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Barba Grabs Hat-Trick As Saints Rout Salford

Saints produced one of their most complete displays of the season to beat Salford 60-10 on Thursday night.

After running in 12 tries against Huddersfield last week, 11 followed at the AJ Bell Stadium as Justin Holbrook’s side put the Devils to the sword.

Ben Barba was at his imperious best with a hat-trick, whilst Regan Grace and Ryan Morgan both scored braces in the rout.

And 32 of the points came when they were down to 12 men too as Matty Lees was sent off just before the end of the first half.

His tackle on Niall Evalds earning him a red card.

Unsurprisingly the first half was all Saints and the brilliant attacking display began in the first five minutes.

After forcing an error, Matty Smith, deputising once more for the injured James Roby, fed Danny Richardson and he linked up with Barba to send Tommy Makinson in.

Ten minutes later, Makinson turned provider as he out-jumped Greg Johnson to collect Richardson’s high kick and offloaded to the supporting Dom Peyroux.

At 10-0 Saints were already turning the screw and it got much better as from the restart they scored again.

This time combination of Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival sent Grace away down the left hand side.

Buoyed by his scintillating try against the Giants the week before, the youngster then stepped inside his opposite number to put Barba under the black dot for his 13th of the year.

Shortly afterwards, Barba was putting Ryan Morgan over for his first of the night.

Salford hit back through Tyrone McCarthy for 22-6 but the quick thinking of Barba stopped any chance of another which would have made it game on.

With the Devils camped on Saints’ line, he read the mind of Josh Wood, picked off his offload and went the length of the field.

Saints were now well in charge but any thoughts of cruising home with the points took a hammer blow when Matty Lees was sent off two minutes before half time.

Salford’s Niall Evalds had cleaned up a bouncing ball but with player ‘un-tackled’, Lees flew in, struck the full back, and forced the ball loose.

Saints duly touched it down but it was chalked off for that hit, and Lees was sent off.

Holbrook’s men didn’t hang around to lick their wounds though and after forcing another error, Richardson, Lomax and Percival interplayed to send Grace spectacularly over in the corner.

Saints 32-6 to the good at half time.

Holbrook knew the Devils would come at his side in the second half, looking to exploit the inevitable gaps with a man advantage.

And they almost did that early on as back to back penalties put them right on the visitor’s line.

But Saints weathered the pressure, went up the other end of the field and scored.

A towering bomb was knocked-on by young Jake Shorrocks and from the resultant set, Barba hit Grace for his second of the evening.

And it got better as from the restart, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook went 45 metres and within the blink of an eye, Lomax had found Mark Percival for another try.

Ben Barba then notched up his hat-trick as he took Richardson’s cute grubber.

Parity in numbers, for 10 minutes at least, came as Junior Sa’u saw yellow for a late flop on Ryan Morgan.

Saints should have gone further ahead too but Peyroux’s pass to Richardson was forward.

The game was then halted for a significant period as Barba was stretchered off with a neck injury – but Saints regrouped and scored twice in three minutes.

Theo Fages produced a bit of magic on 75 minutes before Makinson’s chip over the top saw Ryan Morgan collect for his second.

Kris Welham crossed at the end for the Devils but it always was Saints night.

Match Summary:

Devils:
Tries: McCarthy, Welham
Goals: Shorrocks (1 from 2)

Saints:
Tries: Makinson, Peyroux, Barba (3), Morgan (2), Grace (2), Percival, Fages
Goals: Richardson (8 from 11)

Penalties Awarded:
Devils: 8
Saints: 6

HT: 6-32
FT: 10-60

REF: C Kendall

ATT: TBC

Teams:

Devils:
5. Niall Evalds; 2. Greg Johnson, 4. Junior Sa’u, 3. Kris Welham, 24. Jake Bibby; 28. Jake Shorrocks, 7. Jack Littlejohn; 23. Lee Mossop, 9. Logan Tomkins, 16. Luke Burgess, 10. George Griffin, 15. Ryan Lannon, 13. Mark Flanagan.
Subs: 8. Craig Kopczak, 14. Lama Tasi, 17. Tyrone McCarthy, 19. Josh Wood.

Saints:
23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 7. Matty Smith, 16. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 17. Dom Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 20. Matty Lees.

RD13: Salford v Saints

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