Salford Red Devils coach Richard Marshall picked the positives from a frustrating 15th league defeat of the season.
Warrington Wolves, who had already clinched third place, needed extra time to thwart Marshall’s men as George Williams claimed a golden-point field goal for a 20-19 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Winger Ken Sio scored two tries to take his league haul to 17 and stand-off Tui Lolohea one for Salford, who led with 20 minutes remaining then, after Williams kicked a one-pointer to put the home side 19-18 up, levelled thanks to Lolohea’s field goal to force extra time.
The Red Devils are second-bottom, and Marshall said: “For a team like ourselves, who are near the bottom, to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the competition, I thought we were brilliant.
“From a resilience and a toughness stance, I thought we were outstanding.
“It was a really back-and-forth game. No one was quiet in the dressing room after. It was straight into what we could have done better.”
Marshall’s first campaign at the helm since succeeding Ian Watson ends at home to St Helens, where he was previously assistant coach, on Friday.
“We want to be a bigger team,” he said.
“This club has traditionally been nearer the top and we have a good enough squad to compete at the top level of the table.”
Salford will host St Helens on Friday night at the AJ Bell Stadium in their last game of the regular season and Marshall is looking ahead with optimism.
“We’ve played them a couple of times and we’ve been in the fight, but the game has gone away from us a bit.
“But we have learned to overcome lots of obstacles. Discipline has affected us too often this season, but we are coming through that.
“But everybody judges you on objective data. We are second bottom and I don’t like that, even though we have developed as a team and a group of individuals.
“Our aim is stability. The best teams don’t have to chop and change, but they build confidence with consistency.
“That’s what I’m trying to bring here and it makes me feel good inside; we’ve had a real good go at developing the team. We have meetings every week, we are very inclusive and I’m proud of what the guys have created.
“As a club we have to think about our development programme. We have passionate volunteers and a board that is backing my vision. Bringing back reserves will be a brilliant thing for the whole game.
“Danny Barton is our Head of Youth and he will look after our reserve grade.
“We all share a vision for Salford and the education at this club is very good.”
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