Joey Lussick’s dramatic late try sealed an unforgettable win for Salford to book their first Wembley appearance since 1969.
The Red Devils trailed by 10 points when James Greenwood touched down a Kevin Brown kick with 14 minutes remaining.
Australian hooker Lussick then plunged over from dummy half and Ian Watson’s side stood firm in the closing stages, securing their second successive major final appearance after reaching Old Trafford last October.
Here are five talking points from the game.
1 Salford Reds are rising
It was four years ago this week that Salford were seconds away from relegation and an uncertain future. The late Million Pound Game heroics at Hull KR that day will never be forgotten, but what has happened since has been almost as remarkable. This was their third major semi-final since that memorable afternoon at Hull KR, and Ian Watson has now now guided them to a second showpiece event in the space of 12 months. The Salford Reds really are rising.
2 Unforgettable week for Lussick family
When Joey Lussick plunged over for the dramatic late clincher, it completed a memorable couple of days for his family. Just over 24 hours earlier, his brother Freddie scored his first NRL try for Sydney Roosters in their play-offs clash with Penrith Panthers. With both clubs still in contention to win their respective competitions, it could yet prove to get even better for the Lussicks in 2020.
3 Elementary for Watson
Salford coach Ian Watson has rightly earned plenty of plaudits for his work at the club over the last 12 months, and they will continue to flow now. Steering the Red Devils to last year’s Grand Final was remarkable enough, but to back that up with another major final appearance marks the former Welsh international down as one of the sport’s smartest thinkers. His ability to get the very best out of his players is an invaluable skill.
4 Wolves fall short
For the vast majority of the game, Warrington Wolves looked set to reach a fourth final out of a possible five under coach Steve Price. But two late Salford tries broke their hearts, and the prospects of defending their Challenge Cup. Now they must quickly turn their attentions back to Super League and an assault on Old Trafford.
5 Fascinating final
Salford’s victory means that both semi-final underdogs reached Wembley against the odds in the rain, after Leeds powered past Wigan. Wembley might be empty when the final takes place in two weeks’ time, but there will be plenty of storylines and interest when the Red Devils face Leeds.
Source: Read Full Article