Despite a valiant effort, Salford Red Devils fell to a 4-26 defeat to St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium in their fifth fixture of the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Although the 22-point margin may suggest otherwise, the game was a hard-fought affair however the current table-toppers came out on top thanks to a double from James Roby and tries from Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax and Regan Grace. Derrell Olpherts crossed for Salford’s only try of the game.
The evening didn’t get off to a great start for the Red Devils as they lost George Griffin in the warm-up and he was subsequently replaced by Daniel Murray. However, the struggles continued five minutes into the game as Lee Mossop left the field with a similar injury leaving Salford down to 16 men for the remainder of the game.
Jansin Turgut went close for Salford in the early stages but was stopped just short of the line. But it was St Helens who opened the scoring just before the midpoint of the first half as Percival climbed highest for a cross-field kick. Lachlan Coote converted.
Injury issues continued for Salford as Greg Burke had to leave the field for a concussion assessment with Gil Dudson returning after just a few minutes on the interchange bench. The visitors would soon score again as Lomax managed to force his way over from close-range.
On the half-time hooter, Roby managed to burrow his way under the Salford defence. Coote converted to further the lead going into the break.
Following an immense cover tackle from Jackson Hastings, Salford would grab the first try after the interval as Olpherts rose highest to claim a cross-field kick and get the Red Devils on the scoreboard.
St Helens immediately replied, however. Dominique Peyroux was denied by video referee Rob Hicks but from the following scrum as the ball went wide to Grace to go over in the corner. The Red Devils continued to push but couldn’t cross again and it was Saints who finished the scoring as Roby grabbed his second of the game five minutes from time.
Salford: Evalds, Olpherts, Welham, Sa’u, Sio; Lui, Hastings; Mossop, Lussick, Dudson, Jones, Turgut, Murray.
Interchanges: Burke, Nakubuwai, McCarthy, Tomkins.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Costello, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.
Interchanges: Lees, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Paulo, Amor.
Salford Tries: Olpherts (53’).
Salford Conversions: N/A.
Saints Tries: Percival (18’), Lomax (32’), Roby (39’, 75’), Grace (56’)
Saints Conversions: Coote (19’, 40’, 76’)
Referee: Ben Thaler.
Video Referee: Rob Hicks.