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
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
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