After five years without an appearance at the Theatre of Dreams, Saints won their sixth Grand Final at Old Trafford by beating the Salford Red Devils 23-6!
Saints started the better, forcing an error in the first set of the game, Salford not getting out of their own half for the first six minutes. A ninth minute penalty for a tackle in the air gave Salford their best chance to make decent ground into the Saints’ half but a Jackson Hastings knock on gave the redvee the ball back.
Saints early pressure told as we the lead in the 15th minute. A great cross-field break from Tommy Makinson saw us get over halfway, Luke Thompson nearly breaking through a few tackles before James Roby picked the ball up, found Alex Walmsley and our number eight passed to Morgan Knowles, who dived over to give us the early lead. Lachlan Coote added the extras for 6-0.
Regan Grace made a big break up field six minutes later, but was eventually stopped by the Red Devils defence. Saints were camped on the Salford line, but Jonny Lomax was tackled on the last and the Red Devils survived.
But Saints weren’t made to wait much longer for our second score as a high kick to the left corner by Coote forced a knock-on from Ken Sio. On the first tackle, Roby came away with the ball and passed on his inside to Zeb Taia who powered his way over. The video referee took a look, but the try was given. Coote added the extras to make it 12-0.
Salford thought they were back in it 13 minutes before the break but Tui Lolohea’s effort was chalked off for obstruction. They did go over in the 31st minute though as Hastings found Jake Bibby and he threw a dummy to score in the left corner. Krisnan Inu’s left touchline conversion made it 12-6 and that is how it stayed until the break.
Saints extended their lead in the 50th minute, a great kick and chase by Mark Percival and he scored underneath the sticks. Coote maintained his 100% record with the boot to make it 18-6. Luke Thompson was then caught high in the 59th minute in front of the sticks, Coote once again added the extra two, which made it 20-6.
Alex Walmsley also went close in the 67th minute, but he was halted just short of the line on the last. 10 minutes from time, Coote added another penalty for the redvee as we inched towards another Super League title.
Super League’s top try scorer Tommy Makinson then added a one pointer in the last minute from 40 metres out to add the icing on the cake, as we won 23-6 on our return to Old Trafford to be crowned champions for the sixth time!
Saints 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Dominique Peyroux, Zeb Taia, Morgan Knowles
Interchanges: Louie MaCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith
Tries: Morgan Knowles (15), Zeb Taia (24), Mark Percival (50)
Goals: Lachlan Coote (3 from 3)
Penalties: Lachlan Coote (2 from 2)
Drop goal: Tommy Makinson
Salford 13: Niall Evalds, Ken Sio, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings, Lee Mossop, Logan Tomkins, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Tyrone McCarthy
Interchanges: Joey Lussick, Mark Flanagan, Adam Walker, Greg Burke
Tries: Jake Bibby (31)
Goals: Krisnan Inu (1 from 1)