Salford 35 Warrington 34: Dunemann drops in to edge Reds towards play-offs

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The Independent Online

Salford took a huge step towards clinching their first ever appearance in the engage Super League play-offs by coming from 12-22 behind with four sparkling tries inside 19 minutes to earn their third victory of the season over the Wolves, clinched by Andrew Dunemann's drop-goal seven minutes from time.

Outstanding individual performances by halfback Luke Robinson and Andy Coley helped Salford overcome the handicap of losing Sean Rutgerson and Junior Langi to injury inside the opening quarter.

"In the second half we showed more composure and got back to basics," said Karl Harrison, the Salford coach. "It was a really gutsy performance and the guys did well to lift themselves. Luke's hit a rich vein of form and I thought Coley single-handedly changed the game. And Dunemann is a smart player."

"It was a massive game, fifth against sixth. Everyone's goal at the start of the season is to get in the play-offs - we are nearly there."

Warrington, who have now lost their last eight away games, were inspired by captain Lee Briers, who scored a fine individual try, and his kicks created tries for Brent Grose and Chris Bridge as the Wolves built a ten-point lead early in the second half. Paul Wood also crossed for Warrington, with tries by Simon Finnigan and Gareth Haggerty keeping Salford in touch.

Coley sparked Salford's revival, barging through from a tap penalty and then Aaron Moule expertly finished off Robinson's break.

Robinson then bagged an outstanding 40-metre solo try just after the hour mark and Coley appeared to have clinched Salford's victory with his second try after fine approach play by Malcolm Alker, David Hodgson hitting his fifth conversion.

But Michael Sullivan's try kept the visitors in contention until Dunemann's drop-goal settled a thrilling encounter, leaving Grose's second try in the dying seconds, with Briers adding his fifth goal, mere consolation.

"We've offered one error and one missed tackle too many," said Paul Cullen, the Warrington coach. "The game was always going to go down to a fine line."

Salford: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Langi; Dunemann, Robinson; Lima, Alker, Rutgerson, Coley, Finnigan, Charles. Substitutes used: Gower, Wilshere, Highton, Haggerty.

Warrington: Grose; Reardon, Martin Gleeson, Kohe-Love, Fa'afili; Briers, Bridge; Rauhihi, Sullivan, Leikvoll, Swann, Wainwright, Westwood. Substitutes used: Mark Gleeson, Barnett, Wood, Bracek.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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