The Debrief: Warrington edge out Leigh in thriller, Salford get job done at London, King Vuniyayawa sees red

Ben Olawumi
Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils

Warrington Wolves (left) & Salford Red Devils (right) recorded victories this afternoon

Two Super League games took place this afternoon, with Warrington Wolves hosting Leigh Leopards at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and Salford Red Devils making the trip to London Broncos.

There were talking points aplenty in both games, and this is The Debrief from this afternoon…

Matty Nicholson stunner sees Warrington pip Leigh in a thriller

You won’t see many more entertaining games in Super League this year than the one at the HJ today, hanging in the balance right the way through the 80 minutes.

Leigh walk away having been beaten 16-14, and very comfortably could – and perhaps should – instead be leaving Cheshire with a win.

The Leopards had chances throughout, both when leading and behind, but Warrington got over the line in the end. Wire boss Sam Burgess said post-match they’d “got away with one”, but they did so with the grit and determination that was lacking on many an occasion last year in the Warrington camp.

It’s not the first time this season that the Wolves have come out on top in a tight affair like that, and to win it as they did – with an absolutely stunning try from Matty Nicholson was superb, an effort worthy of winning any game.

Young Englishmen shine

With England’s mid-season international against France confirmed earlier this week for June 29, Shaun Wane will be paying an even closer eye on any stars potentially ready to make the jump into his squad.

There were plenty of Englishmen on show in the Round 8 clash at the HJ this afternoon on both sides. We’ve already picked out Josh Thewlis as a potential international debutant, and he impressed, but so too did Nicholson. The latter has already made his England debut, but will be hopeful of another call-up.

Neither did their hopes any damage today, and nor did the outside shout of Umyla Hanley, who continues to impress for Leigh. His leap for Ben McNamara’s first-half try was sensational.

Warrington ace Connor Wrench meanwhile – who has featured for England Knights but not at senior level on the international front – was forced off with an ankle injury.

Salford Red Devils get the job done at London Broncos

In the other game of the afternoon, Salford bounced back to winning ways with a 12-4 victory at London. That scoreline gives all the indication you need that the game wasn’t as straightforward as Paul Rowley and his Red Devils would have liked, but they got the job done in the end.

Going behind early on, Kallum Watkins’ try – made by Ryan Brierley – levelled things up and Marc Sneyd converted to hand the visitors a 6-4 half-time lead.

There was just one try in the second 40, and it came for Salford through Deon Cross just a few minutes after the restart. London still await their first win of the campaign, while the Red Devils move back level on points with the play-off spots.

King Vuniyayawa sees red

The main talking point from a pretty drab game in the capital will undoubtedly be the 55th-minute red card for King Vuniyayawa, who now faces a nervous wait on the Match Review Panel’s verdict early next week.

Salford’s big Fijian got involved in a tackle which was already practically over as the third defender and tipped London’s Marcus Stock, who landed on his head.

‘Soft’ it may be in the eyes of those who have been watching the game a long time, but in the current laws, the correct decision. A moment of madness from Vuniyayawa, who just did not need to get involved.