Wigan Warriors through to Challenge Cup final after thrilling semi-final win over Salford Red Devils

Wigan Warriors have booked their place in the Rugby League Challenge Cup final after a 27-14 win over Salford Red Devils.

Salford came from behind to lead at half time but 15 points without reply in the second half saw Wigan through.

Wigan thought they had taken the lead in the third minute when Tom Davies crossed the line but the television review showed a foot in touch in the build-up.

Again, Wigan were denied just two minutes later. Davies breached the Salford defence but the pass to him was deemed to be forward.

Wigan’s early dominance finally paid off with the first try of the match. George Williams found Oliver Gildart who found a gap in the defence to open the scoring.

Williams added two more from a penalty before Willie Isa crossed the line to give Wigan a 12-0 lead.

Salford then scored twice in the space of three minutes to level the score.

First, Greg Johnson crossed in the corner after gathering Niall Evalds’ pass before Tyrone McCarthy marked his debut with a try in the 27th minute.

McCarthy then touched down again on the half-hour mark but the try was disallowed. There was a penalty in the build-up though and Michael Dobson put the ball through the posts to give Salford the lead.

Joe Burgess thought he had regained the lead for Wigan moments after the restart but the review showed that Evalds’ challenge took him out in the corner.

Wigan were level in the 55th minute when Williams was stripped of the ball. He stepped up to send the ball through the posts to take the score to 14-14.

A stunning piece of skill put Wigan up front on the hour. Williams looped a kick behind the Salford defence for Michael McIlorum to break free for the try. A Sam Tomkins drop goal made it a two-score game a few minutes later.

Anthony Gelling was sin-binned with eight minutes remaining to force Wigan to see out the game with 12 men and Salford nearly made the most of it. Stern defence on the line kept Salford out initially, before a drop gave the Warriors possession.

Gildart put the icing on the cake in the final minute with another try as Wigan booked a Challenge Cup final date with Hull FC, who beat Leeds Rhinos yesterday.

Cover Photo: Wembley by Georges-adrien Carcanis under license from CC BY NC-ND 2.0

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