Wigan extended their unbeaten run to seven games with a highly satisfactory display at The Willows yesterday, Danny Orr's inspirational display enabling them to shrug off the absence of five first-choice forwards.
With captain Andrew Farrell, hooker Terry Newton, Gareth Hock, Terry O'Connor and Danny Sculthorpe all on the sidelines, Wigan could have been tested but in Orr and Brett Dallas they had match-winners that Salford lacked. Dallas's opportunism and quick thinking, allied to his pace, was displayed as early as the seventh minute when he swooped on Stuart Littler's attempted offload and raced away from just inside his own half.
Salford went on to give Wigan's defence a stern examination and got back on level terms through a Chris Charles penalty and an Andy Kirk try, the winger burrowing over by the flag after Gavin Clinch's sharp pass. Orr, though, unlocked the home defence for the first time with an astute grubber-kick that he re-gathered to send Dallas over in the corner for his second try. Orr then pulled out another kick from his repertoire, this time a wicked bouncer, and when Littler failed to gather Danny Tickle pounced to score.
Wigan moved 22-6 ahead at the break when Sean O'Loughlin and Stephen Wild combined to outflank the home defence with Martin Aspinwall scoring in the corner.
Salford spied hopes of a comeback when Clinch's long pass enabled Cliff Beverley to usher Andy Johnson in at the corner. But teenager Harrison Hansen's first senior try, ironically on the ground where his father Shane was a Salford favourite, kept the visitors in control. Orr, with another finely judged kick, was the creator.
Salford replied with Anthony Stewart's try but the outstanding Orr claimed his fourth assist, all from kicks to lay on Sean O'Loughlin's late try.
Brian Carney returned from a broken ankle for Wigan, lasting 63 minutes in his first game for four months and 18-year-old debut prop Bryn Hargreaves was impressive.
Salford: Caine; Kirk, Littler, McGuinness, Stewart; Beverley, Clinch; Highton, Alker, Rutgerson, Shipway, Coley, Charles. Substitutes used: Fitzpatrick, Jonkers, Johnson, Haggerty.
Wigan: Radlinski; Carney, Aspinwall, Connolly, Dallas; Orr, Lam; C Smith, M Smith, Cassidy, Wild, Tickle, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Hargreaves, Hansen, Hodgson, Beswick.
Referee: R Smith (Castleford) .
* Hull maintained their impressive form with a 38-18 win at Warrington yesterday. Warrington went ahead after nine minutes through Chris Leikvoll's converted try, but that was to be their only score until two tries in the final six minutes of the game.Reuse content