Saints suffer first defeat of the season

Saints suffered their first defeat of the 2024 season, as Salford beat the Red V 20-24 at the Totally Wicked Stadium...

Mark Percival prepares to take on the Red Devils. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)
Mark Percival prepares to take on the Red Devils. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

Saints dominated the opening stages, and had a great chance eight minutes in. Jack Welsby spotted space down Saints’ left edge and kicked early, the ball didn’t bounce in favour of Jon Bennison though, as it bounced into touch with just grass ahead of him.

It wasn’t much longer until Saints went ahead. After a Salford error deep in their own half, Saints went right from a scrum, Jonny Lomax finding Welsby who threw a dummy and glided through the gap to score in the corner. Mark Percival missed the kick, 4-0.

Jack Welsby opens the scoring. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)
Jack Welsby opens the scoring. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

Our lead increased 18 minutes in. Alex Walmsley found Sione Mata’utia who broke his head through a tackle and offloaded to Lewis Dodd who sped away to score in the corner. Percival’s kicked bounced out off the post, 8-0.

Salford replied 25 minutes in. After forcing a goal-line dropout, the visitors shifted it from right to left and Ryan Brierley threw a cut-out pass to Deon Cross on the wing, who was able to scramble his way over. Marc Sneyd converted, 8-6.

Five minutes before the break, Saints extended their lead.  Jonny Lomax ran across the Salford line and found Percival running a great line, who breezed through a gap to score underneath the sticks. He turned his four-pointer into six, 14-6.

Saints went down to twelve players four minutes into the second half. Salford fumbled the ball after a blatant obstruction was missed the play prior. Percival tried to make a tackle which forced the ball loose, and after initially ruling knock on, the referee got some advice and issued Saints #4 with a red card.

Mark Percival is sent off early in the second half. Image captured by Bernard Platt (@PlattyPhoto)

Saints increased their lead midway through the second half. A Salford error on their own line gifted us possession ten metres from the Salford line. A few tackle in, Saints went right as Moses Mbye found Dodd, who spotted a gap and raced through it for his second try of the evening. He added the extras as well, 20-6.

The video referee was called upon soon after. Jon Bennison was forced to deal with a high kick, which gave Salford the ball ten metres out. A few tackles in, Salford worked it right to Nene Macdonald who burrowed his way over from close range. The referee’s on-field decision of try stood. Sneyd converted, 20-12.

Salford grabbed another with eleven minutes to go. Chris Atkin found himself with the ball near the Saints line, spotted a gap and broke thorough it to score under the sticks. Sneyd converted, 20-18.

The Red Devils threatened again shortly after. A dubious penalty allowed Salford to push in the Saints half. On the last tackle it was shifted right, but Macdonald was pushed into touch by a covering Saints defence.

Salford did take the lead with five six minutes to go. On the last, they ran it, Sneyd threw a cut-out pass to Tim Lafai, who was able to offload to Cross, who scored in the corner. Sneyd converted, 20-24.

Match Summary

Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Waqa Blake, Mark Percival, Jon Bennison, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, Daryl Clark, Sione Mata’utia, Matt Whitley, Curtis Sironen, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Moses Mbye, James Bell, Jake Wingfield, George Delaney.

18th Man: Ben Davies.

Tries: Jack Welsby (12), Lewis Dodd (18, 59), Mark Percival (35)

Conversions: Mark Percival (1 from 3), Lewis Dodd (1 from 1)

Red Card: Mark Percival (44)

Salford Red Devils Team: Ryan Brierley, Chris Hankinson, Nene Macdonald, Tim Lafai, Deon Cross, Cade Cust, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Amir Bourouh, Brad Singleton, Sam Stone, Kallum Watkins, Joe Shorrocks.

Interchanges: King Vuniyayawa, Chris Atkin, Shane Wright, Ben Hellewell.

18th Man: Ethan Ryan.

Tries: Deon Cross (25, 74), Nene Macdonald (63), Chris Atkin (69)

Conversions: Marc Sneyd (4 from 4)

HT: 14-6

FT: 20-24

Attendance: 11,548

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