Harrison left fuming by slack Salford

Salford 6 - Warrington 32
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The Independent Online

Warrington kept their flickering play-off hopes alive by recording their third win of the season over opponents who appear to have clocked off a few weeks too early.

Warrington kept their flickering play-off hopes alive by recording their third win of the season over opponents who appear to have clocked off a few weeks too early.

A fortnight ago, their coach, Karl Harrison, declared that Salford were safe after reaching their pre-season target of 14 points. Since then wins for their relegation rivals, Castleford and Widnes, have made the situation look very different.

"Some of the personal performances today were quite atrocious and some players need to have a look at themselves and decide whether they want to be rugby league players for a career or they want to dig holes for a living," said Harrison, "We've got a massive match next week against a desperate Castleford and if we play like that we'll lose there too.''

An undistinguished first half produced few opportunities and it took a comedy of errors to give Warrington the lead. Graham Appo's kick to the corner seemed safe, but Anthony Stewart and Karl Fitzpatrick tried to be far too clever behind their own line and presented Henry Fa'afili with the try.

There was an element of good fortune about Salford's equaliser, Gavin Clinch's grubber kick bouncing up for Stuart Littler to grab and touch down, but the try that put Warrington back in the lead at least had a touch of quality about it.

Nathan Wood and Michael Wainwright made the initial running down the left and Darren Burns did well to carry it on without being taken into touch. When the ball was switched to the other side of the field, the Salford defence was short-handed and Brent Grose was able to squeeze over from Gary Hulse's pass. Appo, kicking in place of the absent Lee Briers landed a second difficult conversion.

Warrington turned the screw in the second half. "We expected them to go at some stage and they did," said the Warrington coach, Paul Cullen. Mark Hilton, one of the few prop forwards with a first-class maths degree, got his angles precisely right to go through for one try. Hulse scored another and then Paul Wood scored before Ian Sibbit went through Littler for the final try.

Salford: Fitzpatrick; Caine, Littler, Johnson, Stewart; McGuinness, Clinch; Baynes, Alker, Highton, Shipway, Coley, Charles. Substitutes used: Brocklehurst, Baldwin, Haggerty, Beverley.

Warrington: Hulse; Fa'afili, Grose, Burns, Gaskell; Appo, N Wood; Lima, Clarke, Leikvoll, P Wood, Wainwright, Cibbit. Substitutes used: Gleeson, Cardiss, Guisset, Hilton.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).

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