Salford beat Wakefield to reach Challenge Cup semi-finals


Ben Murdoch-Masila’s try was his 12th for Salford this season
Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final
Salford (20) 30
Try: Lannon, Murdoch-Masila, Evalds, Johnson, Kopczak Goals: Dobson 5
Wakefield (0) 6
Try: Finn Goal: Finn

Salford reached the Challenge Cup semi-finals for the first time in 19 years with a convincing win over Wakefield.

Trinity lost wing Bill Tupou to a hamstring injury in the warm-up and proved no match for the dominant hosts.

Ryan Lannon, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Niall Evalds all scored to give Salford a deserved 20-0 half-time lead.

Greg Johnson and Craig Kopczak added further tries to book the Red Devils’ place in the last four, before Liam Finn’s late consolation for Wakefield.

Wakefield won a thriller 34-24 when the sides met in Super League 11 days ago but there was to be no repeat as Salford beat Trinity in the Challenge Cup for the first time since 1971.

Trinity, who were already under-strength, brought in Ashley Gibson to replace Tupou but last season’s beaten semi-finalists were caught cold by the ferocity of Salford’s start.

The Red Devils’ pack dominated the early stages and they were rewarded when Lannon scooped up a loose ball and dived over from close range before Murdoch-Masila powered over from Michael Dobson’s cute switch pass.

Evalds danced over just before half-time to extend the lead and Salford won the game with two more tries early in the second half when Johnson scored in the corner following Murdoch-Masila’s pass out of the back of the hand and Kopczak held off several defenders to charge over.

Finn touched down late on to get Wakefield on the scoreboard but it is Salford who are now one game away from Wembley.

Salford head coach Ian Watson told BBC Radio Manchester: “t was big for us in the way we are as a team. We had two poor performances and losses so it was important to respond on the back of them.

“Our first set in attack and first in defence really set the stall let everybody know we are here and we’re not messing about in this game. We’re on it. Our attention to detail within the game defensively and attack was first class.

“We worry about ourselves and being ready and everyone buying into it. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been slightly off it, we’ve shown them and they’ve gone out there and fixed it up, shown they’re a good team.”

Wakefield head coach Chris Chester told BBC Radio Leeds: “It wasn’t good. We wanted to progress, we’re disappointed we’re knocked out but more disappointed we put in a performance like we did tonight.

“We looked off the ball, clueless and we got outmuscled by a really good Salford side. We’ve done very little training with the Leeds game and the mini Easter period that’s had a massive toll on players, we’re down on troops but there should be no excuse for the performance we put in.

“We lacked any real conviction with the ball and had no aggression when defending. The first 20 minutes hurt us, the errors, the poor contacts weren’t acceptable. Salford played very well tonight and deserved to be in the semi-final.”

Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Johnson, Lui, Dobson, Tasi, Tomkins, Kopczak, Murdoch-Masila, Lannon, Flanagan.

Replacements: Griffin, Brining, T. Carney, Hauraki.

Wakefield: Grix, Gibson, Lyne, Arundel, Caton-Brown, Williams, Finn, England, Wood, A. Walker, Hadley, Ashurst, Sio.

Replacements: Crowther, Annakin, Hirst, Huby.

View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/40264512

Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)

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