Salford Red Devils reach first Challenge Cup Final in 51 years

Salford Red Devils will play in the Coral Challenge Cup Final for the first time since 1969, after a dramatic win against Warrington Wolves on Saturday.

Salford produced an unbelievable comeback, with late tries from James Greenwood and Joey Lussick to sealing 24-22 victory and a place at Wembley Stadium.

Both teams were in a fight against the treacherous conditions, with the wind and rain causing huge problems throughout the game at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Wolves initially took the lead through Toby King, before a Stefan Ratchford penalty gave them an 8-0 lead.

Salford then hit-back, with Kallum Watkins claiming his first try since joining the team at the start of the campaign.

 

Blake Austin then reinstated Warrington’s advantage, but a penalty from Inu meant both sides went into half-time with just one point between them.

Warrington responded straight away in the second half through Ben Murdoch-Masila, but the Red Devils proved relentless against the Wolves defence. Brown’s kicks once again caused more problems for the Wolves, as Greenwood scored on a grubber down the middle.

💪 #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/BuE0dQ9amm

— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) October 3, 2020

Salford Red Devils’ James Greenwood dives in to score a try during the Betfred Super League match at Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.

Joey Lussick darted over from dummy-half, giving Inu the simple task of making the conversion and snatching the lead the final 5 minutes.

The Red Devils managed to hold on and secured their second major grand final twelve months, after reaching the Super League Grand Final last season.

Speaking after his side’s victory, Salford half-back Kevin Brown said: “It feels great. I thought the conditions played a big part for us. We spoke about having a resilience and hanging in there and we did that in bucket loads today.

“We said it was not going to look pretty, and if you try to play pretty in this you will get beaten. Some of the better players try to force it but we were trying to be patient and it worked for us. It took 75 minutes but we got there.”

“I don’t think that I’ve ever felt as sick or as nervous watching a game before. It was really a thrilling encounter. said Salford Red Devils Supporters Trust board member Paul Whiteside.

“It’s great for all the supporters that we’ve managed to reach Wembley after all this time. We have a lot of players who have never won any trophies in their career and have worked hard to get to this moment. We just seem to have that belief that we can go all the way.”

The final is currently scheduled to be played behind closed doors, meaning Salford fans won’t be allowed to see their team compete in this historic encounter.  Salford coach Ian Watson has made no secret about his desire to see Red Devils fans in the Stadium for the final.

“I don’t see why they couldn’t allow fans into the stadium if they’re following the guidelines.” said Mr Whiteside.

“I know a lot of Salford supporters who have been watching them for over fifty years who have been waiting for this moment and they may never see them get to the final again. It’s always been the dream.”

Salford will play Leeds Rhinos at Wembley Stadium on October 17.

Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Williams, Watkins, Welham, Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, McCarthy, Greenwood, Ikahihifo, Kear, Pauli, Flanagan, Burke.

Warrington: Ashton, Charnley, Gelling, King, Mamo, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Austin, Murdoch-Masila, J. Clark, Philbin, Walker, Ratchford, Widdop.

Salford Scorers: Watkins, Inu, Greenwood, Lussick

Warrington Scorers: King, Austin, Murdoch-Masila, Ratchford, Widdop