Salford 0 St Helens 38: Reds owner Marwan Koukash apologises for 'bad performance' and promises it won't happen again
Koukash's expensively assembled side were thrashed by Super League contenders Saints in fron tof their home fans
Friday 28 February 2014
Salford owner Marwan Koukash issued an apology for his side's 38-0 thrashing by St Helens in their First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Back-to-back wins in their opening two games had given Koukash's expensively-assembled Red Devils a chance to go top of the table for the first time in the summer-season era, but they were given a reality check by their red-hot visitors.
It was all too easy 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.
"Apologies to our fans for a very bad performance tonight and well done Saints," Koukash tweeted within 10 minutes of the final whistle. "We won't play this bad again."
Saints never looked back after racing into a 12-0 lead inside 10 minutes thanks to tries from second rower Jon Wilkin and Walsh.
Salford briefly stemmed the tide following the introduction of skipper Adrian Morley from the bench but were swept aside after the break, with promising centre Mark Percival scoring two of four second-half tries.
"I am disappointed but those kind of things can happen with a new team," said Reds coach Brian Noble. "There were some great lessons for us.
"I would be more disappointed if that was round eight, nine or 10 and we dished up something like that.
"We got caught at the start but we got back in the game and that breakaway try 10 minutes into the second half knocked the stuffing out of us.
"I suppose for us the honeymoon period is over internally. We've been taking small steps, we've been looking at different combintions and pretty much everyone has played.
"It's important we now get down to the nitty gritty of some tough practices and recognise it's a marathon and not a sprint.
"There is nothing I have seen that we can't improve on. The players are probably more disappointed than me."
Salford's misery was compounded by the loss of England forward Gareth Hock 16 minutes from the end with a foot injury.
"It doesn't look good," Noble said. "He's going for a scan tomorrow and I'm keeping my fingers crossed but it's looking like a six or seven week job."
St Helens maintained their early-season promise with a third straight win that lifts them to the top of the table but coach Nathan Brown was not getting carried away.
"We're obviously happy with the result," he said. "It was tough.
"We had to work hard to get the score we did.
"I think we're a work in progress. The guys working hard for each other but we know to catch up with Leeds and Wigan and Huddersfield and those sides, we've got to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and improve.
"Our defence seems to be improving, we're not perfect but the pleasing thing is that, when things go wrong, the guys are covering for each other."
Arsenal transfer news: Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gregorz Krychowiak were all linked but Wenger and Gunners fail on deadline day
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners fans devastated as they become only team in top 5 European leagues not to sign outfield player
David De Gea: Manchester United in bitter war of words with Real Madrid over failed transfer
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
Tottenham completed transfers: Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier join but time's up for Paulinho and Etienne Capoue
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be