SAINTS hit the summit of Super League following a
SAINTS hit the summit of Super League following a 32-12 win over Salford Red Devils at Langtree Park.A first half demolition saw them lead 24-0 before the visitors cut the deficit to 12 points.But a superb Shannon McDonnell try secured a much needed victory.Keiron Cunningham’s side had most of the early possession but it was the Devils who had the first real chance.They almost opened up the right hand side in the opening stages and then forced a drop out in the ninth minute.Saints defended their lines and then went ahead – and it was thanks to James Roby.His break after a great Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook quick play the ball saw Tommy Makinson scorch 50 metres for the opener.The winger backed up his score with a nice conversion and then stopped a certain try on 19 minutes with a textbook tackle.Likewise did his centre partner Mark Percival – returning after a two week layoff – later in the half on Junior Sau.Salford came again two minutes later with Chase trying a chip over the top on the last.But McDonnell collected, broke about seven tackles, went 70 metres and then fed Swift to scampered over into the corner.Makinson bettering a wonderful try with a boomer off the touchline.And it got better as four minutes later Wilkin showed great feet to put Turner in.Saints turned the screw further by forcing Salford to come off their line with some great last tackle kicking.Captain Wilkin in particular was placing his clearances with aplomb.And the home side’s total domination on both sides of the ball was underlined when Percival, with three on him, offloaded to McDonnell who somehow stuck Makinson in for his second.Saints went in 24-0 to the good but that lead was cut five minutes into the second half.A simple kick through evaded McDonnell and his opposite number Niall Evalds pounced.And Rangi Chase capped his return with a great try following his own cute pass.Salford rolled forward again and were unlucky not to score after having four sets on Saints’ line.The D did the trick and then Saints brought some normality to proceedings with a cooly taken penalty from Makinson in front of the sticks.That came on 59 minutes – but two minutes earlier Salford were lucky to have 13 men on the field after Burns was hit late, high and off the ball.Saints seemed angry and hit back in true style. On 65 minutes Mose Masoe offloaded, Andre Savelio took it on and sent a superb ball into the welcoming arms of McDonnell.With that score, down two players in Josh Jones and James Roby, Saints killed off the comeback.A good win in all for the Champions made by a superb first half performance – but there will be anxious medical checks on Jones, Roby and Tommy Makinson – who came off in the final stages – next week.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Makinson (2), Swift, Turner, McDonnellGoals: Makinson (6 from 6)Devils: Tries: Evalds, ChaseGoals: Patterson (2 from 2)Penalties: Saints: 8Devils: 5HT: 24-0FT: 32-12REF: Ben ThalerATT: 11,674Teams:Saints: 34. Shannon McDonnell; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Josh Jones.Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.Devils:19. Niall Evalds; 2. Ben Jones-Bishop, 4. Junior Sau, 18. Mason Caton-Brown, 5. Greg Johnson; 6. Rangi Chase, 14. Theo Fages; 8. Adrian Morley, 24. Liam Hood, 16. Scott Taylor, 31. Cory Paterson, 12. Weller Hauraki, 25. George Griffin.Subs: 11. Harrison Hansen, 15. Darrell Griffin, 17. Jordan Walne, 37. Logan Tomkins.