Wigan 20-16 Salford: Unreal assists, outrageous dummy and Warriors comeback
Wigan came from behind to claim a 20-16 victory over Salford at the DW Stadium with Bevan French producing a fine individual performance.
The game went into the break level at 8-8, with tries from Ken Sio and French and penalty conversions from both Harry Smith and Marc Sneyd respectively.
And it was the visitors who found themselves 16-8 ahead before French and Toby King crossed to complete a late second half comeback, with Smith kicking 100% from the boot.
Here are our five takeaways…
Matt Peet’s Wigan found themselves 16-8 down with 25 minutes to go at home, only to produce an impressive second half comeback.
Liam Farrell made his 350th career appearance in the victory, while French proved to be their best player on the night with his two try performance.
Salford’s Ryan Brierley and Brodie Croft produced two slick assists for the side’s first and second tries respectively.
Ken Sio was the recipient in either halves to take his tally to three for the season. Full-back Brierley put the ball on the toe for Sio to ground the ball in the corner before half-back Croft’s pass set up the Samoa winger’s second of the evening for a 16-8 lead at the time.
For his first try, French threw possibly the best dummy of the season to open his side’s accounts.
French, 27, went on to add to his tally in the second half, taking him to six tries in six appearances in 2023. It was a brilliant performance from the Australian-born outside-back.
Bevan French bags Wigan's first try of the evening! The Warriors retake the lead!
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) March 24, 2023
Wigan half-back Cade Cust was taken off after 48 minutes in what is believed to be an ordinary interchange. The change saw French move to full-back, with Jai Field into the halves. It also saw Toby King move to wing and Kai Pearce-Paul at centre.
The 24-year-old former NRL playmaker has scored one try so far this season with a further two assists.
Sam Powell also came on in the last 12 at loose forward.
Resilient Red Devils
Despite their defeat, Paul Rowley’s Salford impressed and looked on top early on in the game. It was a solid shift by the side, who were without Andy Ackers, Oliver Partington, Alex Gerard and Andrew Dixon.
The Red Devils remain with three wins in six, including the golden point extra time winner over Wakefield in Round Five.
How it happened
3’ Back-to-back penalties gives Wigan good field position, and Harry Smith opts to take the two on the second. He converts. (2-0)
15’ Ken Sio scores the first of the evening, with a slick assist from the boot of Ryan Brierley. Marc Sneyd converts. (2-6)
29’ Bevan French throws an outrageous dummy close to the line to make a clean break and score. Smith converts to give the hosts a lead. (8-6)
34’ A penalty for offside allows Sneyd to level the scores. (8-8)
HT: Wigan 8-8 Salford
41’ Tyler Dupree passes his HIA and returns to the field.
47′ Sio scores his second with Brodie Croft producing a stunner of an assist. Sneyd converts his third. (8-14)
55′ Sneyd extends his side’s lead with a penalty conversion. (8-16)
69′ Game on as French, moved to full-back, scores his second of the night in the corner. Smith converts. (14-16)
72′ Jai Field throws the long pass and Toby King scores in the corner to give Wigan a lead in the latter stages of the game. Smith maintains his 100% record. (20-16)
FT: Wigan 20-16 Salford
How they lined up
Wigan: Field, French, King, Wardle, Marshall, Cust, Smith, Singleton, Powell, Byrne, Pearce-Paul, Farrell, Smithies. Bench: Cooper, Ellis, Havard, O’Neill. 18: Isa
Tries: French (2), King Goals: Smith 4/4
Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Dupree, Bourouh, Sidlow, Watkins, Stone, Addy. Bench: Wright, Ormondroyd, Vuniyayawa, Atkin. 18: Costello.
Tries: Sio (2) Goals: Sneyd 4/4
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