Super League: Salford Red Devils 24-18 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
|Salford (12) 24|
|Tries: Johnson, Hauraki, Chase, Sa'u Goals: Griffin 4|
|Wakefield (6) 18|
|Tries: Miller, McShane, Hall Goals: Hall 3|
Salford Red Devils claimed their second straight home win as they edged Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in a game of seven tries at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Former Castleford and England stand-off Rangi Chase underlined his return to the form that won him Man of Steel in 2011 by scoring one try and providing the pass for Salford's three others.
Greg Johnson, Weller Hauraki and Junior Sa'u all crossed for the home side.
Wakefield scored tries through Jacob Miller, Paul McShane and Craig Hall.
Full-back Hall also landed three kicks for a 10-point individual haul, while centre Josh Griffin enjoyed a 100% conversion rate for the hosts.
Salford coach Iestyn Harris revealed after the game that his match-winner Chase had not being able to train all week because of a sprained ankle.
The Red Devils, led out by 37-year-old former Leeds, Warrington, England and Great Britain stalwart Adrian Morley on his 300th Super League appearance, were virtually at full strength following the return of major close-season signings Ben Jones-Bishop and Michael Dobson.
|. . . and to put the Sheens on it|
|Rangi Chase's top quality display could not have failed to impress watching Australia national coach Tim Sheens, who gave him his NRL debut as a teenager at Wests Tigers nine years ago. Sadly for Salford, he was part of a crowd of just 2,712 at the AJ Bell Stadium.|
|Owner Marwan Koukash warned prior to the game that he could lose money if gates dip under 3,000, revealing that the cost of staging home games will rise even more over the next two years due to the sliding-scale contract he signed with the stadium owners when he bought Salford two years ago.|
Wakefield, without forwards Scott Anderson, Ian Kirke, Chris Annakin and Matty Ashurst, lost prop Lopini Paea (knee) on the eve of the game and hooker Pita Godinet with a neck problem early in the second half.
The visitors, who gave 18-year-old Jordan Crowther his second appearance, had their moments but were left to contemplate a third successive defeat after starting the season with back-to-back wins.
After Miller's 16th-minute opening try, Salford, who looked in crisis a month ago after crashing to a 52-6 home defeat by St Helens, turned the tables by scoring two converted tries in three minutes.
Chase picked off a pass by his former half-back partner Tim Smith to get winger Johnson away for an 80-metre try before producing a short pass for second rower Hauraki to score his first try for the club.
Having gone in 12-6 up at the break, Chase then dummied his way over for a solo try three minutes into the second half, before Wakefield reduced the deficit to six points once more through hooker McShane.
But Morley produced the highlight of the match, a 50-metre break, to set up the position for Chase to get Sa'u over for try number four and, although Wakefield battled to the end, they were rewarded only with Hall's opportunist try, which he converted himself.
Salford coach Iestyn Harris:
"We made hard work of it, but the pleasing thing was that we defended well for large periods of the game.
"We probably missed two or three clear-cut opportunities, which would have made the game look a whole lot different on the scoreboard, but it was important to get the two points and keep the momentum going.
"The players have stayed close together as a group. You can see the energy levels on the field are good. Their mentality has been right over the last two or three weeks.
"Rangi Chase's game management was really good at times, which is a real progression for him. We all know what he can do with ball in hand, but he picked the right time to put the ball in the right areas and his kicking game was good."
Wakefield coach James Webster:
"We shot ourselves in the foot with the amount of times we threw the ball on the ground.
"Salford played well but we came up short again. We're a team that's trying hard. Other than against Widnes, we haven't been beaten in effort.
"I keep saying that effort gets you close but execution and attention to detail gets you the wins."
"We went into the game with some busted blokes and losing players doesn't help, but I'm not going to complain about injuries. We're just a little bit off at the moment."
Salford: Locke; Jones-Bishop, J. Griffin, Sa'u, Johnson; Chase, Dobson; Taylor, Lee, Morley, Hansen, Hauraki, J. Walne.
Replacements: Fages, D. Griffin, Tasi, Walton.
Wakefield: Hall; Riley, Collis, Lyne, Owen; Miller, T. Smith; Scruton, McShane, D. Smith, Ryan, Kirmond, Washbrook.
Replacements: Godinet, Lauitiiti, Crowther, Simon.
Referee: Matthew Thomason