|Warrington (16) 20|
|Tries: Ashton, Davis, Charnley Goals: Widdop 3 Drop-goals: Williams 2|
|Salford (12) 19|
|Tries: Sio 2, Lolohea Goals: Escare 2, Inu Drop-goal: Lolohea|
George Williams’ golden-point drop-goal gave Warrington Wolves a morale-boosting win against Salford Red Devils with the play-offs looming.
Matty Ashton, Matt Davis and Josh Charnley tries gave the Wire a first-half lead, although Ken Sio crossed at both ends of the half for Salford.
Tui Lolohea’s converted try put the visitors ahead with 20 minutes to go, but Gareth Widdop’s goal squared it up.
George Williams and Lolohea traded drop-goals, before Williams settled it.
With third place already assured and home advantage heading into this penultimate game of the season, this final match on home turf was a chance for Steve Price to give youth a chance.
Josh Thewlis, Connor Wrench, late-introduction Tom Whitehead and the bench of Eribe Doro and Ellis Longstaff were named alongside senior players such as Widdop, Williams, Blake Austin and Ben Currie.
That experience proved key in the end, with Widdop and Williams showing poise with the boot, while Austin impressed in an unfamiliar back-rower role.
Salford, who had nothing to play for, showed real guts and heart to take Warrington to sudden death in this game, with Sio maintaining his prolific form to take his tally to 17 for the season in Super League.
However, they were unable to stop Williams from slotting the winner.
Warrington boss Steve Price:
“That finish was good practice for hopefully what’s coming in the next week or two. George had to nail three clutch plays and it bewildered me the penalty against us which the referee disallowed for obstruction at the ruck and that’s something I’ll take up.
“It was a good tough game, but we have got to get the errors and penalties out of our game because we are making it real hard for ourselves.
“But we showed a lot of guts and determination and courage to hang tough.
“We rotated our squad today and gave a lot of the young guys an opportunity and I thought they showed some really good signs for the club for the future.”
Salford head coach Richard Marshall:
“For a team like ourselves, who are near the bottom, to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the comp – I thought we were brilliant.
“There was lots going on but, from a resilience and a toughness stance, I thought we were outstanding.
“It was a really back-and-forth game. No one was quiet in the dressing room after. It was straight into what we could have done better.”
Salford: Escare; Sio, Burgess, Sarginson, Williams; Lolohea, Atkin; Ormondroyd, Ackers, Johnson, Lannon, Robson, Addy
Interchanges: Taylor, Luckley, Inu, Burke
Warrington: Ashton; Thewlis, Wrench, King, Charnley; Widdop, Williams; Mulhern, Davis, Whitehead, Austin, Currie, Hughes
Interchanges: J. Clark, Longstaff, Doro, Ratchford