Saints beat Salford on Roby’s historic day

St Helens beat Salford 26-12, on the day that James Roby made his historic 532nd appearance for the club!

Saints had an early spell of dominance on the Salford line. In the second minute, a Jack Welsby kick on the last was scooped up by Ryan Brierley on his own line. A couple of minutes later, on the last again, Welsby threw a pass to the returning Curtis Sironen who was tackled by the Red Devils short of the line.

Salford took the lead five minutes in. King Vuniyayawa broke through the middle of the Saints pack and found reigning Steve Prescott Man of Steel, Brodie Croft on his inside who just about made it to the posts from distance as Saints scrambled back to try and tackle him. After a video referee review, the four points were awarded. Marc Sneyd added the extras, 0-6 Salford led.

The Red V thought they were back in it 12 minutes in. Alex Walmsley threw a good offload to Lewis Dodd, he found Curtis Sironen who found Ben Davies and finally Tee Ritson, he dove acrobatically for the corner but the ball was deemed to have gone into touch as he went to ground it. Despite the on-field call of try, the video referee said no, 0-6 it stayed.

The visitors then extended their lead. A move down the short-side on their right edge saw Kallum Watkins break and find a supporting Ryan Brierley on his inside who strolled over under the sticks. Sneyd added another two in front of the sticks, 0-12.

Salford went close again midway through the first period as Croft threw a cut-out pass to Rhys Williams on the right wing, Ritson dragging the Salford winger into touch, however the referee had already brought it back for a forward pass.

Saints responded eight minutes before the break. Off the back of a great break by history maker, James Roby. Sironen ran towards the sticks and was about to be held short but found a great offload to the supporting James Bell who dove over from close range. Tommy Makinson added the two, 6-12 Saints trailed.

That was the final notable action of the first 40, as Saints trailed Salford 6-12 as they headed into the break at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Saints had lost forward Walmsley to a HIA just before the break, however the powerful prop was cleared to return to the action ahead of the second half.

The lead was narrowed just three minutes into the second half. Salford dropped the ball in their own half giving Saints great field position and off the back of it, Jonny Lomax found Sironen close to the line and he reached out to score. Makinson missed the kick, 10-12 Saints trailed. Shortly after, Saints lost Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook to a HIA, he later returned to the field.

Another followed quickly. Salford decided to throw the ball around on their own line and fumbled it, Lomax picked up the loose ball on the line to put the hosts into the lead. Makinson added the two, 16-12 Saints led.

Saints added a third in the first ten of the second half minutes later. Walmsley went for a run in Salford territory and was able to find an offload to Will Hopoate who found Makinson on the wing to dive over acrobatically in the corner. Makinson converted his own try, 22-12.

Saints had their fifth try in the 54th minute. Following back to back set restarts, which included Chris Atkin being given a green card, Joe Batchelor collected a short pass from Lomax and broke a tackle to dive over. Makinson was unable to convert, 26-12.

Salford went close to reducing the deficit with 17 minutes to go, however a great last-ditch tackle from Makinson put Joe Burgess into touch as he closed in on the try-line.

There were a lack of opportunities afterwards, as Saints beat Salford 26-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium with a much improved second half performance, as club captain, James Roby made his historic 532nd club appearance, overtaking the record set by Kel Coslett.

Match Summary

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Ben Davies, Tee Ritson, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Curtis Sironen, Joe Batchelor, James Bell.

Interchanges: Jon Bennison, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney.

18th Man: Sam Royle.

Tries: James Bell (32), Curtis Sironen (43), Jonny Lomax (47), Tommy Makinson (50), Joe Batchelor (54)

Conversions: Tommy Makinson (3 from 5)

Salford Red Devils Team: Ryan Brierley, Rhys Williams, Matt Costello, Deon Cross, Joe Burgess, Brodie Croft, Marc Sneyd, Tyler Dupree, Andy Ackers, King Vuniyayawa, Kallum Watkins, Sam Stone, Oliver Partington.

Interchanges: Chris Atkin, Shane Wright, Alex Gerrard, Ellis Longstaff.

18th Man: Jack Ormondroyd.

Tries: Brodie Croft (5), Ryan Brierley (17)

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (2 from 2)

HT: 6-12

FT: 26-12

Attendance: 11,881

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