Salford 0 St Helens 38 match report: Salford's dreams crushed by Luke Walsh
Big-spenders brought down to earth by Australian scrum-half's 18-point haul
A J Bell stadium
Thursday 27 February 2014
Big-spending Salford were given a reality check as St Helens maintained their perfect start to the 2014 Super League with a comprehensive win here.
Back-to-back wins in their opening two games had given Marwan Koukash's team a chance to go top of the table for the first time, 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 his debut a fortnight earlier with another 18 from seven goals and also scored one of his side's six tries.
The watching Ryan Giggs no doubt appreciated the class of the visitors, who took over at the top of the table.
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 by Jon Wilkin, who finished off superbly. A break from Tom Makinson created a try for Walsh, who pounced on his kick to touch down.
Walsh's second conversion made it 12-0. Makinson got over after collecting Walsh's kick but slow-motion replays showed he lost control of the ball. Salford's best opportunity came when second rower Gareth Hock burst through the visitors' first line of defence only for winger Danny Williams to be denied.
The Red Devils stepped up the pace in the second half but there was no way back once Saints scored a breakaway third try. Tim Smith's kick on the last tackle bounced kindly for Sioa Soliola and he released 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 dived over for a fourth try.
Arsenal are so close to winning the Premier League, but sometimes Arsene Wenger holds them back, says Jamie Carragher
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
David Beckham reveals secret of his success: I 'stayed in to watch Match of the Day' rather than go out with friends on a Saturday night
Real Madrid vs Juventus preview: Juventus know they must attack to match past European glory
Two new members of Floyd Mayweather's The Money Team blag their way into entourage to celebrate to celebrate with Justin Bieber
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show