To the surprise of many, Warrington Wolves trail 20-6 at the break to Salford Red Devils.
Seen as a clash of styles between the big and powerful Wolves and the expansive Salford Red Devils and that was shown early as the first tackle saw the Wolves rip into Salford in defence but soon the expansive Red Devils had Warrington chasing shadows. A warning shot from Salford but good defence from the Wolves.
Warrington began to dominate down the middle and building pressure through the middle before a lovely George Williams kick was grounded by Ben Currie.
Warrington loanee Ellis Longstaff was on debut for Salford Red Devils and backed up after a lovely short side play released Joe Burgess. Burgess found Longstaff to score 11 minutes into his debut.
A great intercept from Ken Sio as he clung to the ball from George Williams and support from Ryan Brierley coupled with the fullback’s pace saw the Red Devils race away and score to give Salford the lead.
The Red Devils were on a roll and they rolled down field with a great show and go and bump from prop Tyler Dupree as he gave the Warrington pack as good as they gave. After this break, Marc Sneyd snuck through a gap and touched down besides the posts.
A penalty made it 20-6 at the break and at the interval Jamie Jones-Buchanan was full of praise for Joe Burgess’ “world class” assist for Longstaff on Sky Sports:
“That pass from Joe Burgess was on the money, that is world class.”
However, much of the focus was on Warrington’s poor defence with Brian Carney saying: “Defence an issue for Daryl Powell on that evidence.”
Then Barrie McDermott said they would be disappointed at letting Marc Sneyd bust their line:
“It will hurt them because it’s close to the line but also the player who is taking them on. Marc Sneyd, charging through lines is not what he is there for but he has done it there.”
Buchanan meanwhile was surprised with how they have been pulled apart:
“We have talked about how big their pack is, but they have been pulled apart. They don’t look very mobile.
“I reckon this is a really difficult conversation which could define the next few weeks.”