Long helps to make short work of Salford

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The Independent Online

St Helens produced a 10-try performance at Salford to take over, temporarily at least, at the top of the Super League table. Bradford had the chance to regain the lead when they played Leeds at Odsal last night.

St Helens produced a 10-try performance at Salford to take over, temporarily at least, at the top of the Super League table. Bradford had the chance to regain the lead when they played Leeds at Odsal last night.

St Helens, the defending champions, sent out a warning to their rivals with the 58-4 win over Salford. Wigan, who moved into second, and the play-off outsiders Hull also posted half-century scores, while London Broncos ended their eight-match losing streak with a 25-20 win over Halifax.

Saints led only 18-0 at the break before turning on the style, with Tommy Martyn, Kevin Iro and Paul Sculthorpe each touching down twice. The scrum-half Sean Long compiled a 22-point haul from a try and nine goals to register the 1,000th point of his career.

The St Helens manager, Ian Millward, praised his side's defensive effort. "It was a super performance, but we had to be patient because Salford played well in the first half," he said. "We wanted to keep Salford to single figures and they only broke our defence once."

His Salford counterpart, John Harvey, added: "We were outplayed and our defence, which has been very good in recent weeks, was dreadful in the second half. It shows the gulf between the top four and the rest of Super League."

Wigan maintained the pressure on their rivals with an impressive 68-6 victory over Huddersfield-Sheffield, who are now four points adrift at the foot of the table. Andrew Farrell led from the front for the Warriors, scoring three of his side's 12 tries and kicking 10 goals for a personal points haul of 32.

The Wigan coach, Frank Endacott, was delighted. "This was a top-class show. It was time that we put a side away and we certainly did that. A lot of our players stood out but none more than Andy Farrell."

The acting Giants coach, Phil Veivers, added: "I've already told the players to bury this one and concentrate on the next game. We cannot afford to make the number of errors that we did today against a class side like Wigan."

Sixth-placed Hull gave their top-five hopes a boost by moving to within three points of Castleford with a 56-6 trouncing of troubled Wakefield at the Boulevard.

Hull produced their biggest victory of the season, with Papua New Guinea import Stanley Gene scoring two tries to bring up his hundred in the British game.

London looked to be heading to a ninth successive defeat until chalking up nine unanswered points in the final eight minutes to condemn Halifax to an eighth defeat in their last nine matches. The turning point came on 72 minutes when winger Don Peters raced down the touchline before off-loading to Frank Napoli, who dived over for the all-important try, and Brett Warton's goal gave the home side the lead for the first time.

* Wakefield Trinity have relieved their chief executive, John Pearman, of his duties and are to hold a crisis meeting about their finances tomorrow.

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