St Helens record comfortable win over Salford and move to the top of the ladder

Mark Percival

It was an easy win in the end for St Helens and it continues their hot start to the Super League season as they make it three on the trot, moving into 1st position on the ladder overall.

The game was more of a romp really, as St Helens coasted home to a 38-0 win over the Salford Devils, leaving the Salford players and coach Brian Noble with some lessons to think about.

That was exactly what Noble hoped his players took out of the game, saying that the players will learn some ‘great lessons’ following the heavy defeat.

“I am disappointed but those kind of things can happen with a new team,” said Noble.

“There were some great lessons for us.

“I would be more disappointed if that was round eight, nine or 10 and we dished up something like that.

“We got caught at the start but we got back in the game and that breakaway try 10 minutes into the second half knocked the stuffing out of us.

“I suppose for us the honeymoon period is over internally. We’ve been taking small steps, we’ve been looking at different combinations and pretty much everyone has played.”

Noble knows that the key is for his players to appreciate the opportunity to play and sees areas of improvement for his side.

“It’s important we now get down to the nitty gritty of some tough practices and recognise it’s a marathon and not a sprint,” said Noble.

“There is nothing I have seen that we can’t improve on. The players are probably more disappointed than me.”

To further complicate matters for Salford, back-rower Gareth Hock left the field with what looks like a long-term ankle injury.

“It doesn’t look good,” Noble added.

“He’s going for a scan tomorrow and I’m keeping my fingers crossed but it’s looking like a six-or-seven week job.”

They may be flying high at the moment but St Helens coach Nathan Brown knows that his side cannot afford to get carried away.

“We’re obviously happy with the result,” the former Huddersfield Giants boss said. “It was tough.

“We had to work hard to get the score we did.

“I think we’re a work in progress. The guys working hard for each other but we know to catch up with Leeds and Wigan and Huddersfield and those sides, we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and improve.

“Our defence seems to be improving, we’re not perfect but the pleasing thing is that, when things go wrong, the guys are covering for each other.”

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