A late Krisnan Inu try cruelly snatched victory away from a young Saints side which saw five youngsters make their debuts and 12 of the 17 come through the Academy system.
Saints led 10-6 at the break, but Inu’s last gasp try in the corner, followed by his conversion meant Salford snatched victory by 12 points to 10 at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Kristian Woolf opted to shuffle his side having played just three days earlier and Monday night’s game saw youngsters Tom Nisbet, Ben Davies and Nico Rizzelli start in the backs for their debuts, with forwards Matty Foster and Jake Wingfield impressing off the bench.
But it was an experienced Saint, Dom Peyroux, who was the catalyst to Saints red-hot start. An electric drive through the middle of the park, saw our number 12 beat off several challenges, before finding young hooker Josh Eaves to score his first Saints try after three minutes. Lewis Dodd added the extras, giving Saints an early 6-0 lead.
Dodd kicked a penalty in the 11th minute after Tyrone McCarthy had stripped the ball from Alex Walmsley, extending Saints’ lead to 8-0.
Saints were awarded another penalty seven minutes later, right in front of the sticks and Dodd made no mistake with the kick to make it 10-0.
Pauli Pauli got one back for Salford with a minute to go untill half time; Peyroux with the error which resulted in the turnover and Dodd was unable to prevent the powerful forward from going over to score. Krisnan Inu converted, narrowing the lead to 10-6 going into half time.
The second half was end to end with debutant winger Tom Nisbet going over in the corner, but he lost the ball on grounding.
Both sides exchanged sets before Inu went over with three minutes to go. Pauli Pauli offloaded, and the ball was played to Inu on the wing who powered through three Saints defenders to score. He converted from the touchline to give Salford a 12-10 victory.
It wasn’t to be for a young Saints side, but they can take a lot of pride and experience moving foward.
Salford 13: Dan Sarginson, Rhys Williams, Edward Chamberlain, Elliott Kear, Krisnan Inu, Tu’i Lolohea, Chris Atkin, Lee Mossop, Andy Ackers, Luke Yates, Tyrone McCarthy, Pauli Pauli, Greg Burke.
Interchanges: Joey Lussick, Gil Dudson, Connor Jones, Oliver Roberts.
Tries: Pauli Pauli (39), Inu (76)
Goals: Inu (2)
Saints 13: Matthew Costello, Nico Rizzelli, Josh Simm, Ben Davies, Tom Nisbet, Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Josh Eaves, Joe Batchelor, Joseph Paulo, Dominique Peyroux, James Graham.
Interchanges: Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith, Matthew Foster, Jake Wingfield.
Try: Eaves (3)
Penalties: Dodd (11, 18)
Half time: 6-10
Full Time: 12-10
Referee: Ben Thaler