sport

Koukash hails Salford win

Salford owner Marwan Koukash got his wish as his Red Devils knocked Hull out of the Challenge Cup in thrilling fashion on Thursday night.

Beaten 30-8 by the same opponents a week ago, Salford won 37-36 after golden-point extra-time to move into round five, saving Koukash from giving them another dressing down.

He spoke in the media on Wednesday of how he would not tolerate his players under-performing and, at the KC Stadium, they delivered.

"This win for the fans," he wrote on Twitter, shortly after going on the field to applaud the supporters whose travel he had paid for.

"They deserved it more than anybody else."

Koukash's sentiment is clear but it is hard to say full-back Jake Mullaney did not deserve the occasion more than anyone.

He kicked six goals from six attempts for the Red Devils, upgrading all three of Francis Meli's tries from the touchline, including the last one - with the final play of normal time - to give Rangi Chase the opportunity to win the match with a drop goal.

"Pressure eh?" coach Brian Noble said of the kick.

"He was furious with himself after the game because he doesn't feel he had the best game but he's worth his weight in gold when he lands one from the sideline.

"When that happens you just hope for the best. I didn't know if he would kick it. He's been kicking the ball sweet in practice and, when there's been so many fantastic things in the game and it comes down to a goal kick, it's great."

Wigan begin their defence of the trophy on Friday night at 500-1 outsiders Dewsbury, with coach Shaun Wane already eyeing another trip to Wembley in August.

"I loved it when I was a player and I love it even more as a coach," Wane said.

"Last year it was the best week of my life. I loved the build-up and everything about the day and coming home with the players.

"It's something that stays with you forever and I really badly want it again and again and again. That's why I'm showing so much respect to Dewsbury."

The Super League champions are expected to win comfortably but Wane is leaving nothing to chance against the Championship part-timers.

"It's got its own set of difficulties because we don't know a lot about their players but we're doing the best we can with the footage we've got," Wane added.

"We'll be making sure sure there is no stone left unturned."