to take the fast paced ball on the wing.
Despite moments of pressure from the Reds it was the Wolves over next. Keeping the ball alive, quick hands went through Myler and Grix to Atkins who offloaded in the tackle. The ball went to ground but Riley was quick off the mark to collect the loose ball and weave through the defence to touch down. Hodgson's conversion was successful. 0-16 on 26 minutes.
The final moments of the first half saw both sides testing themselves looking to create opportunities; some coming off, others leading to errors but it built some intensity leading into half time.
With just one minute left on the clock, back-to-back penalties saw the Wolves have the last say of the half. Quick hands saw a gap open up for Myler to fly over next to the posts. Hodgson added the extras to give the visitors a 0-22 lead at half time.
Two minutes into the second half and the Wolves were in again. Ben Currie collected a loose ball to run 40 metres down field. Then a kick cross field to the right saw space open up for Joel Monaghan go over for a walk-in try next to the posts. Hodgson added the two from in front of the sticks. 0-28.
As in the first half Salford continued to build moments of pressure, peppering the line from close range but the Wolves were able to wrap up the attack to prevent a score.
A break from Riley looked to have set up another Wolves' try but an error on half way handed possession back to Salford and Owen was quick off the mark to run 50 metres to the corner to score the home side's first on 54 minutes. Sneyd's kick went wide. 4-28.
A Myler break from halfway opened up space for the next Wolves' try as the final quarter approached. Hodgson was in support to take the inside pass and weave round the chasing defence to score in a position to give himself an easy conversion kick. 4-34.
A high shot from the Wolves opened up an opportunity for the Reds and Neal came close on 65 minutes but was deemed to be held up denying a score. They regained possession soon after following a Wolves' fumble but were unable to capitalise once again.
The Reds were certainly keen to keep the Wolves out for the last 10 minutes of the game, stepping up their defence to carry Riley into touch as he started to gather pace down the wing. Despite gaining some ground, however the home side were unable to get to within touching distance of a try.
Contrastingly the next opportunity the Wolves had they took. Keeping the ball alive down the middle set up Atkins for his second. He had the pace to go himself despite having Myler in support on his inside. Ratchford added the conversion to extend the lead to 4-40 with six minutes remaining.
This was to be the first of two late tries for the Wolves with Myler crossing for his second on 77 minutes. O'Brien, Wolves' third goal kicker of the night, added the extras. Final score: 4-46.
Marc Sneyd, Jodie Broughton, Ashley Gibson, Martin Gleeson, Jack Murphy, Theo Fages, Liam Foran, Darrell Griffin, Wayne Godwin, Ryan Boyle, Matty Ashurst, Andrew Dixon, Lee Jewitt
Subs: Gareth Owen, Jordan James, Vic Mauro, Adam Neal
Brett Hodgson, Chris Riley, Chris Bridge, Ryan Atkins, Joel Monaghan, Stefan Ratchford, Richie Myler, Chris Hill, Michael Monaghan, Paul Wood, Ben Westwood, Simon Grix, Mike Cooper
Subs: Ben Currie, Garreth Carvell, Micky Higham, Gareth O'Brien
Tries: Atkins (2), Riley (2), Myler (2), J Monaghan, Hodgson
Goals: Hodgson (5), Ratchford, O'Brien
Half Time: 0-22
Game Pics below (courtesy of Bob Brough)
15, Mar, 2013