CHRIS SANDOW BEING FUCKING AMAZING… AND THAT

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Jesus Christ. What a game.

Trailing by 16 points at half-time, while there was a belief that we could comeback, there wasn’t much confidence that we would.

But fucking hell, we did. And what a way to do it.

With the scores level at 30-30, after clawing level from 30-12 down, Wire had a penalty just inside the Salford half with just under two minutes left on the clock.

Common sense probably suggested that we should have found touch deep in their half and took a couple of drives towards the centre of the pitch and set up for the drop goal. But that would’ve been too easy for us and if the club were to ever adopt a slogan, it would probably be something along the lines of ‘balls to the easy way’.

Opting to go for goal from an awkward angle and over 40 metres out, Sandow’s attempted penalty nudged just wide but thankfully went dead, forcing a 20 metre drop out from the City Reds.

As the clock ticked down, Wire somehow forced our way back into their half and, having taken the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged us back into the game in the second half, Sandow wasn’t going to be denied victory twice.

Despite pressure from the on rushing Salford defence, the little magician juked to the right and slotted over an inch perfect drop goal from similar range to where he had missed the penalty from moments earlier.

As the ball sailed over the crossbar, the final hooter sounded, not that it could be heard over the cheers of the massed ranks in the packed away end.

It was beautiful. It was a perfect. A genuine ‘limbs everywhere’ moment that needs to be savoured for a long time by all those who experienced it.

To witness such a dramatic victory like that and to enjoy those moments we did after the hooter are why we bother going to the games in the first place. They’re why we traipse up and down the m62 other week and put up with shit weather at away ends with no roofs, why we sit cramped on coaches for hours on end, coming back every week even when the team are shite. To be there at the end, celebrating with your mates having seen your team snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. That’s what it’s all about. Moments like that.

When we were shit last year, we continued to reiterate that the super league season is a marathon, not a sprint, so we shouldn’t get too carried away by one win or a good start to the season.

But what the team showed on Thursday night in Barton was something they lacked for the entirety of last season.

There were times when a 16 point half-time deficit was game over and we would simply see the team crumble in front of our eyes.

The spirit and belief shown in the second half – and the actual ability within the team to drag us out of a hole – are vital components for any team that has desires of silverware.

It’d be easy to gloss over the fact that we were absolutely shite in the first half, but we won’t.

The Sale Devils’ opened the scoring with the softest of tries when Junior Sa’u just walked through the line from a tap restart and touched down.

Wire responded sharpish to be fair, with Jack Hughes bursting on to Ratchford’s offload and being ruled by the video referee to have grounded the ball on the line.

We took the lead moments later when the ball was shifted left and, with nothing seemingly on, fellow back rower Ben Currie dropped his shoulder and fooled the Salford Roosters’ defence just enough to be able to catch them flat footed and force his way over.

But that was about as good it got in the first half for the Wire, as the Eccles Reds ran in four unanswered tries to take them into the changing sheds with a comfortable lead.

First, Mick Dobson’s pinpoint grubber unsurprisingly caught Matty Russell totally out of position and Josh Jones – who always seemed to score against us for Saints – won the race of about five Sale Sharks players to touch down.

Jones then set up the position for the next try. Looking to have bulked up a lot during his short stint in the shit code of rugby, he is a pretty dangerous runner of the ball and he burst onto a flat pass from Robert Lui to burst downfield and was only halted by some last ditch defence near the try line.

From the next two play the balls, Salford tried twice to dive over from dummy half, succeeding on the second occasion through ex-Batley winger Greg Johnson.

Another pinpoint Dobson kick, this time to the air, again Saw Matty Russell have no fucking idea what to do or where to be, and Junior Sa’u outjumped Ryan Atkins to collected and score untroubled under the sticks.

There were more fumes coming from the Wire fans behind the sticks than from Fiddlers’ Ferry and one could be forgiven for fearing another drubbing at the hands of Salford was on the cards. The Red Sox seem to love giving us a good hiding every once in a while and memories of our first visit to the little ground (or that ‘Bad Friday’ visit to the Willows) weren’t far from peoples’ minds.

The fears of a battering escalated when Salford shifted the ball wide and and Josh Griffin took advantage of our woeful edge defence to romp towards the try line and release the ball to Logan Tomkins as Russell attempted to stop him for the former Wigan hooker to score the simplest try of his life.

Gareth O’Brien added a penalty goal after the break to extend Salford’s lead to 18 points, but it would the last time the hosts would trouble the scoreboard.

Wire hit back when Sandow slipped a pass to Atkins who barged over from short range despite the attentions of two Salford defenders.

Atkins was over again soon after when Sandow poked a grubber through on the proverbial sixpence for him and it was very much game on.

The scores were tied late on when Chris Hill poked his nose through the line and slipped a neat offload to Ashton Sims who burst on to the ball and dived over. Sandow’s conversion completed the comeback and set up the tense finish which saw Salford miss two drop goal attempts before Sandow nailed his.

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