Super League: Salford Red Devils v Wigan Warriors preview
Last Updated: 23/05/14 8:05am
Wigan Warriors can move within a point of league leaders Leeds Rhinos when they travel to face Salford Red Devils on Thursday evening.
The defending champions claimed a Magic Weekend victory over the Rhinos, courtesy of tries from Michael McIlorum, Blake Green and Anthony Gelling, to close the gap to just three points.
Salford's result at the Etihad Stadium was less magic as they suffered an agonising 30-24 defeat at the hands of Widnes Vikings in a fiercely-contested encounter.
In fact, the Red Devils are without victory in their last six outings in all competitions, a run which has seen them slide to 11th in the Super League standings.
The Warriors have won the last five meetings between the sides - including an emphatic 46-6 triumph in the reverse fixture - and have lost just four times to Salford in 33 fixtures.
However, their squad has been left severely depleted after victory over the Rhinos came at the cost of Matty Bowen, Blake Green and John Bateman.
Stand-off Green has torn biceps and could be out for as long as three months, compounding coach Shaun Wane's injury crisis which has already accounted for club captain Sean O'Loughlin, Tony Clubb, Jordan James and Liam Farrell.
Despite the raft of injuries, Wane was impressed with the way his side battled past the Rhinos, saying: "If everybody in this room is honest, nobody thought we would win that game and I said that to the players before we left.
"Even the directors at Wigan didn't expect us to win it. But everyone in that room knew we would. Our tenacity and aggression was fantastic and that got us the win in the end."
There is a boost for Wane in the form of a return for Ryan Hampshire, while there are also call-ups for youngsters Ben Austin, Connor Farrell and Ryan Sutton, as well as Dom Manfredi, who enjoyed a loan spell with Salford earlier this season.
Utility forward Greg Burke also returns to the Warriors squad after successfully completing through a dual-registration match with Workington.
Meanwhile, there are fewer injuries to contend with for Salford head coach Iestyn Harris, who has named just one change to the 19-man squad that lost to Widnes.
Jake Mullaney is replaced by Andrew Dixon, while Magic Weekend try-scorers Francis Meli, Rangi Chase, Junior Sa'u, Danny Williams and Matty Ashurst all retain their place in the squad.
Salford Red Devils: Howarth, Rapira, Eden, Sa'u, Hansen, Platt, Chase, Williams, Gleeson, Hock, Lee, Dixon, Ashurst, Puletua, Tasi, Morley, Meli, Tomkins, Griffin.
Wigan Warriors: Austin, Burke, Burgess, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Gelling, Goulding, Hampshire, Hughes, James, Manfredi, McIlorum, Powell, Sarginson, Smith, Sutton, Taylor, Williams.
You can see Wigan Warriors make the short trip to Salford Red Devils live on Sky Sports 3HD from 7.30pm
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils20 - 22Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2014, round 14
Nathan Brown was delighted after St Helens claimed a seven-try 40-16 victory over Wakefield Wildcats.
Wakefield forward Chris Annakin and Widnes winger Paddy Flynn will both miss games after being punished by the RFL.
Chris Annakin, Ben Westwood, Justin Carney and Paddy Flynn have been charged by following Sunday's Super League action.
- Smith hails 'exciting' Currie
- Sandercock never worried
- Betts: Fight changed game
- Wolves devour Wildcats
- Tigers show their stamina
- Rovers too strong for Broncos
- Slick Stormers thrash Cheetahs
- Cummins: We were embarrassing
- Dragons dominate poor Bulls
- McDermott hails superb Ward
- Brown happy with turnaround
- Saints end Huddersfield run
- Rhinos too tough for Hull
- Rovers v Broncos: Teams
- Tigers v Vikings: Teams
- Wildcats v Wolves: Teams
- Cummins: Better times ahead
- Wane delighted with win
- Warriors ease past Salford
- Luke wary of Saints backlash
- Dragons v Bulls: Teams
- Saints v Giants: Teams
- Rhinos v Hull FC: Teams