sport

Wane salutes in-form Warriors

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was beaming with pride after his youthful side earned a 25-4 win over Salford to move within a point of leaders Leeds.

Teenage winger Joe Burgess scored two of their four tries as the Warriors overcame the absence of nine regulars and the early loss of hooker Michael McIlorum with a knee injury to dominate their opponents.

"That was unbelievably satisfying, especially after losing Micky Mac and Scott Taylor couldn't play long," Wane said.

"It shows our strength in depth and all credit to our youth system - kids like Ryan Sutton, Rocky Hampshire and Joe Burgess are coming in and not only playing but playing really well."

Wigan led only 4-0 at the break after second rower John Bateman scored on the stroke of half-time but there was never any real doubt over the outcome. They led 25-0 until winger Francis Meli scored the Red Devils' only try just before the end.

"They were playing with the wind so I was satisfied at half-time," Wane said. "I have watched a lot of Salford and I knew that, if we defended well and concentrated, we could stop them scoring.

"I am really pleased. It was a fantastic win. They are a good team who throw things at teams. I thought we defended well and I was just disappointed at the end because I thought we deserved a nil."

Wane revealed that he opted not to play McIlorum for the final hour of the match as a precaution.,

"He's strained his knee ligaments and we've a big game coming up in a couple of weeks so I didn't want to risk him," Wane said.

The outcome was a disappointment for Salford coach Iestyn Harris, whose side have taken just three points out of a possible 14 since he left his role as assistant at Wigan to succeed Brian Noble, but he remains convinced they are making progress.

"I thought defensively we had a real dig," Harris said. "It was a real physical game. I didn't think there was a whole lot between the two teams. I just thought they had too much pace for us on the end if I'm honest.

"We could have been a little bit more clinical at times but I thought it was a big improvement from us defensively tonight because they are a very good side. I thought we defended very well for large parts of the game. We've got make sure we've got to keep moving in the same direction.

"We've made some big improvements. The biggest concern for me was the defensive system and I think we're looking a lot more solid."