Salford overcome Warrington after penalty try decider

Betfred Super League

Salford (11) 17

Tries: Lafai, Mellor, Penalty Goals: Sneyd 2 Drop-goal: Sneyd

Warrington (10) 12

Tries: Harrison, Williams Goals: Ratchford 2

Salford Red Devils handed Warrington Wolves their third defeat of the Super League season to cap a positive week in which head coach Paul Rowley rejected an approach from Hull FC.

The Red Devils had to wait until the last 10 minutes to truly pull clear of their visitors in a see-sawing game when they were awarded a penalty try following an off-ball tackle on Ryan Brierley from Danny Walker.

It ensured the hosts wrested the lead back after Stefan Ratchford had kicked a penalty for the first points of the second half.

Both sides traded first-half tries as efforts from Tim Lafai and Joe Mellor for Salford were cancelled out by James Harrison and George Williams, with Marc Sneyd's drop-goal giving the hosts a narrow half-time lead.

Wire boss Sam Burgess' concerns go far beyond the defeat following a serious lower-limb injury to half-back Leon Hayes, who had to be withdrawn on a stretcher.

His side missed the chance to go joint top with this defeat, with St Helens and Catalans Dragons two points clear.

Rowley's magic touch pays off again

Rowley wrote another chapter in his seemingly fairytale-esque conjuring of performances from his Red Devils side here, as they outpointed the free-scoring Wolves attack with a superb performance.

Their forwards were outstanding, with Jack Ormondroyd and Kallum Watkins ploughing forward, and Sneyd's game management on the back of that go-forward was irresistible.

Lafai's steamroller run got them going with the first score, and Mellor snuck in from dummy-half before half-time.

It was a display of character and physicality that did the job after the break, and the smartness of a Nene Macdonald kick caused enough chaos at the back to prompt Walker into the challenge that gave Salford the advantage.

Warrington played some sparkling rugby league in patches, and notably in the first half took their chances.

Harrison carved open the defence after a penalty and set-restart gave the Wire position, while Williams tracked a fine kick of his own to score.

Hayes' exit forced a reshuffle, but Burgess' side were unable to find the cutting edge to break down their opponents late on.

Salford: Brierley; Ryan, Macdonald, Lafai, Cross; Atkin, Sneyd; Ormondroyd, Mellor, Vuniyayawa, Wright, Watkins, Partington.

Interchanges: Cust, Shorrocks, Dixon, Dudson

Warrington: Dufty; J. Thewlis, King, Ratchford, Russell; Williams, Hayes; Harrison, Walker, Vaughan, Nicholson, Fitzgibbon, Currie.

Interchanges: Philbin, Crowther, Bullock, Powell.

Referee: James Vella