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
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 15
Ahead of round 16 in Super League we look at this season's best and worst so far.
Jon Wells says Salford must keep faith with coach Iestyn Harris and compares Catalan to lizards...
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell was delighted with his players after the 54-12 win over Hull KR.
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- Win keeps Tigers in the hunt
- Bulls breathe again after win
- Radford: Lancaster can star
- Hull FC too good for Broncos
- Saints laugh off criticism
- Betts fumes at Widnes
- Widnes snatch Dragons draw
- Wolves roll over Rhinos
- Bulls call upon experience
- Tigers v Hull KR: Teams
- Bulls v Wildcats: Teams
- Response pleases Anderson
- Giants too strong for Wigan
- Wolves v Rhinos: Teams
- Vikings v Dragons: Teams
- Saints v Red Devils: Teams
- Wane: O'Loughlin our leader
- Eorl praises Wigan
- Giants v Warriors: Teams
- Foster: Bulls must beat Wakey
- Warriors hopeful on quartet