March 1, 2020

Salford 12-22 Trinity

Report by Will Moore

An exceptional second-half display gives Wakefield Trinity a comprehensive 22-12 victory over Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Max Jowitt cancelled out Tui Lolohea’s early score to give Trinity a half-time lead, before three second-half tries from Bill Tupou, Kelepi Tanginoa and Tom Johnstone give Trinity a much-deserved win in Greater Manchester.

Following last week’s disappointing defeat at the Jungle, Chris Chester made multiple changes for Trinity’s trip down the M62 and after a tentative start, it was the visitors who hit the front foot.

Jacob Miller glided through the Salford defensive line, but Trinity were unable to make the most of the lack of cover down the left-hand side as the attack fizzled out.

However, despite much of the opening exchanges being played in the hosts’ half, it was the Red Devils who made the breakthrough. The ball was fed out wide to Ken Sio, whose inside pass found the supporting Lolohea and the halfback was able to run over unchallenged.

The Devils’ lead did not last long, however, as Trinity hit back with a lovely free-flowing move. Excellent link-up play between Kyle Wood and Reece Lyne in the middle broke the Salford line and with Jowitt in support, the fullback was able to dive over.

As the half wore on, both sides continued to push their opponents all the way. Salford tried to assert the home advantage by pressing the Trinity line to its max, but exceptional work on the try-line kept them out before Miller’s audacious attempt at a drop-goal on the hooter drifted wide.

Salford wasted no time in re-establishing their lead after the break as Sio turned converter. A great move down the line had Trinity at sixes and sevens, the ball eventually made its way over to the winger, who touched down in the corner.

The try-scoring pendulum was swinging and a quickfire double on each wing gave Trinity a comprehensive lead. After persistent pressure on the Salford line, exceptional play on the left by Ryan Atkins kept the ball alive, he was then able to find Johnstone, who evaded one challenge to touch down.

Then, moments later, it was Tupou’s turn to add an acrobatic try of his own. After the ball was fed down the short side, Lyne was in the thick of it again as his offload fell nicely into the hands of Tupou, whose spectacular effort opened up an eight-point advantage.

Trinity were running riot and it didn’t take long for Tanginoa to open his account for the season. The forward rushing onto a pass from dummy-half and breaking the Red Devils’ line to touch down under the posts.

Sio’s second of the match decreased the hosts’ deficit to 10. However, Trinity were not to be defeated as excellent defending in the final stages saw out a much-deserved victory.