Salford Red Devils produced a magnificent 16-point comeback to grab only a second win of the season with an 18-14 victory against league leaders Wigan Warriors on Friday.
A second-half brace from Niall Evalds and a late try from Kevin Brown helped Ian Watson’s side to victory at the AJ Bell Stadium after they found themselves 14-2 behind at the break
The first half began with Wigan applying the pressure you would expect of the league leaders. They capitalised on their early pressure with a converted penalty from Chris Hankinson after 5 minutes.
Salford then gained a penalty of their own for a high challenge and Tui Lolohea duly converted to level up the score.
Then came the sucker punch. Jackson Hastings, the star player of last season for the Red Devils, scored the first try on 14 minutes to put Wigan in control.
Despite the setback, Salford still pressured and 20 minutes in, looked the most likely to score next. They repeatedly got past Wigan’s 10-meter line and came close when Evalds got through with a bursting run, but his forward kick went into touch in Wigan’s try zone.
Wigan scored their second try through Sam Powell on the 36th minute to increase a comfortable lead. They had the chance to extend it even further in the last minute but Hankinson missed his penalty.
The second half saw a revitalised Salford side ramp up the intensity and put the leaders under pressure.
The breakthrough came in the 60th minute as Evalds broke through Wigan’s defence to score a vital try, with the conversion being swept up from Lolohea.
And it was only minutes later that the Red Devils drew level as Evalds picked up the ball on his own 10-meter line from an interception and drove up the pitch for a highly deserved try.
Lolohea then levelled up proceedings with another conversion.
The forward pressing then continued as Williams and Lolohea came close to scoring, but it was Brown who capitalised on some slack defending down Wigan’s right to complete what seemed an impossible comeback.
Salford then held on for the last 5 minutes with some last-ditch tackling to secure the vital points.
The result sees Salford stay 10th in the BETFRED Super League table, four points above the relegation zone.