Saints edge Salford to earn hard fought two points

Saints remain top of the Betfred Super League table, thanks in part to a heroic tackle by Morgan Knowles, as they edged out Salford 14-10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.

Salford had the first chance of the game as they broke through the heart of the hosts after Saints missed a tackle, Will Hopoate stood firm though to make the tackle as the last man. Saints then lost a man as Jack Welsby was sin binned in the fifth minute for kicking the ball away after it went dead in-goal.

Salford took the lead almost midway through the first half as they threw the ball from left to right and Morgan Escare used his pace to exploit a gap and score to the right of the sticks. Chris Atkin converted, 6-0.

Saints responded and the ball went through the hands as Morgan Knowles found Jonny Lomax, he then found Welsby and he offloaded in a tackle to Ben Davies who scored his first Saints try. Tommy Makinson missed the conversio, 6-4 Saints trailed. That was the last we would see from Lomax as he left the field, holding his wrist.

Saints then had the lead for the first time in the game, Joey Lussick, who came on for the injured Lomax, with a grubber kick which the visitors were unable to deal with, Welsby reacting quickest to simply put the ball down. Makinson converted, 10-4 we lead.

Salford had the chance to add two points as the hooter went as Saints were penalised for a high tackle. Salford opted to go for two from just inside the Saints half, but Atkin’s kick dropped short so Saints led 10-6 at the break.

Salford opened the scoring iin the 59th minute. After referee Chris Kendall awarded a six again they worked the ball left and former Saint Matty Costello went over in the corner. Atkin missed the conversion so the scores were level at 10-10.

Both sides were then reduced to twelve men for ten minutes as Mark Percival and Amir Bourouh were both shown yellow cards following a coming together after Percival was penalised for a high tackle.

Saints then had the chance to take the lead with 12 minutes to go after Salford were penalised high in the midfield, Makinson nailed the penalty from 38 yards to give us a 12-10 lead.

Makinson had another chance to add two more with just over seven minutes to go as Salford once again were penalised for a high tackle, he made no mistake to extend the Saints lead to 14-10.

In the final minute, Chris Atkin stole a Welsby pass and ran the length of the field only to be chased down by Morgan Knowles who made a last gasp tackle to ensure Saints ended the evening on top. Welsby was sent to the sin bin again for pushing Costello in back-play, but it meant Kristian Woolf’s men held on for a hard fought win.

Match Summary

Saints Team:Β Will Hopoate, Tommy Makinson, Ben Davies, Mark Percival, Josh Simm, Jack Welsby, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sam Royle, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges:Β Sione Mata’utia, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Agnatius Paasi.

Tries:Β Ben Davies (24), Jack Welsby (27)

Conversions:Β Tommy Makinson (1 from 2)

Penalties:Β Tommy Makinson (2 from 2)

Sin Bin:Β Jack Welsby (5, 79), Mark Percival (64)

Salford Red Devils Team:Β Morgan Escare, Ken Sio, Deon Cross, Matty Costello, Rhys Williams, Brodie Croft, Chris Atkin, Josh Johnson, Amir Bourouh, Jack Ormondroyd, Danny Addy, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Lannon.

Interchanges:Β Andy Ackers, Sitaleki Akauola, Alex Gerrard, King Vuniyayawa.

Tries:Β Morgan Escare (17), Matty Costello (59)

Conversions:Β Chris Atkin (1 from 2)

Penalties:Β Chris Atkin (0 from 1)

Sin Bin:Β Amir Bourouh (64)

HT:Β 10-6

FT:Β 14-10

Attendance:Β 10,988

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