Scintillating Salford stun Saints


Salford Red Devils put in a scintillating display as they routed St Helens 44-10 in an eight-try Super League romp at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday.

The Devils disappointed in a 42-20 opening-round defeat at Hull FC last weekend, but the hosts led 32-6 following a devastating first half in which they crossed the whitewash five times, including two tries for Robert Lui.

Adam Walne and Michael Dobson touched down soon after the restart and Niall Evalds scored his second try in the closing stages to complete the battering.

Saints coach Keiron Cunningham has plenty to ponder ahead of next week's World Club Series fixture against the Sydney Roosters, while there is also a huge concern over Mark Percival, who left the ground on crutches after landing awkwardly on his knee in an innocuous second-half challenge.

The hosts were 18-0 in front by the 12th minute. Greg Johnson capitalised on a Saints aerial error to start the glut of tries, before Craig Kopczak powered over from close range.

Lui then carved the Saints defence open to inflict further misery on the visitors with Salford's third try, but the visitors cut the gap when Alex Walmsley touched down after quarter of an hour.

However, Luke Walsh was sent to the sin bin for interfering with the ball when tackling Evalds 20 metres from goal and Salford took advantage of the numerical advantage.

First, Evalds went over after great work from Ben Murdoch-Masila on the right and Lui had his second shortly before the break.

Walne stretched over the line shortly after the restart to extend the lead and Dobson added a seventh try after a brilliant dummy.

Saints reduced the arrears when Adam Swift went over in the left corner after good recycling work, but Percival's injury added to their woes.

Murdoch-Masila was then denied by the television match official for Salford 10 minutes from the end, but there was one last gift for the home fans when Evalds had a second following Lui's excellent grubber kick.