Salford Red Devils missed out on claiming a first Super League Grand Final victory, as league-leaders St Helens came away from Old Trafford with a 23-6 victory.
Jake Bibby became Salford’s first ever try-scorer in a Super League Grand Final, as the club’s record-breaking campaign came to a close. St Helens were well worthy of the title, but Ian Watson’s men battled to the very end.
Saints came out strong and controlled the territory early on. Despite some strong Salford defending in the opening exchanges, Morgan Knowles was able to run through the Red Devils and score in the 15th minute.
Regan Grace broke through the Red Devils’ defence to get his side upfield. Then moments later James Roby broke from a scrum and with a reverse-pass, found Zeb Taia, who scored for the league leaders.
Salford needed a spark and Tui Lolohea thought he had provided one with a spectacular try. He wriggled and battled his way through Saints’ defence, but the try was chalked off for an obstruction.
Ian Watson’s side grew in confidence though and moments later they managed to get the breakthrough. Lolohea, was at the centre again and switched play for Man-of-Steel winner Jackson Hastings to find Jake Bibby. The centre dived over the line to score his 15th of the season.
The Red Devils supporters were in full voice as the two sides went in at the break. Despite a tough start, Salford had battled their way back into the tie as the half-time whistle went.
Half-time: Salford Red Devils 6-12 St Helens
Mark Percival was able to restore St Helens’ 12-point lead nine minutes into the second-half. The centre chased his own grubber-kick and was able to get the ball to ground and score.
Saints then looked to put the game out of Salford’s reach, Lachlan Coote scored from a couple of penalties to put his side 22-6 ahead.
The Red Devils tried to battle their way back into the tie once again, but there was no let-up from Justin Holbrook’s men, proving why they were so clear ahead as league leaders this season.
Tommy Makinson scored a drop-goal from long-range in the final minutes of the tie, putting the full-time score at 23-6.
As the final whistle went, you could still hear the Red Devils fans cheering on their team, despite missing out in the 2019 Betfred Super League Grand Final, it has still been a record-breaking season for the club and we thank you for your never-ending support.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the The Salford Stadium next season, when Ian Watson’s team takes to the field once again. Season tickets for the 2020 campaign are on sale now and can be purchased HERE.
Full-time: Salford Red Devils 6-23 St Helens
Salford tries: Bibby (31’)
Salford goals: Inu (1/1)
St Helens tries: Knowles (15’), Taia (24’), Percival (49’)
St Helens goals: Coote (5/5)
Salford Red Devils: Evalds, Sio, Welham, Bibby, Inu, Lolohea, Hastings, Mossop, Tomkins, Dudson, Jones, Griffin, McCarthy, Lussick, Flanagan, Walker, Burke.
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Ashworth, Smith.
Referee: Chris Kendall
Image Credit: Steve McCormick