Challenge Cup: Wigan Warriors 20-0 Salford Red Devils – Hosts ease through to quarter-finals

Wigan Warriors last faced Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage in 2017 - a match they also won
Wigan Warriors last faced Salford Red Devils in the Challenge Cup at the semi-final stage in 2017 – a match they also won
Wigan (14) 20
Tries: Byrne, Marshall, Bateman Goals: Hardaker 4
Salford (0) 0

Wigan Warriors sealed their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals as they eased past Salford Red Devils.

Liam Byrne and Liam Marshall’s tries within the first 20 minutes left Wigan comfortably ahead by the break.

John Bateman sent the hosts further ahead in the second half as Wigan continued their dominance.

Salford, finalists in 2020, rarely threatened Wigan as they were kept scoreless on a night for them to forget at the DW Stadium.

Salford came into the tie off the back of beating Leeds in Super League on 18 March in a match where they were forced to come from behind.

In that game they overcame the Rhinos’ slender two-point half-time lead at the break, but Byrne and Marshall’s scores, in addition to Zak Hardaker’s kicking, left them 14 points down at the interval.

The visitors lost James Greenwood before the break after he went down awkwardly following a tackle from Tommy Leuluai, which was put on report.

Wigan picked up where they left off after the break thanks to Bateman’s try and the hosts thought they had further extended their lead soon after.

Sam Powell saw his effort ruled out by video referee Chris Kendall, however, sparing Salford on a night where they were well off the pace.

Wigan Warriors boss Matt Peet told BBC Radio Manchester:

“I’m pleased. I thought it was a professional performance. I thought defensively we were where we needed to be and that was a focus of ours in recent weeks.

“It’s an intense game at the best of times, rugby league, but Salford do throw a lot at you. They’ve got a good coach and ball players and they do challenge you.

“Once we got 10 or 12 past Salford, by no means did they give in, but I don’t think it felt like a game that we were ever going to lose but that’s credit to our defence as well.”

Salford Red Devils coach Paul Rowley told BBC Radio Manchester:

“You can’t come here and not defend tough and we didn’t do that. We got rolled in the middle, particularly in the first half.

“I thought it was quite a dour game to be honest. Wigan didn’t do an awful lot with the ball.

“I think there was about 14 or 15 errors in the game. For a team that made 15 errors, I thought Wigan would have scored more points to be honest.

[On James Greenwood’s injury] “There’s a couple of suspected outcomes. Either one is going to be long-term. It’s an ugly one.”

Wigan: Field, Hardaker, Pearce-Paul, Bibby, Marshall, Cust, Leuluai, Smithies, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Bateman, Isa.

Interchanges: Mago, Partington, Havard, Shorrocks.

Salford: Brierley, Williams, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Ormondroyd, Ackers, Wells, Lannon, Greenwood, Taylor.

Interchanges: Vuniyayawa, Atkin, Johnson, Gerrard.

Referee: R. Hicks.

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