R24: Salford edge out Wolves

Salford City Reds produced a second-half masterclass to claim a thrilling 35-34 engage Super League victory of the season against play-off rivals Warrington Wolves.

The Wolves led at the break and quickly extended their advantage to 22-12 after the restart with a Chris Bridge try and a penalty from playmaker Lee Briers.

But the Reds hit back with the perfect riposte, running in four tries during a blistering 18-minute spell to claim a season treble against their local rivals.

Salford?s half-back partnership of Andrew Dunemann and Luke Robinson dovetailed to great effect and their playmaking skills laid the platform for the Reds? victory.

Although Warrington hit back in the closing stages with tries from Michael Sullivan and Brent Grose, Dunemann?s 73rd-minute drop goal ultimately proved crucial.

Little more than 20 seconds had passed when Salford prop Sean Rutgerson was forced off after being pole-axed by the Wolves? hungry pack.

That set the tone for an exhilaratingly high-tempo encounter which saw Salford open the scoring after 11 minutes.

Dunemann and Robinson orchestrated a bewildering move which saw the ball pass through four pairs of hands and culminated in Simon Finnigan crossing in the right corner.

David Hodgson added the extras but the response from the Wolves was impressive as they claimed three tries during a dominant 17-minute spell.

Their first score came on 13 minutes when the impressive Briers threw an outrageous dummy to create a gap in the Salford rearguard and he duly took advantage by racing over the line.

Briers failed to convert the score but Warrington remained dominant and Paul Wood crossed from short range after 26 minutes before a superb kick from Briers sent Grose over after 30 minutes.

Salford were not done, however, and a brief flurry of pressure saw Gareth Haggerty cross seven minutes before the break.

But Warrington hit back almost immediately after the restart as another crafty kick from Briers was missed by Hodgson and collected by Chris Bridge, who crossed in the left corner.

Briers? influence began to irk Salford and Malcolm Alker?s high shot on the Wolves skipper was punished after 45 minutes.

Briers added the two points from 30 metres to give Warrington a 10-point cushion but Salford hit back in devastating fashion to overturn the deficit with two tries in three minutes.

On 48 minutes, Dunemann crossed from close range before Robinson?s swift break and perfect offload allowed the increasingly influential Aaron Moule to race from the halfway line for an exhilarating score.

And with Hodgson converting both tries, Salford edged 24-22 ahead.

Robinson and Andy Coley then claimed tries to take Salford 34-28 and although Sullivan crossed for Warrington, Dunemann?s drop goal seven minutes from time gave the Reds a little breathing space.

And the Australian?s one-pointer ultimately proved crucial after Briers converted a late Grose try to leave Salford hanging on at 35-34 - but the Reds held firm to claim the points.

Salford: 35 (12). Tries: Finnigan, Haggerty, Coley 2, Moule, Robinson. Goals: Hodgson 5. Drop Goals: Dunemann.

Warrington: 34 (14). Tries: Briers, Wood, Grose 2, Bridge, Sullivan. Goals: Briers 5.

Salford: Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Langi, Dunemann, Robinson, Lima, Alker, Rutgerson, Coley, Finnigan, Charles. Replacements: Gower, Wilshere, Highton, Haggerty.

Warrington: Grose, Reardon, M. Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Fa?afili, Briers, Bridge, Rauhihi, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood. Replacements: M. Gleeson, Barnett, Wood, Bracek.

Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)

Att: 5,016

Source: superleague.co.uk