Wigan Warriors put in a brilliant defensive performance to beat Salford Red Devils 18-12 at the DW Stadium.
Salford started the brighter, but it was Wigan who took the lead on 24 minutes as Oliver Gildart went in out wide. Zak Hardaker recovered from an early penalty miss to put the Warriors ahead by six.
The Red Devils were knocking on the door, and just seconds after being denied by the video referee, they finally got their try on 37 minutes as George Griffin went in. Krisnan Inu converted to level the scores going into half time.
It could have been a really different game, had it not been for the intervention from Gildart, as his last ditch tackle on Ken Sio meant the Salford winger had a knee in touch just before he grounded the ball out wide.
A moment of madness from Inu swung the game back Wigan’s way on 53 minutes as his offload fell to Tommy Leuluai in the in goal, who made no mistake. Hardaker converted once more to have Wigan back ahead by six.
Just a few minutes later, Wigan extended their lead as George Williams went through on what could be his final game at the DW. Hardaker converted again to put the Warriors ahead by two converted tries.
The Red Devils kept going and got their reward when Jackson Hastings cut inside and scored under the posts, despite the attention of his new teammates. Inu scored the quick conversion to make it just a one score game with 18 minutes to go.
But some phenomenal last ditch defending on their own line meant the Warriors held on to book a trip to their nearest and dearest St Helens next Friday.
As for Salford, all is not lost, they still have another chance to make the Grand Final. They host Castleford Tigers next Thursday.