Wigan 20 Salford 12: Five in a row help Wigan to move out of drop zone

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The Independent Online

Wigan made it five in a row and moved another place off the bottom of Super League with a hard-fought victory over top-six opposition last night.

Salford had not won at Wigan for nine years, but they threatened to do so with a resourceful display. It was not until Danny Orr's try 10 minutes from time that the Warriors looked remotely comfortable, and even then Salford hounded them to the very end.

"Wigan are scrapping for their lives [but] we added to the game," said the Salford coach Karl Harrison.

"They're a tough team to break down," said Wigan's Brian Noble. "We've made some big improvements in defence and that's what has won us the game."

Wigan had all the early pressure but the visitors came closest when John Wilshere was denied by the video referee.

More typical of the run of play was the way Wigan took the lead after 15 minutes, Orr putting in a little kick, David Hodgson miscuing as he tried to clear and Bryan Fletcher dropping on the loose ball.

Personal misfortune also played a big part in Wigan's second try 10 minutes later. Michael Dobson's kick should have presented no particular danger if not for Junior Langi losing his footing to leave Brett Dallas with the simplest of touchdowns. Dallas could soon have had a second, but threw a wild pass inside to Wilshere.

Almost immediately, Salford got back into the game, Luke Robinson putting in a kick which bounced up for Ryan Clayton to score.

Salford were suddenly very much in touch, although Dobson edged Wigan six points clear with a penalty before half-time.

Salford reduced the deficit when the excellent Robinson got a short pass to Aaron Moule, who slipped through slack Wigan tackling. Stephen Myler missed the conversion, but Salford were level when Sean O'Loughlin was penalised for a high tackle.

Moule's tackle on Orr gave Dobson the chance to restore Wigan's lead but they did not look secure until Fletcher made the break and Orr scored the crucial 70th-minute try.

Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, Radlinski, McAvoy, Dallas, Orr, Dobson, Paleaaesina, Higham, Fielden, Hock, Fletcher, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Logan, Godwin, Hansen, Tickle.

Salford: Hodgson, Langi, McGuinness, Moule, Wilshere, Myler, Robinson, Lima, Alker, Rutgersen, Littler, Coley, Charles. Substitutes used: Clayton, Adamson, Haggerty, Highton.

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).

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