‘Like Humpty Dumpty fell off wall’: Brian Noble gutted as Salford City Reds collapse against Warrington

By Mark Shales

Salford City Reds head coach Brian Noble hopes his side will bounce straight back up after suffering a heavy 12-try defeat away at Warrington Wolves.

A Ben Westwood hat-trick and two each Ben Currie and Joel Monaghan added to scores for brother Michael, Chris Riley and Mickey Higham, plus the ex-Red duo of Richie Myler and Stefan Ratchford.

Jodie Broughton and Lee Gaskell salvaged some pride for Salford but Noble admits his players have plenty to work on this week.

“After the strides we took last week it’s a bit like Humpty Dumpty fell of the wall,” he said. “But it’s great – this week we get to put him back together again.

“We learnt some lessons about the standard we have to reach and the physicality that we have to get close to. We took some strides last week but went backwards in a lot of regards.

“We played a really good team who were skilful and could beat you on any day of the week, whether you’ve got the best team out there playing your best football or not.

“In and around the ruck Warrington were very, very clinical and it’s hard to defend on the fringes when your ruck’s being compromised as it was.

“On their day, Warrington can do that to anybody and that’s got to be the reflection – they’re a very good team.”

England international Westwood took just six minutes to score the game’s opening two tries, his 100th and 101st for the club, before Ratchford took his side to a ten-point lead with a conversion.

Joel Monaghan extended Wire’s lead on the quarter-hour mark after a spiralling Lee Briers pass found the Australian out on the wing for a simple finish.

The Wolves kept up the intensity through 18-year-old Ben Currie five minutes later, Myler wriggling free from a tackle to deliver the try on a plate beneath the sticks.

Salford snuck one back on 23 minutes after Broughton finished off a smart Salford set to touch down in the left-hand corner before Currie grabbed his second for Warrington nine minutes later.

Ratchford finished off a stylish Warrington move five minutes after the break – started by a Ryan Atkins break – going under the sticks before converting his own try against his old club

Monaghan grabbed his second on the 50-minute mark, picking up the ball on the right wing for a simple finish before Ratchford kicked his sixth goal.

The two Salford alumni combined to devastating effect on 53 minutes, Ratchford side-stepping through the Reds defence before shipping the ball for Myler to score before the fullback added the extras.

Westwood completed his hatrick on 56 minutes before winger Chris Riley got in on the action moments later – touching down for the 11th time this season.

Hooker Michael Monaghan added his name to the scoresheet on the hour-mark, shrugging of the Salford defence with a simple dummy before touching down under the sticks.

The Reds looked to have ended on a positive when St Helens loanee Gaskell tumbled over the try-line with ten minutes remaining – Marc Sneyd taking them into double figures with the boot.

But the hosts had the final say through Mickey Higham on the full-time hooter, before Ratchford took his points tally to 24 for the day.

Although one Salford fan was taken away by stewards when Michael Monaghan appeared to throw the ball into the away end after scoring, Noble praised the commitment of the travelling supporters.

“Again I thought the Salford fans were terrific, they sang really loudly and proudly,” he added.

“It’s important when we’re back at the Salford Stadium next week that we appreciate that and respond in the way that our players can.

“Rugby league’s a very proud game and the players will be hurting themselves and the only way you can respond in reality is to put right what went wrong today.

“Nobody’s lost heart and nobody’s lost shape and the great thing about it is we get to go around next week and it’s important that we respond.”

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