Report: Saints book Grand Final ticket with Salford victory!

Saints will be heading to Old Trafford with a chance to make history and be the first side to win four in a row after defeating Salford Red Devils 19-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday.

A minute’s silence and the national anthem was sung pre-match and both were impeccably observed as we all paid our respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

Saints dominated the opening stages, forcing a drop out for the visitors but were unable to grab an early score, Morgan Knowles going closest but he was unable to collect a Jack Welsby pass under the sticks. A few minutes later the video referee was called upon after Jonny Lomax’s kick was grounded by Joe Batchelor. The ball was grounded on the line behind the sticks though, so the try wasn’t awarded and it remained 0-0.

The first try came shortly after though. Once again it was Lomax who put a kick through on the last tackle and Batchelor again won the race to score to the right of the sticks. Tommy Makinson converted, 6-0.

That lead was quickly doubled four minutes later. Once again Lomax got the ball on the Red Devils’ line and he threw a short pass to Batchelor to spin over from close range. Makinson nailed the conversion again, 12-0.

Knowles was then sent to the sin bin after twisting a Salford players’ arm. From the restart Salford crashed over through Kallum Watkins after he broke a Saints tackle. Marc Sneyd converted, 12-6.

Batchelor went over again shortly after, but the referee judged that he had knocked the ball on over the try-line. Minutes later Saints were awarded a penalty about 45 metres to the sticks, Makinson stepped up but missed it to the right.

With the final play of the first half, Saints had the ball 30 metres out and James Roby found Lomax who slotted over a one-pointer to give us a 13-6 lead at the break.

Saints dominated the opening stages of the second half, just as they had the first. Lomax forced a knock on in Salford territory, off the back of that we then forced a dropout and then got the ball back again after another Red Devils knock on. With their last set camped on the Salford line, Matty Lees was penalised for double movement with the try-line just inches away.

Against the run of play, Salford replied on the hour. Joe Burgess made a break down their left wing and found the supporting Brierley on his inside and he sprinted away to score under the sticks. Sneyd converted, 13-12 Saints led.

Saints responded well and grabbed the crucial third try with just over ten minutes to go. Lomax with another kick through and as it looked like it was going dead, Jon Bennison raced out of nowhere to touch down! The try was awarded after a video referee review. Makinson converted to make it a two-score game, 19-12.

With just over five minutes to go Makinson was sent to the sin bin for pulling Tim Lafai back as he looked to score in the corner.

That was to be the final action of the game, as Saints booked their ticket to the Grand Final for the fourth year in a row!

Match Summary

Saints Team:Β Jon Bennison, Tommy Makinson, Konrad Hurrell, Sione Mata’utia, Mark Percival, Jack Welsby, Jonny Lomax, Agnatius Paasi, James Roby, Matty Lees, Curtis Sironen, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges:Β Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, James Bell, Jake Wingfield.

Tries:Β Joe Batchelor (13, 17), Jon Bennison (69)

Conversions:Β Tommy Makinson (3 from 3)

Penalties:Β Tommy Makinson (0 from 1)

Drop Goal:Β Jonny Lomax (40)

Sin Bin:Β Morgan Knowles (24), Tommy Makinson (74)

Salford Red Devils Team:Β Ryan Brierley, Ken Sio, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Joe Burgess, Chris Atkin, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Andy Ackers, King Vuniyayawa, Shane Wright, Kallum Watkins, Elijah Taylor.

Interchanges:Β Amir Bourouh, Tyler Dupree, Alex Gerrard, Sam Luckley.

Tries:Β Kallum Watkins (24), Ryan Brierley (60)

Conversions:Β Marc Sneyd (2 from 2)

HT:Β 13-6

FT:Β 19-12

Attendance: 12357

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