Salford produce stunning comeback to beat Wigan
Salford came from 14-2 down to stun Betfred Super League leaders Wigan 18-14 in a dramatic finish at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Former Wigan scrum-half Kevin Brown scored the game’s crucial try with eight minutes remaining to complete a remarkable turnaround in the last 21 minutes.
Adrian Lam’s side appeared to be cruising to victory as they opened up a 12-point lead with Jackson Hastings marking his 100th professional appearance with a try against his former club.
But two converted tries in seven minutes from Salford full-back Niall Evalds turned the game on its head before Brown touched down for the decisive score.
Chris Hankinson kicked Wigan ahead with a fifth-minute penalty after a high shot on Morgan Smithies but the lead was short-lived as Tui Lolohea replied for Salford with a penalty after Luke Yates was high tackled.
Hastings scored the game’s first try in the 14th minute and he did not celebrate against the club he helped guide to the Super League Grand Final last season. The current Steve Prescott Man Of Steel cut infield to score from 15 metres and Hankinson added the conversion to extend Wigan’s lead to 8-2.
The home side, who had won just once going into the game, enjoyed a promising spell of pressure as they looked to reduce the deficit but were unable to find a way through some determined Wigan defending.
And the Warriors claimed a second try four minutes before half-time when hooker Sam Powell found a gap from 10 metres out and powered through. Hankinson added the conversion but was off target with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Salford were forced to defend their tryline for long spells at the start of the second half as Wigan looked to increase their lead further.
But it was Salford who produced a remarkable finish to snatch victory. Evalds’ first try came in the 59th minute when he picked up a loose pass from Mark Flanagan and found a gap in the Wigan defence.
Six minutes later, Evalds scooped up the ball which rebounded off a Salford player and he raced 90 metres to score before Lolohea’s conversion tied the game.
And Brown, the player bought to replace Hastings for 2020, scored from dummy half with eight minutes remaining and the hosts hung on for an impressive victory.