Super League: Warrington Wolves 40-14 Salford Red Devils

Ryan Atkins
Warrington centre Ryan Atkins scored two tries against Salford in the reverse fixture
Warrington (18) 40
Tries: Westerman 2, Atkins 2, Lineham, Patton, Russell Goals: Ratchford, Patton 5
Salford (4) 14
Tries: Sa'u, J Griffin, Lui Goals: O'Brien

Warrington Wolves moved a point behind Super League leaders Hull FC with a resounding seven-try win over Salford.

The visitors took the lead through Junior Sa'u, but Joe Westerman and two tries for Ryan Atkins put Wolves 18-4 ahead at half-time.

Tom Lineham, Declan Patton, Matty Russell and a second score for Westerman meant an easy victory.

The loss confirmed Salford will play in Qualifiers during the Super 8s as they now cannot finish in the top eight.

The Red Devils were playing on the day their appeal against breaching the salary capped was dismissed by an independent Rugby Football League tribunal, which upheld their six-point deduction and £5,000 fine.

They started brightly and Sa'u touched down Robert Lui's grubber kick but Ian Watson's side struggled to impose themselves on the game, despite Josh Griffin's and Lui's second-half scores.

Warrington, who won March's reverse fixture 31-30 with Chris Sandow's last-minute drop goal, have now won their last nine games against Salford.

Warrington head coach Tony Smith:

"There was some good, some bad and some ugly. I was pleased but there are still some areas we need to work on.

"It was nice to score some points because they've not been flowing for us, there was some really top-class attack at times.

"Overall I thought the scoreline reflected the game pretty well.

"I thought Joe Westerman was fantastic, he really stood out along with Ryan Atkins, who is back to some of his best. Ryan has had to rebuild himself from last year and he's done that well. Ashton Sims also made a difference coming back to the squad."

Salford head coach Ian Watson:

"The tough thing is that the [independent tribunal] result came out on game day. So we kind of spoke quickly about it in the morning but we didn't want to make too big a thing out of it.

"All the players were really positive, wanting to focus on this game, get the victory and move forward, but it does have an impact on your thinking.

"What we need to do now is finish the season strongly, these next two games, and then we can look forward to the Middle 8s and go in there with some form.

"It's going to be a tough competition to play in. If we can get the wins and look back and say, with those six points, we're a top-six team, then we've done really well."

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Russell, Evans, Atkins, Lineham; Patton, Sandow; Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Hughes, Westerman.

Replacements: Dwyer, Westwood, G King, T King.

Salford Red Devils: O'Brien; Caton-Brown, J Griffin, Sa'u, Johnson; Lui, Dobson; Kopczak, Tomkins, G Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, Flanagan.

Replacements: Hauraki, Kenny, J Walne, A Walne.

Referee: Joe Cobb.

Attendance: 9,024.