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Salford

  • Meli,
4 - 25

Wigan

  • Bateman, Powell, Burgess (2),
    Goals: Smith (4),
    Drop goals: Smith,
  • Super League
  • 22nd May 2014
  • KO 20:00
  • Att: 3,706

Super League: Salford Red Devils v Wigan Warriors preview

Last updated: 23rd May 2014  

Blake Green Wigan Warriors

Blake Green: Ruled out for up to 12 weeks with torn biceps

Salford Red Devils Jake Mullaney

Jake Mullaney: Withdrawn from the Red Devils squad for the visit of Wigan Warriors

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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.

Tenacity

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

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Super League Table

Super League Table - July 31 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 22 34
2 Wigan Warriors 23 32
3 Leeds Rhinos 22 32
4 Castleford Tigers 22 30
5 Warrington Wolves 22 28
6 Huddersfield Giants 22 28
7 Catalan Dragons 22 23
8 Widnes Vikings 22 21
9 Hull K R 22 20
10 Wakefield Wildcats 22 19
11 Salford Red Devils 23 17
12 Hull FC 22 16
13 Bradford Bulls * 22 4
14 London Broncos 22 0

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