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Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 17:17 UK

Salford City Reds 4-18 Wigan Warriors

Salford (4) 4
Tries: Gibson

Wigan (6) 18
Tries: Deacon, Richards 2 Goals: Richards 3


Pat Richards
Pat Richards has now run in 15 Super League tries so far this season

Prolific Pat Richards helped himself to another two tries as Wigan opened up a four-point lead at the top of Super League with victory at Salford.

The league's leading points scorer weighed in with another big haul as Wigan won on a day when nearest rivals Warrington went down at Hull KR.

Paul Deacon put Wigan ahead, Richards adding the goal, before Ashley Gibson pulled it back to 6-4 at the interval.

But winger Richards ran in two tries after the break, adding two more kicks.

And, having now run in 15 tries this season, as well as kicking 53 goals, he is top of both individual points tables.

Wigan made it six wins on the bounce in front of Salford's biggest crowd of the season. But, although welcoming back Cameron Phelps, George Carmont, Mark Riddell and Iafeta Paleaaesina, the injury-hit leaders were without Amos Roberts, Thomas Leuluai, Stuart Fielden and Harrison Hansen.

And they were made to work hard for their latest victory by a Salford side still missing Jodie Broughton and Rob Parker, but which had Luke Adamson returning after a two-match injury absence.

It took until 12 minutes from the break before Salford's defence was breached when Joel Tomkins fed Martin Gleeson to send scrum-half Deacon over for his first Wigan try since arriving from Bradford.

Richards improved it, but Salford clawed back to within two points at the break when Stefan Ratchford's kick rebounded off Gleeson for Gibson to touch down in the corner.

And Wigan stretched 12-4 nine minutes into the second half when Richards swept round Steve Tyrer's poor tackle to score in the corner before tagging on the conversion.

Just 11 minutes later, Richards got try number 15 for the season when he took Sam Tomkins' long pass. And, although he did miss that conversion, his late penalty completed the scoring.


Salford City Reds coach Shaun McRae said:
"It was a fantastic effort against the best team in the competition.

"Wigan have shown how resilient they are and how hard you have to work to get on top of them. But we've shown we can mix it with the best teams.

"We all worked very hard for each other both on and off the ball and were beaten by a couple of special players. Pat Richards showed he is a wonderful finisher, big and strong."

Wigan boss Michael Maguire said:
"Pat Richards is playing really well and enjoying his football. As long as he keeps doing that everyone will be happy.

"He's not only scoring tries but doing a lot of hard work off the ball and bringing the ball away from the try line.

"Salford made it tough for us. And we made it hard for ourselves in the first half when our completion rate was only 50% when normally it is 80%. But we've worked very hard on our defence and we have players who stood up."


Salford City Reds: Fitzpatrick, Henry, Talau, Gibson, Tyrer, Ratchford, Holdsworth, Cashmere, Alker, Jewitt, Sidlow, Adamson, Swain.
Replacements: Sibbit, M Smith, Littler, Leuluai.

Wigan Warriors: Phelps, Goulding, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, S Tomkins, Deacon, Prescott, McIlorum, Coley, Bailey, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Riddell, Paleaaesina, O'Carroll, Mossop.

Attendance: 6,618.

Referee: Thierry Alibert (France).



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see also
Salford 30-18 Huddersfield
06 Apr 10 |  My Club
Wigan 54-14 Wakefield
06 Apr 10 |  My Club
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League


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