George Williams landed a drop goal in golden point extra-time to give Warrington a dramatic 20-19 Super League victory over Salford at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
In a breathless finale to the 80 minutes Warrington looked to have sealed victory when Williams landed a drop goal with three minutes to go to edge his side into a 19-18 advantage.
But Tui Lolohea levelled matters a minute later with a one-pointer to tie it up at 19-19 and then, with the last kick of the game, Williams landed another drop goal, but it was ruled out by referee Scott Mikalauskas for a Salford defender being obstructed.
Krisnan Inu was just off target with the first drop goal attempt in extra-time for Salford, but Williams did not miss with his effort to give his side a dramatic victory.
A much-weakened Warrington outfit also claimed tries through Matt Davis, Matty Ashton and Josh Charnley, with Gareth Widdop landing three goals.
Ken Sio scored two tries for Salford to take him clear at the top of the Super League try-scoring charts with 17, while Lolohea also touched down, while Morgan Escare with two and Inu kicked the goals.
The Wolves were already assured of a third-placed finish and complete their regular season campaign at Castleford on Thursday before having a home tie in the elimination play-off game the following week, with their opponents still to be decided.
And coach Steve Price rang the changes with more important games ahead, with the likes of Chris Hill, Mike Cooper and Jake Mamo rested, so youngsters Ashton, Connor Wrench and Eribe Doro were given their opportunity, and there was a debut from the bench for Tom Whitehead.
Davis started at hooker with the Wolves without both of their usual number nines in Daryl Clark and Danny Walker, while Blake Austin came back into the side in the pack.
Salford were without half-back Ata Hingano and second rower Harvey Livett failed to recover from a calf injury that forced him to pull out of the Magic Weekend clash with Castleford, but the Red Devils welcomed back loose forward Elijah Taylor on the bench after a three-match absence.
The visitors made the perfect start and were ahead after just seven minutes when Lolohea’s long pass allowed Sio to crash over in the corner. Escare landed a fine touchline conversion.
But the Wolves were level soon after in rather fortuitous circumstances as Widdop’s grubber kick was deflected into the hands of Ashton. The full-back touched down and Widdop converted.
Warrington then looked to have taken a stranglehold on proceedings with two tries in four minutes giving them a 16-6 advantage.
Davis sneaked over from dummy half close to the line and then Austin’s excellent looping pass gave Charnley the space to dive over spectacularly in the corner, with Widdop adding a further conversion.
But in the dying seconds of the half Salford were given a lifeline when Ashton coughed up possession on halfway into the grateful hands of Sio, who raced 50 metres to score his second of the game. Escare’s conversion cut the lead to four points at 16-12 at the interval.
Both sides probed for the crucial first try of the second half and it went the way of the Red Devils on the hour mark when Chris Atkin’s break was supported by Lolohea, who took his pass to score and Inu converted to edge his side two points in front.
But, in a frantic finale, Danny Addy was sent to the sin bin for his high tackle on Ellis Longstaff with five minutes remaining, which allowed Widdop to tie the scores with a penalty before the late drop-goal drama and Williams’ extra-time winner.