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Wigan v Salford in Super League play-offs

Related Video and AudioGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreLive ReportingBy Matt NewsumAll times stated are UKPosted at 18:2418:24Salford – relegation threat to play-offsSWpix.comCopyright: SWpix.comSalford Red Devils have been the surprise package of 2019, even if they…

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Live Reporting

By Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

  1. Salford – relegation threat to play-offs

    Salford celebrate

    Copyright: SWpix.com

    Salford Red Devils have been the surprise package of 2019, even if they have shown they deserve to be here by the way they have performed.

    But what’s the secret? BBC Sport’s Jay Freeman has spoken to those involved to find out.

  2. Post update

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Andrew Henderson

    Warrington Wolves assistant coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Salford will come here confident and why shouldn’t they? They’re playing well, there’s a good chemistry, and they’ve got a good understanding of one another.

    The only thing going against them is that it’s new territory. A lot of those players haven’t been consistently playing in these big games in recent few seasons.

  3. Surging Salford on crest of a wave

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Jackson Hastings

    Copyright: SWPIX.COM

    “Unfancied” barely covers the way Salford were viewed by the rugby league media, myself included, at the start of the season.

    Having scraped through the Qualifiers thanks to the inspirational performances of former Roosters and Manly half Jackson Hastings in 2018, only the most ardent Red Devils fan would have wagered their hard-earned cash on a successful season (I’m looking at you here, Gemma…)

    The magic touch of Ian Watson has been there for all to see. Ex-Wigan front-rowers Gil Dudson and Lee Mossop have been revitalised, while second-rower Josh Jones has been called into the Great Britain elite performance squad on the back of his destructive wide running and superb offload game.

    Not even having their spine ripped apart in mid-season could halt their charge, as key playmaker Rob Lui’s move to Leeds brought Tonga’s Tui Lolohea to the AJ Bell in his place. Lolohea looked lost at Headingley but is now playing with belief and purpose.

    Pacy full-back Niall Evalds has vied for top try-scorer all season, while hooker Joey Lussick has made a reputation for sneaking a try from dummy-half.

    However, the last word on Salford must go to Hastings. He might be Wigan-bound for 2020, but the Australian’s enthusiasm, quality and skill have lit up the competition. Man of Steel looks like it is his… will he get a Grand Final ring to go with it?

  4. Post update

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Andrew Henderson

    Warrington Wolves assistant coach on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Wigan have been playing play-off rugby for the past month. They’ve shifted their mentality and style of play, and they’ve got into that play-off mode a month in advance.

    They’re tenacious, dogged and grinding teams down. I think tonight Wigan will carry that on and have a little too much for Salford.

    That’s not to say Salford can’t bounce back and upset the apple cart, but I’m not sure they’re going to have it in the tank tonight.

  5. Lam on the menu proves tasty for Wigan

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Morgan Smithies

    Copyright: SWPix.com

    Wigan’s season, quite simply, has been a year of contrasting emotions.

    Everything that could have gone wrong for the reigning champions came to pass in the opening months of the campaign.

    Ten league defeats up to the end of May, a Challenge Cup exit, club legend Shaun Edwards’ decision to go back on his impending head coach appointment in 2020 and the departures of Gabe Hamlin and Taulima Tautai for disciplinary reasons – they were just some of the headaches for the Cherry and Whites to contend with.

    Credit then to coach Adrian Lam, himself a fans’ favourite as a player, for keeping his cool and turning it round, as his side slowly climbed the table.

    Young firebrand forwards such as Morgan Smithies, Olly Partington and Liam Byrne have added youthful, fearless aggression to the experience of Tony Clubb and skipper Sean O’Loughlin in the pack.

    Once star half George Williams confirmed his NRL exit at the end of the campaign his form soared, and Zak Hardaker at full-back has also rediscovered the mojo which previously brought him international recognition and a Man of Steel award.

    Ominously, serial winners Wigan have found their groove at the right time, as usual.

  6. comments

    Will either (or both) of these sides make it to the Grand Final at Old Trafford on Saturday, 12 October?

    Get in touch using #bbcrl on social media.

  7. Loser goes home? Not yet…

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Finishing in the top three of Super League had its benefits for St Helens, Wigan and Salford – it allowed all of them the luxury of one slip-up during the play-offs.

    The losers of tonight’s match will get another bite of the cherry next week when they Castleford.

    The victors, meanwhile, will face League Leaders’ Shield winners Saints – although the losers of that match will still have a potential route to Old Trafford.

  8. Tigers progress, Wire bow out

    Thursday result: Warrington 12-14 Castleford

    We’ve already lost one of the five play-off contenders after Warrington lost to Castleford on Thursday.

    The Tigers will play the loser of tonight’s Qualifying Final in the next phase of the play-offs.

    Castleford celebrate

    Copyright: SWPIX.COM

  9. BreakingTeam news

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Interesting. Wigan have gone with Chris Hankinson in the centres rather than Salford-bound Dan Sarginson, while the exciting Bevan French will come off the bench to feature, as will veteran skipper Sean O’Loughlin.

    As for Salford, no real surprises in their line-up. They back themselves to cause Wigan problems with their consistent side, although Mark Flanagan and Gil Dudson come in for Ben Nakubuwai and Josh Johnson.

    Wigan: Hardaker; Marshall, Hankinson, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Clubb, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Smithies.

    Interchanges: Flower, French, Greenwood, O’Loughlin.

    Salford: Evalds; Sio, Welham, Bibby, Inu; Lolohea, Hastings; Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, McCarthy.

    Interchanges: Lussick, Walker, Flanagan, Lannon.

  10. Post update

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Right, let’s not waste any time.

    We’ve under 45 minutes away from the big kick-off and we’ve plenty to get through.

    It’s west of the Pennines we’re focusing on tonight, in Wigan and Salford.

  11. Grand, but not final

    Wigan v Salford (19:45 BST)

    Josh Jones takes on Willie isa

    Copyright: SWPIX.COM

    No two teams have arrived at the Super League play-offs in quite such magnificent form as tonight’s contenders, Wigan and Salford.

    Adrian Lam’s Warriors have won 12 of the past 13 games to steam their way up the regular season table into second.

    Behind them, Salford romped to eight straight wins to climb into third. From 1000-1 shot for the title at the start of the season, they’ve a genuine chance of winning it. Imagine it, the team of Salford heading to Old Trafford?

    What is it they say – irresistible force meets immovable object?

    It’s the race for the Grand Final on Saturday, 12 October and it’s hotting up. Make yourself comfortable, we’re in for a treat.

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