Super League: Salford taught a harsh lesson by St Helens
Last Updated: 28/02/14 6:28am
St Helens maintained their perfect start to the new First Utility Super League season, and ended Salford's in the process, thumping the Red Devils 38-0.
Luke Walsh scored a try and kicked seven goals from as many attempts to help the visitors ease their way to the summit and disappoint the vast majority of a record crowd at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Jon Wilkin broke the deadlock after six minutes and Walsh himself grabbed the second, while Tommy Makinson had another chalked off by the video referee for an apparent knock-on.
The Red Devils did show more spirit in attack after the break, but Mark Percival and Kyle Amor crossed in a four-minute spell to put the game well beyond a home side who lacked the imaginative spark of the injured Rangi Chase.
Ruthlessly Saints scored two tries in the closing seven minutes to rub salt in the Red Devils' wounds, Anthony Laffranchi crashing over before Percival grabbed his second of the night just before the hooter sounded.
It was a reminder to cash-rich Salford and owner Dr Marwan Koukash that there is still work to do. At least the off-field signs are good; such were the numbers wanting to attend the kick-off had to be pushed back by 15 minutes to allow them to get in the ground.
The delay didn't bother Saints in the slightest; any idea they would be in hell against the Red Devils was soon dismissed when they immediately met fire with fire in the forwards.
Amor set up the first try when his offload created the opportunity for Wilkin to just about round full-back Jake Mullaney and finish, the England international grounding the ball as he rolled over the line.
The forwards were again crucial for Saints' second, strong running down the middle leading to space out wide for Makinson to stretch his legs. The winger duly scorched down the right touchline before kicking back inside for Walsh.
Makinson had a good case to say he'd touched down himself in the closing minutes of the half, only for it to be deemed he'd knocked the ball on after putting Danny Williams under pressure.
The reprieve meant it was merely a 12-0 scoreline at the break, and Salford did threaten to make a game of it in the early stages after the re-start.
Yet it was from a period of pressure that they conceded again. Trying to keep the ball alive on the last tackle, half-back Tim Smith sliced a grubber kick right into the path of Sia Soliola, who set off downfield before passing on to allow Percival to work a one-two with Adam Swift to score.
The outstanding Amor put the game out of the home team's reach when he plunged over the line off the back of a damaging run from fellow prop Alex Walmsley. Walsh added the conversion and also a penalty as the visiting fans cruelly chanted 'what a waste of money' at their rivals.
Laffranchi grabbed a close-range effort himself and Saints still squeezed in a sixth try in the closing seconds, Percival using the supporting Swift as a decoy to create a big enough gap.
Walsh was left with a tricky kick to keep his perfect record, yet duly knocked it over with the help of the right post. Everything it seems right now is working for Saints.
First Utility Super League
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan Warriors30 - 20Warrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St Helens16 - 41Leeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants38 - 14Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings46 - 16Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans Dragons0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
St Helens0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Super League 2014, round three
Hull KR centre Kris Welham has been charged with a grade A offence of head-butting Castleford full-back Luke Dorn.
Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson has been ruled out for up to three months with a broken forearm.
Lee Radford was left to reflect on his side's poor first-half showing as Hull went down 18-16 at Warrington.
- Cummins hails Bulls character
- Wigan response pleases Wane
- Warrington secure first win
- Bulls see off gritty Broncos
- Wigan too strong for Wildcats
- Brumbies blitz Force in Perth
- Powell hails Finn-tastic Liam
- McDermott: Credit to the teams
- Anderson: We must improve
- Giants fail to repel Vikings
- Tigers too tough for Rovers
- Wolves v Hull FC: Teams
- Warriors v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Broncos: Teams
- Hock blow for beaten Salford
- Morley: Salford going places
- Vikings v Giants: Teams
- Hull KR v Tigers: Teams
- Dragons v Rhinos: Teams
- Red Devils v Saints: Teams
- Brown wants more like Koukash
- Powell: Dragons must tidy up
- Noble welcomes 'golden ticket'
- Beard to be feared
- Salford suffer Griffin setback