SALFORD Red Devils versus Warrington Wolves was a classic example of what happens when a collection of individuals comes up against a team.
This was Wire’s best full match performance of the season so far, and, in terms of consistency of intensity and tempo for the 80 minutes, one of the best for the past three years.
It looks to me that the youthful exuberance of several of Warrington’s un-established players seems to be rubbing off on the older players, as if they have been reminded that playing rugby league for a living is a great thing to be doing.
Four tries were disallowed, three for Wire, before the scoring was finally opened around halfway through the first half.
Salford didn’t deal with Gareth O’Brien’s high kick, Chris Bridge took advantage of the chaos to grab the ball and score the opening try.
As they gathered behind the try line waiting for Stefan Ratchford to attempt the conversion, Salford looked anything but a united team. Nobody was facing each other and if anybody was talking it appeared nobody was listening.
Two more Warrington tries quickly followed, Micky Higham pinching a cheap one out of acting half back from close range, and then Gene Ormsby benefited from another chaos inducing kick to ultimately have a walk-in try in the corner.
Salford managed one try before half time, halfback Tim Smith, their main creative spark all evening, tried to get the rest of the team to be enthusiastic about having scored but his excitement didn’t seem to be matched by the others.
Throughout the match Wire looked like the better team, completely dominating territorially and consistently gaining more yards in their sets than Salford did.
Almost as impressive was their patience once they got near the Salford line.
Richie Myler supported his own pass to Ben Westwood, the second rower offloaded and that allowed Myler to put Joel Monaghan through a gap close to the line for the next try.
Each time Wire threatened to run away with it though, Salford would score a try to keep the score respectable.
Roy Asostasi produced a great line of run to score Wire’s last try and in a triumph for synergy the team had their victory over the individuals.