Super League: Salford Red Devils 28-20 Widnes Vikings

Justin Carney
Justin Carney, who is on loan from Castleford, scored his first try for Salford in their win over Widnes
Salford (22) 28
Tries: Carney, Flanagan 2, Johnson, J. Griffin Goals: Dobson 3, O'Brien
Widnes (10) 20
Tries: Hanbury, Houston, Marsh, Thompson Goals: Hanbury 2

Salford Red Devils were given a fright by Widnes Vikings but held on to earn a second successive Super League victory.

Justin Carney and Mark Flanagan crossed inside six minutes for Salford, while Greg Johnson and Josh Griffin added further scores to forge a 22-0 lead.

However, Widnes reduced the deficit to 12 points by half-time with tries from Rhys Hanbury and Chris Houston.

Stefan Marsh and Corey Thompson made it 22-20 but Flanagan's second consigned Widnes to a first defeat of the season.

Both sides had won handsomely in their previous outings, with Salford thrashing St Helens and Widnes running in 10 tries against champions Leeds, but the Vikings' momentum was checked by a slow start at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Carney's try was his first since joining Salford on a year-long loan from Castleford, having scored 63 times in 62 appearances for the Tigers, while Johnson's score came at a time when Red Devils full-back Gareth O'Brien was in the sin-bin.

Two scores in two minutes before the interval raised hopes of a Widnes comeback and Thompson's fourth try of the season made it 20 unanswered points for Denis Betts' side.

But Tommy Lee's excellent 40-20 kick relieved the pressure on Salford's defence late on and former St Helens forward Flanagan settled any home nerves by touching down under the posts.

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Salford coach Ian Watson: "It was a very good win for us. We showed some real resilience in defence, but some of our goal-line defence was good and that got us our win.

"It was important that we backed up from our win at Saints.

"We need to be a bit smarter on a few things, but overall we have to be happy as we have beaten a very good Widnes side."

Widnes coach Denis Betts: "They came out the blocks pretty quickly and we knew it would be a physical challenge and we didn't match it.

"They have backed up a great performance last week with another one today. It's very difficult for us when we make the start we did.

"There was one stage in the second half where we could have made a difference, but we couldn't get what we we needed to be. We ran out of steam in the end."

Salford: O'Brien; Carney, Sa'u, J. Griffin, Johnson; Lui, Dobson; Kopczak, Lee, G. Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Flanagan.

Replacements: Tomkins, Walne, Lannon, Joseph.

Widnes: Hanbury; Thompson, Bridge, Runciman, Marsh; Mellor, Brown; O'Carroll, White, Dudson, Sa, Houston, Cahill.

Replacements: Farrell, Manuokafoa, Leuluai, Heremaia.

Referee: Phil Bentham

Attendance: 5,089

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