Salford to face St Helens in Super League Grand Final – talking points & player ratings

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Salford will play in the Super League Grand Final for the first time in their history after they defeated Wigan 28-4 at the DW Stadium. 

The Red Devils will meet St Helens at Old Trafford next Saturday.

Wigan and Salford both named unchanged sides to the ones from last week’s matches against St Helens and Castleford.

Krisnan Inu notched three penalty goals for the Red Devils in the first half while Gil Dudson went over for the first try to give the visitors a 12-0 lead at half-time.

Joey Lussick and Lee Mossop put the game out of reach for Wigan by the hour mark, while Bevan French scored a consolation try for the Warriors late on. Salford finished 28-4 winners and they will meet St Helens at Old Trafford next weekend.

Three talking points

Salford reach Grand Final

The Red Devils have reached the Super League Grand Final for the first time ever. They will only have to make a short coach journey from their AJ Bell Stadium home to Old Trafford, with the two grounds only being a couple of miles apart.

To say Salford have defied the odds in 2019 would be an almighty understatement. They have one of – if not – the lowest budget in the competition and they don’t have half the resources that others have.

Salford’s pack has been incredible all year. Wales international Dudson has been one of the shrewdest signings of the season and every Salford player fought hard for each other.

Bridge too far for Wigan

It was a sensational second half of the season from the Warriors. They did remarkably well to climb from being seventh to finish second in the regular season.

However, they have looked out of sorts in the last two matches against St Helens and Salford. They’ve lacked aggression through the middle that we are so used to seeing from Wigan outfits.

It’s been a strange season for the Warriors, with them having to overcome the Shaun Edwards saga earlier in the year. They were second best all game against Salford and the play-offs proved to be a bridge too far for the Warriors this year.

Watson for Coach of the Year

The inaugural Super League Awards takes place at the Lowry on Sunday night, where we will find out who has been named Super League Coach of the Year.

It has got to be Watson, hasn’t it? London’s Danny Ward, St Helens’ Justin Holbrook and Warrington’s Steve Price have done good jobs this year – but what Watson has done has been utterly magnificent.

He only has a couple of people on his backroom staff but you can tell they are a tight bunch. Watson has very limited resources and he deserves a lot of recognition with the award.

Line-ups and player ratings

Wigan: Hardaker (7); Marshall (6), Hankinson (5), Gildart (6), Burgess (6); Williams (6), Leuluai (5); Flower (6), Powell (5), Partington (6), Isa (5), Farrell (5), O’Loughlin (6). Subs: Clubb (5), Byrne (5), Smithies (6), French (7).

Tries: French Goals: Hardaker 0/1

Salford: Evalds (8); Sio (7), Welham (7), Bibby (8), Inu (8); Lolohea (7), Hastings (8); Mossop (8), Tomkins (7), Dudson (8), Jones (8), Griffin (7), McCarthy (7). Subs: Lussick (8), Flanagan (7), Walker (7), Burke (7).

Tries: Dudson, Lussick, Mossop Goals: Inu 8/8

Attendance: 9,858

Drew’s views

It was some performance from the Red Devils. It was a near perfect display from Watson’s side and their will to win the game for one another was fantastic to see.

Wigan have been disappointing in the last two matches and they will be very frustrated with themselves. However, we need to think about how far they have come over the course of the season.

Jackson Hastings is a top bloke and has been a breath of fresh air in Super League so far. He has a connection with the fans like not many other players do.

More on site

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Hull confirm appointment of Kieron Purtill as assistant

Kieron Purtill quits as Widnes coach

Wellens on the sidelines five years since St Helens’ last Old Trafford success

“It’s ours to lose” says Justin Holbrook

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