Super League  Thursday 27th February 2014  A J Bell Stadium, Salford  Att: 6,353

Squad

Ashurst, Dixon, Fages, Puletua, Hansen, Hock, Gleeson, Howarth, Johnson, Lee, Meli, Morley, Mullaney, McPherson, Sa'u, Smith, Tasi, Williams, Walton.

Squad

Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Walsh, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler.

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

GOAL SCORERS:

Scorers

TRY SCORERS:

Mark Percival

Anthony Laffranchi

Kyle Amor

Mark Percival

Luke Walsh

Jon Wilkin

GOAL SCORERS:

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Luke Walsh

Full Report

Match Official: P Bentham

Big-spending Salford Red Devils were given a reality check as St Helens maintained their perfect start to the 2014 First Utility Super League with a 38-0 rout at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Back-to-back wins in their opening two games had given Marwan Koukash's expensively-assembled team a chance to go top of the table for the first time in the summer era but their hopes were dashed inside 10 minutes.

It was fairly routine for Saints as Australian scrum-half Luke Walsh followed up his 18-point haul on debut a fortnight earlier with another 18 from seven goals and one of his side's six tries.

Walsh found himself with a new half-back partner in Lance Hohaia, who was drafted in for his first appearance of the season after Gary Wheeler's injury curse struck again, but the former Kiwi international slotted into a slick-looking Saints side with ease.

The watching Ryan Giggs, once a budding rugby league player who is wanted by Koukash to become an ambassador for his Red Devils, no doubt appreciated the class of the visitors, who took over at the top of the table.

The kick-off was delayed for the second successive match due to traffic congestion and Saints were quick to make up for lost time, with two tries in the first 10 minutes.

Walsh's 50-metre break relieved pressure on his own line after winger Adam Swift's early fumble and second rower Willie Manu also went through a half-hearted Salford defence to put the visitors into a strong attacking position.

Saints capitalised thanks to Walsh's short pass which got prop Kyle Amor into space and his offload was snapped up Jon Wilkin, who finished off superbly for the game's first try.

A break from lively right winger Tom Makinson then created a try for Walsh, who pounced on his well-struck kick to touch down.

Walsh's second conversion made it 12-0 and left Salford staring at a heavy defeat, but the introduction of evergreen captain Adrian Morley stiffened up their defence.

A 40-20 kick from Wilkin gave his side another sniff at the Devils' line, but they were held at bay for the rest of the first half.

Makinson got over after collecting Walsh's grubber kick, but slow-motion replays showed he lost control of the ball. Salford's best try-scoring opportunity came when second rower Gareth Hock burst through the visitors' first line of defence only for winger Danny Williams to be denied by Saints' scramble.

Hock was then prominent as the Red Devils stepped up the pace at the start of the second half, but there was no way back once Saints scored a breakaway third try on 50 minutes.

Tim Smith's kick on the last tackle bounced kindly for St Helens substitute Sioa Soliola and he went 40 metres upfield before releasing centre Mark Percival, who took a return pass from Swift to finish off a glorious move.

Walsh added the goal and was also on target when Amor plunged over for a fourth try following a strong burst from fellow front rower Alex Walmsley.

As the Saints fans chanted "what a waste of money", Walsh increased his side's lead with a 63rd-minute penalty and Salford's misery was compounded by the loss of Hock with an ankle injury 15 minutes from the end.

The visitors then piled on the agony for Koukash when front-row replacement Anthony Laffranchi crashed over for Saints' fifth try before Percival sprinted 40 metres for his second, with Walsh maintaining his 100% record with the boot when his kick went in off an upright.

Match Action

  • 80m
    try

    Mark Percival

    St Helens

  • 80m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 73m
    try

    Anthony Laffranchi

    St Helens

  • 73m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 65m
    interchange_on

    Paul Wellens

    St Helens

  • 65m
    interchange_off

    Josh Jones

    St Helens

  • 64m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 57m
    interchange_off

    Tommy Lee

    Salford

  • 57m
    interchange_on

    Stuart Howarth

    Salford

  • 55m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 55m
    try

    Kyle Amor

    St Helens

  • 51m
    try

    Mark Percival

    St Helens

  • 51m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 35m
    interchange_on

    Matty Ashurst

    Salford

  • 35m
    interchange_off

    Andrew Dixon

    Salford

  • 32m
    interchange_on

    Sia Soliola

    St Helens

  • 32m
    interchange_off

    Willie Manu

    St Helens

  • 22m
    interchange_off

    Kyle Amor

    St Helens

  • 22m
    interchange_on

    Anthony Laffranchi

    St Helens

  • 20m
    interchange_on

    Stuart Howarth

    Salford

  • 20m
    interchange_off

    Lama Tasi

    Salford

  • 18m
    interchange_on

    Adrian Morley

    Salford

  • 18m
    interchange_off

    Tony Puletua

    Salford

  • 17m
    interchange_off

    Alex Walmsley

    St Helens

  • 17m
    interchange_on

    Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook

    St Helens

  • 12m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 12m
    try

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens

  • 6m
    try

    Jon Wilkin

    St Helens

  • 6m
    goal

    Luke Walsh

    St Helens