Super League: St Helens go top with comfortable win over Salford
Last Updated: 02/06/14 10:14am
Paul Wellens: Crossed twice for Saints
Two-try veteran Paul Wellens provided the inspiration as St Helens powered to the top of the First Utility Super League with a convincing 32-12 win over lacklustre Salford.
Sia Soliola, Lance Hohaia and Gary Wheeler also touched down for dominant Saints at Langtree Park and Luke Walsh kick six goals but it was Wellens, still turning on the style at 34, who led the way.
Salford rarely threatened and were limited to consolation tries from Niall Evalds and Gareth Hock as they slumped to yet another defeat.
The much-hyped and revamped Red Devils have now won just once in eight games since replacing Brian Noble as coach with Iestyn Harris.
The opening quarter was scrappy with both sides being undermined in attack by handling errors or a lack of creativity.
It was a mistake from Salford full-back Greg Eden which led to Saints' opening score in the 17th minute as he fumbled a Walsh kick close to his own line.
Wellens, continuing to revel back in his old full-back slot in the absence of Jonny Lomax, took advantage as he crashed over from a Walsh pass.
Salford, as they did all too often, looked to Rangi Chase to spark a response but Wellens proved he has lost none of his awareness in defence either as he coolly defused the scrum-half's kick.
Salford were cut open as Mark Flanagan weaved his way through a number of tackles before Soliola applied the finishing touch from close range.
Walsh landed his first conversion of the evening and moments later was kicking another after Hohaia took up an attack following a Jon Wilkin break to score a third try.
Salford were lacking cohesion and drive and almost conceded again before the break as James Roby dabbed a kick through for Wilkin but the ball just ran dead. Wilkin appeared to hurt his arm in a collision as he stretched for the ball and he was forced to leave the action.
Salford left the field looking dispirited but Harris' half-time team-talk provided some motivation as they started the second period positively.
Evalds in particular started to look dangerous and was twice denied by last-ditch tackles before eventually pouncing on a Chase kick to register a belated try for the visitors out wide.
Tim Smith added a difficult conversion but any thoughts of a Salford fightback were quickly quashed as Wellens chipped forward and Wheeler raced in for a fourth Saints try.
Two more goals from Walsh took the game further out of reach before Wellens capped an outstanding display by finishing off a sweeping move on the right.
Salford did show some quality to piece together a good move for Hock to cross for a Smith-converted try but the lack of celebration told its own story.
Wellens thought he might have claimed a hat-trick with seven minutes remaining but was stopped just short of the line.
First Utility Super League
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield Wildcats22 - 40Wigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC4 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos10 - 29Warrington Wolves
St Helens34 - 16Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans Dragons32 - 24Hull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils20 - 22Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan WarriorsvsHull 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 DevilsvsHuddersfield 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 DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield 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
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Super League 2014, round 15
Ahead of round 16 in Super League we look at this season's best and worst so far.
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