After last Saturdays' superb Challenge Cup win over St Helens, the Warrington Wolves could be forgiven for poor preparation ahead of tonights Super League round twenty-seven encounter with the Salford Red Devils. But despite the fastest of turnarounds it was essential that they backed up their cup victory with another win to assist them in their quest for second spot.

The prize for Salford could not have been bigger. A win would lift them into third ahead of the rest of the weekends games, but a win by twenty-four points of more would see the home side go above their opponents tonight and into second spot, poised for an assault on Old Trafford.

It was a game of massive importance to both sides.

The opening exchanges were measured. Five plays and a kick was the order of the day with neither side troubling the line of the other in the opening nine minutes. The Red Devils forced a drop-out with a deft kick through and two plays into the set Warrington were offside. KrisnanInu took the opportunity to kick the penalty goal for a 2-0 lead.

Lama Tasi and Tyrone McCarthy were both lucky to stay on the field after a fracas on twenty-one. The whistle of Mr Kendall regularly punctuated proceedings as neither side threatened their opponents line and at time tempers frayed. Salford went into the interval guarding the narrow 2-0 lead.

On forty-four Niall Evalds went close and four minutes later Lineham was unable to collect a high kick with Ken Sio being on hand to pick up the loose ball five metres from the line and dive over for the opening try of the game. Inu hit the near upright with his conversion attempt.

Eight minutes later Sio got his second, this time after a terrific Kris Welham offload after pulling in the Wolves defenders. Inu was again unable to add the conversion from wide but the Red Devils were starting to control the game with a 10-0 lead.

This time within two, the Red Devils were in again when Jake Bibby was at the end of a Joey Lussick break downfield, and a Jackson Hastings supporting role, to take the pass and push his way over the line. Inu added the conversion for 16-0, the twenty-four point winning margin was now within sight.

On sixty-two Ken Sio completed a fifteen minute hat-trick when he picked up an awful Wolves grubber from Bryson Goodwin on his own twenty and went eighty metres to ground. Inu added the extra two points for 22-0.

Evalds was ankle tapped with the line begging on seventy-seven and two minutes later Danny Walker chased his own kick to ground in goal and avoid the nilling. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion for some late consolation for the visitors.

It was tough on Warrington to ask them to back up with a league fixture just five days after their Wembley appearance but they were outplayed by the Salford Red Devils in a second half which saw them run in twenty unanswered points before a late Warrington consolation. Salford missed out on second spot on their points difference but this win re-inforces their play-off credentials as they lift themselves into third spot. The Wolves dreadful league form continues and from being almost certainties for second spot, they now look as though they could potentially miss out on the play-offs unless they can arrest their poor run.

Red Devils: Evalds, Sio (3T), Welham, Bibby (T), Inu (3G), Lolohea, Hastings, Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, McCarthy, Burke.  Subs: Lussick, Johnson, Walker, Flanagan.

Wolves: Ratchford (G), Lineham, Goodwin, Burrell, Mamo, Hughes, Smith, Philbin, Walker (T), Tasi, Murdoch-Masila, Livett, Clark J.  Subs: Akauola, Clark D, Westwood, Johnson.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-Time: 2-0.

Full-Time: 22-6.

Attendance: .

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