Saints all but seal semi-final place with win over 12-man Salford

St Helens stay in the hunt for an 11th Grand Final after defeating the Salford Red Devils 4-30 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

A brace from Alex Walmsley plus tries from Mark Percival, Zeb Taia and Ben Barba helped deliver their 30-point haul while Ryan Lannon’s red card on 37 minutes was costly for Salford.

The opening score came in the fourth minute and it was from the home side ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­– a flowing move to the left-hand flank finished by Niall Evalds at pace. Gareth O’Brien was unable to add the extras, 4-0.

Percival opened Saints’ account in the 17th minute. Theo Fages found Barba who darted through a gap and put in the centre. Percival didn’t land the conversion, 4-4.

Manu Vatuvei thought he had scored for Salford in the 31st minute but James Child sent it up to Phil Bentham as ‘no try’. Bentham agreed with the on-field decision.

Saints took the lead three minutes later when Walmsley barged his way over from close range. Percival converted, 10-4.

Salford’s Lannon was shown a red card in the 37th minute for a late high shot on Fages.

Percival calmed it down with a two-pointer in the 38th minute to take it out to 12-4 to Saints.

After a bit of a scuffle in the dying seconds of the first half, Saints were awarded a penalty and opted to kick for goal again. Percival’s kick was just short this time.

Regan Grace thought he had scored for Saints in the 54th minute. The ball went left through Matty Smith, Barba and Percival and he put it down, but he was in touch and it was chalked off.

Saints won a penalty in the 63rd minute in front of the sticks and opted to run it. Moments later Taia scored for the visitors when he took a short ball and spun over the line. Percival added the extras, 18-4.

They were in again in the 71st minute courtesy of Walmsley. A short pass from Matty Smith put Walmsley over for his second of the evening. Percival added the two, 24-4.

There was still time for a final try as Barba weaved his way over the line for Saints in the 79th minute which Percival converted.

Final score saw Saints beat Salford 4-30. For Saints to be denied a semi spot, Hull need to beat Cas and Wigan have to win by 90+ points.



5 Niall Evalds

24 Jake Bibby

22 Kris Welham

4 Junior Sa’u

31 Manu Vatuvei

6 Rob Lui

1 Gareth O’Brien

26 Daniel Murray

9 Logan Tomkins

12 Weller Hauraki

11 Ben Murdoch-Masila

3 Josh Jones

32 Tyrone McCarthy


8 Craig Kopczak

20 Kriss Brinning

15 Ryan Lannon

18 Jordan Walne

Tries: Evalds (4)

Conversions: O’Brien 0/1


37 Ben Barba

2 Tommy Makinson

3 Ryan Morgan

4 Mark Percival

28 Regan Grace

6 Theo Fages

24 Daniel Richardson

14 Luke Douglas

9 James Roby

16 Luke Thompson

36 Zeb Taia

20 Morgan Knowles

12 Jon Wilkin


7 Matty Smith

8 Alex Walmsley

13 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook

18 Dominique Peyroux

Tries: Percival (17), Walmsley (34, 71), Taia (63), Barba (79)

Conversions: Percival 5/6

Half time: 4-12

Referee: James Child

SCORING SEQUENCE: 4-0, 4-4, 4-10, 4-12, 4-18, 4-24, 4-30.