Salford Red Devils 24 Wakefield Trinity 14 - Wakefield fail to build on bright start at Salford
Krisnan Inu scored two tries and kicked four goals as Salford gave their Betfred Super League survival hopes a massive boost with a 24-14 win over Wakefield.
The Kiwi, who recently returned from a two-month club ban because of social media posts earlier in the season, led a spirited Salford fightback after they went 12-0 down inside 16 minutes.
Richard Marshall’s men finished the game strongly with two tries in the last 15 minutes from Inu and Ken Sio and the win saw them leapfrog Wakefield into ninth spot.
Tui Lolohea and Seb Ikahihifo made their respective returns from injury for the Red Devils though Declan Patton was unavailable due to coronavirus track and trace.
Salford hammered a severely depleted Challenge Cup finalists Castleford 70-18 in their last outing for only their third win of the season but they were 12-0 down inside 16 minutes.
In a game that was played at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium due to Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium being unavailable due to ground maintenance, it was Wakefield who looked immediately at home.
A long pass from Salford stand-off Lolohea was intercepted by Wakefield’s Lee Kershaw and the winger set off on a mazy 70-metre run. Although he was hauled down before scoring, Wakefield kept the momentum going and the ball was worked to the left for Innes Senior to score. Mason Lino added the conversion.
Wakefield doubled their advantage in the 16th minute. Lino and Liam Kay combined to send Reece Lyne over for a try which Lino again converted.
The introduction of former Wakefield forward Pauli Pauli lifted Salford and they hit back midway through the first half.
Half-backs Atkin and Lolhea combined on the right edge and Morgan Escare was able to score a try which Inu converted. The comeback was complete seven minutes before the break when Inu powered over from close range and he was able to add the extras to level the game. A flurry of errors from both sides at the start of the second half saw scoring chances at a premium and it was not surprising that Lino elected to kick at goal when presented with a penalty opportunity in front of the Salford posts after 57 minutes.
A two-point lead was never going to be enough and it was Salford who scored next, Inu grabbing a second which he also converted with 15 minutes remaining.
An Inu penalty opened up a six-point lead for the Red Devils and the win was sealed when Sio popped up on the right edge to score the game’s decisive try with just nine minutes remaining.
Although Inu was off target with the goal, Salford were able to get to full-time without any further scares and claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Salford: Escare, Sio, Inu, Costello, Williams, Lolohea, Atkin, Johnson, Ackers, Ormondroyd, Livett, Lannon, Burke. Subs: Roberts, Ikahihifo, Pauli, Luckley.
Wakefield: Kay, Kershaw, Lyne, Greensmith, Senior, Miller, Lino, Arona, B. Walker, Tanginoa, Ashurst, Pitts, Batchelor. Subs: Fifita, Battye, Y. Aydin, Bowes.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (RFL)