Matt Peet

The head coach Matt Peet has credited Wigan’s strong start for making all the difference as his side comfortably beat Salford 26-6.

Three tries in the first half-hour from Adam Keighran, Junior Nsemba and Brad O’Neill capped a stunning first period from Peet’s men before a gutsy response gave Salford a glimmer of hope after the break.

Bevan French killed off those hopes when he dived over late on, and Matt Peet admitted: “Salford are a team who ask you a lot of questions so it could easily have played out in a different way.

“But our concentration levels were very high in the first half and we did enough early in the game. Then when Salford had their purple patch we managed to ride it out.”

Peet’s opposite number Paul Rowley criticised the match officials for issuing Marc Sneyd a rare green card midway through a challenging first period.

Sneyd was ordered to the sidelines for the requisite two minutes after receiving treatment following a clash with Nsemba, and O’Neill crossed for Wigan’s third try while Salford were down to 12 men.

Rowley insisted that because Salford had not asked for play to be stopped the green card rule should not have been applied, calling it one of a number of “harsh calls” that cost his side the chance to get a foothold in the match.

“We weren’t confused – it wasn’t a green card,” said Rowley, who also saw potential tries for Kallum Watkins and Nene Macdonald denied in the second half.

“We didn’t ask for play to be stopped. I think they realised it was wrong.”

Ollie Partington had muscled over early in the second half as Salford visibly improved, but Rowley conceded they had left themselves with too much to do.

“We had 25 minutes where we didn’t respect the opposition and we gave Wigan some opportunities that they didn’t necessarily have to work hard enough to earn,” added Rowley.

“As a result of that we found ourselves 18 points down, but we felt at half-time we had got into arm wrestle and that gave us a lot of optimism at the start of the second half.

“We felt we could go and make a fist of it and we did not give up on the cause at all. Whilst we can never be happy with a loss, we are satisfied with some things that we put right and we can take a lot of positives.”

(Part text credit: Mark Staniforth, PA)

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