Salford turned up the heat on struggling Wigan on a Friday night on which the cold snap sweeping across Britain made a mockery of Super League's status as a summer sport.
Having already lost two of their first three games, the Warriors were soundly beaten by a determined City Reds outfit on a surface more suited to snowboarding than rugby league; the game was in doubt all afternoon after heavy snowfall.Late tries by John Wilshere, Andrew Dunemann and David Hodgson helped Salford to a 28-10 success. Salford's coach, Karl Harrison, said of the horrendous conditions: "We play a summer sport, don't we, and for the last 11 years we haven't played in conditions like that. It was just a freak.
"But I thought both sets of players showed great skill levels and it made for a really exciting game. We made it difficult for Wigan and I thought we defended manfully."
Wigan's Ian Millward admitted: "They did everything better than us. They ran harder, they tackled harder and they chased harder than we did."
The St Helens coach, Daniel Anderson, admitted the freezing conditions at the Halliwell Jones Stadium provided a new experience as his side edged a hard-fought encounter at Warrington 18-10. It was the fourth straight win for the Super League leaders, but they were made to work for it during an intriguing arm-wrestle with Paul Cullen's men.
St Helens were never allowed to get fully into their stride, but took their chances in devastating fashion, and converted tries from Keiron Cunningham and Willie Talau handed them a 12-0 interval advantage. Warrington rallied after the restart as Henry Fa'afili and Mike Wainwright crossed the line, but Ade Gardner's try shortly before the hour mark proved crucial.
Anderson, a former New Zealand Test coach, said: "It was a new experience for me. The conditions just aren't conducive to playing with width so you've just to grind out some games."
The Harlequins coach, Tony Rea, praised his side's adaptability following the Londoners' opening win of the season, over Hull at the KC Stadium. First-half tries from Thomas Leuluai and Tyrone Smith helped Rea's men to their first win under the Harlequins brand, 10-6. "The conditions made everyone change gameplan," said Rea.
Leeds' clash with Castleford will now be played this afternoon after referee Phil Bentham called the Headingley encounter off on Friday night due to a frozen patch on the pitch.Reuse content