The Salford Red Devils fell just short against a physical Wigan Warriors side in a pulsating game at the The Salford Stadium.
Salford were without Niall Evalds and Gareth O’Brien who both missed the game through injury. Academy product Connor Williams was handed his Super League debut, as he started on the bench.
Both teams came into the game on the back of impressive wins in the previous round, and the warm conditions set the game up for fast paced encounter.
Wigan took the lead eight minutes into the game, as Josh Charnley latched onto the end of a clever grubber kick to dive over into the corner.
The Red Devils were soon back on level terms as Michael Dobson pounced onto a loose ball following a clever piece of enterprise from winger Jake Bibby.
Dobson was in again 10 minutes later, as Salford forced a Wigan knock on from a high kick, and the half-back raced in under the sticks. Following a successful conversion, Salford lead 10-4.
Wigan hit back with their second try of the game with 10 minutes left in the half, Ryan Sutton swept up a grubber kick to level the scores at 10-10. A Wigan drop goal on the stroke of half time gave the visitors a one point leads.
The second half started off as a tight affair, and it was Wigan who would score first after the break, Josh Charnley diving over in the corner for his second try of the game.
Following a Wigan penalty goal, Charnley went in for his hat-trick try, scoring in the same corner to stretch the visitors lead to 13 points.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Salford rallied and gave themselves a lifeline, as Josh Jones scored a try following an impressive run through the Wigan defence.
The Red Devils set the game up for a fascinating finish as Daniel Vidot went over in the corner to pull deficit back to just two points.
Despite having the momentum, the clock was not on Salford’s side, and the Warriors held on to secure the two points.
Full time: Salford Red Devils 20 – Wigan Warriors 23
Salford Red Devils: Vidot, Bibby, Carney, Sa’u, Jones, Lui, Dobson, Flanagan, Murdoch-Masila, Hauraki, G.Griffin, Tomkins, Kopczak, Lannon, A.Walne, Connor Williams, Phil Joseph.
Tries: Dobson x2, Jones, Vidot
Goals: Dobson x 2