Salford Red Devils secure third win of Super League season, edging a nervy encounter with bottom-of-the-table Wakefield Trinity 14-13; Marc Sneyd kicks the game-clinching drop-goal in the fourth minute of golden-point extra-time
Last Updated: 19/03/23 6:19pm
Marc Sneyd kicked a drop-goal in the fourth minute of golden-point extra time as Salford condemned Wakefield to a fifth Super League defeat of the season.
The Red Devils half-back kept his cool after a frantic finish at the AJ Bell Stadium where drop-goals from Sneyd and Wakefield Mason Lino’s had sent the game into extra-time.
But it was Paul Rowley’s men who ultimately prevailed 14-13 winners, leaving Wakefield still rooted to the bottom of the Super League table as the only team left without a win after five rounds.
Salford came into the game high on confidence following a 60-14 hammering of Hull FC last weekend, while Wakefield had failed to register a point in each of their last three games.
Danny Addy was named on the bench for his first appearance in eight months for the hosts after being sidelined with an Achilles injury, but Tim Lafai was absent after failing a late fitness test, meaning a rare start for Matty Costello.
Wakefield welcomed Harry Bowes back to their 17 and Sam Hewitt – a recent loan signing from Huddersfield – was named on the bench.
Despite Trinity’s winless start to the season, they led for much of the first half, even though Salford enjoyed the majority of possession.
Salford had taken the lead in the fourth minute when Brodie Croft and Ryan Brierley combined on the left edge to send Costello racing through for a try which Sneyd converted. But the scores were level in the 12th minute when Wakefield finally ended their long wait for a try.
The home side had conceded a drop-out following a risky pass by Rhys Williams on his own tryline and the visitors attacked the left edge with Lino and Liam Kay linking well before Jorge Taufua’s pass sent Corey Hall over for a try which Lino converted.
Wakefield then took the lead in the 24th minute when Lino’s kick to the corner was spilled by Williams and Reece Lyne was able to gather the ball and score. Lino missed the conversion but Wakefield led 10-6.
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Salford had more of the play as half-time approached and, three minutes before the break, Sneyd chose not to take the relatively-simple shot at goal and moments later was vindicated as Chris Atkin spied a gap from dummy half and shot through from five metres to score. Sneyd converted to give Salford a 12-10 lead just before the break.
It was a scrappy start to the second half with both sides struggling to create a clear scoring chance through unforced errors.
The hosts had a great chance on the hour mark when a move from the scrum almost ended with Williams scoring in the corner but he could not ground the ball under pressure from some desperate scrambling defence.
The first points of the second half arrived with 11 minutes remaining as a late hit by Shane Wright on Lino after a high kick was penalised and Lino kicked the goal to make it 12-12.
With five minutes remaining, Salford edged in front again when Sneyd sent over a drop-goal only for Lino to reply from the restart with one of his own to make it 13-13.
Lino sent another drop-goal wide from distance with three minutes remaining and Sneyd did the same in the next set as a second half that had stuttered along suddenly sparked into life.
Yet another Lino attempt at a one-pointer faded wide with a minute left and Sneyd was denied another attempt after the referee called a knock on, sending the game into golden point extra-time.
It was Salford who chanced their arm first, with Sneyd’s long-range attempt sailing through to give his side a third win of the season.
The next live Super League action on Sky Sports sees Huddersfield Giants host St Helens on Thursday night; coverage begins at 7.30pm on Sky Sports Arena, with kick-off at 8pm.
Wakefield Trinity are next in action on Friday, hosting Hull KR from 8pm as they look to secure their first win of the season, while Salford Red Devils head to Wigan Warriors at the same time on Friday night.