MATCH REPORT – ST HELENS 20-24 SALFORD RED DEVILS (ROUND 4)

MATCH REPORT – ST HELENS 20-24 SALFORD RED DEVILS (ROUND 4)

by | Mar 9, 2024

Salford Red Devils won away at St Helens for the first time in 44 years.

On a famous, famous night for Paul Rowley’s side, Deon Cross scored a 75th minute winner to complete a stunning comeback at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Ryan Brierley was back in the Salford team who travelled to Merseyside, looking to win a third consecutive Betfred Super League fixture.

The first ten minutes saw Saints on the front foot, with some brave goal-line defence denying the hosts on multiple occasions.

Pressure eventually told, however. Jonny Lomax moved the ball right and Jack Welsby sold a dummy to find some space and slide over in the right corner.

Salford tried to rebuild when Saints were penalised for holding down, but Cade Cust’s chip and chase was just too strong for the halfback to apply any pressure.

In a matter of seconds, Saints went coast-to-coast, with Sione Mata’utia piercing a gap and flicking the ball to Lewis Dodd, who raced away in open field into the left corner.

As has been the case so far this season, Marc Sneyd’s quality with the boot turned the tide in Salford’s favour, with a swirling kick-off bouncing back into the hands of Joe Shorrocks.

Despite being denied a potential penalty-try when Alex Walmsley tripped a chasing Brierley, the same source was the architect of our opening score of the night, sending Cross into the corner with a lovely cut-out pass.

That move did come at a cost however, as Cust – involved in an earlier collision – was taken from the field and failed his HIA.

Saints scored another just before half-time, with Lomax again the man to send through his teammate – this time Percival – to stroll under the sticks.

The Red Devils came out for the second half with an eight-point deficit, but were given a huge boost when Percival saw red for a high shot on Jack Ormondroyd.

However, Paul Wellens’ side were next on the board following a highly controversial moment.

Building from our own line, some inventive play sent Hankinson charging down the right flank, but referee, Tom Grant pulled the play back for a forward pass.

Dodd capitalised on the chance, spotting a gap to score his second of the evening.

Such is the character of this team, that setback didn’t faze them and a well-worked move saw Lafai set the platform for our next attack with a bustling run.

Working it right, Nene Macdonald managed to spin away from his man to ground and score his second in a Salford shirt. Sneyd – who was again, perfect from the boot – added the extras from out wide.

The momentum was really with Salford and Atkin – who was actually in his natural position of halfback for the first time in a while – darted bravely through the Saints middle to cut the deficit and set-up a grandstand finish.

Arise Tim Lafai.

In amongst all the tension, the Samoan World Cup finalist produced a moment of pure brilliance; receiving a pass with one hand before flicking the ball out the back with the other, sending Cross over for his second of the night.

The Salford faithful on the opposite end of the ground erupted. They knew they were just minutes from a piece of history.

Work was still to be done in the last five minutes and Walmsley threatened to break hearts with his burst up the middle, but some heroic D forced the error and Salford hung on to a memorable two points.

The games don’t get any easier. Next up, the newly-crowned world champions, Wigan Warriors are in town. Click here to join us at the Salford Community Stadium.

MATCH FACTS:

Salford line-up: Ryan Brierley, Chris Hankinson, Nene Macdonald, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Cade Cust, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Amir Bourouh, Brad Singleton, Kallum Watkins, Sam Stone, Joe Shorrocks.

Interchanges: Chris Atkin, King Vuniyayawa, Shane Wright, Ben Hellewell.

Tries: Deon Cross (2), Nene Macdonald, Chris Atkin.

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (4/4)

St Helens line-up: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Waqa Blake, Mark Percival, Jon Bennison, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Daryl Clark, Sione Mata’utia, Matt Whitley, Curtis Sironen, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Moses Mbye, James Bell, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney.

Tries: Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd (2), Mark Percival.

Conversions: Mark Percival (1/3), Lewis Dodd (1/1)

HT: 14-6

Photo credit: Steve McCormick & James Giblin

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