By Rachel Arnett
Warrington Wolves hosted Salford Red Devils in Round 22 of the Betfred Super League looking to build on their win away to London the previous week.
Last time the sides met over Easter it was Salford who took away the points so the Wire were keen to right the wrongs from last time out.
The Wire made two changes to the side that travelled to the capital, Sitaleki Akauola made the starting line-up with Pat Moran on his Super League debut off the bench.
The visitors in Salford also made a number of changes with Sio, Nakubuwai and Jones replaced by Sa’u, Walker and Johnson.
The first half served up just one try apiece with Salford edging the lead at half time by a penalty goal. The Wire built several periods of pressure on the try line coming up just short until Jason Clark powered over from close range.
The second half saw the visitors extend their lead further to 16 points until the final quarter when Davis pulled one back for the Wire. But the gap proved too much for the home side to make up despite getting to within touching distance of the line on a number of occasions; the defence stood firm.
Jake Mamo, Tom Lineham, Bryson Goodwin, Toby King, Josh Charnley, Blake Austin, Declan Patton, Lama Tasi, Daryl Clark, Sitaleki Akauola, Ben Currie, Jack Hughes, Matt Davis
Subs: Jason Clark, Joe Philbin, Danny Walker, Pat Moran
Tries: J Clark, Davis
Goals: Patton (2)
Niall Evalds, Krisnan Inu, Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u, Jake Bibby, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings, Greg Burke, Logan Tomkins, Gil Dudson, Ryan Lannon, Tyrone McCarthy, Mark Flanagan
Subs: Adam Walker, Joshua Johnson, Joey Lussick, Adam Lawton
Tries: Lannon, Welham, Inu (2)
Goals: Inu (3)
On three minutes the crowd lifted as the Wire looked to be on the score sheet with a break by King but his pass out to Charnley on his edge was deemed forward to deny the try.
And just a minute later the fortunes turned as Salford made their way to the opposite end with Lannon having the power to reach the line and score down their right. Inu landed the conversion. 0-6.
Nine minutes in and the Wire came to within inches again; this time an offload from Lineham made its way to Goodwin down the left but the centre ran out of space and was carried into touch.
On 24 minutes Jason Clark was over for the Wire’s response taking a short pass from Daryl Clark on the line. Patton added the extras to level the score. 6-6
Salford took the option to go ahead with a penalty from in front of the sticks with less than 10 minutes of the half remaining. 6-8
Pat Moran came in off the bench for his Super League debut on 32 minutes to applause from the crowd.
Both sides created chances going into the break but no scores were added; just two points separated them at half time.
Four minutes into the second half and Salford extended their advantage, space opening up for Welham to run through in the corner. The touchdown conversion attempt was missed by Inu. 6-12
And just minutes later Inu went over for Salford’s third. The visitors took advantage of a loose ball, Inu on the end of a Hastings’ kick to the left edge. The chance to add the extras was missed. 6-16
The Wire looked to be in as Mamo tried to squeeze over down the left edge but the defence had different ideas and kept him out, taking him into touch.
The visitors went over at the other end to push ahead minutes later. A kick to the corner bounced up well for Sa’u to flick the ball back inside for Inu to collect and score. Converting his own try he took the score to 6-22 with just over 20 minutes to go.
The Wire were then down to 12 men when Akauola was sent to the sin bin.
With 17 minutes left on the clock, Davis flew over for his first try in Wire colours. Quick hands and offloading along the line opened up space for the try. Patton’s conversion narrowed the gap. 12-22
But the Wire were beaten by the clock.