St Helens swept aside a poor defensive unit of Salford Red Devils for a comprehensive 52-6 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium to record their second victory in as many games.
Centre Mark Percival scored two tries and kick six conversions from ten attempts as Kieron Cunningham’s side romped to the two points against a hapless Salford defence.
Percival opened the scoring in the 11th minute when following a good break from Adam Swift, the ball was then recycled to the right side for Percival to score.
Jordan Turner then doubled the lead for St Helens crossing in the opposite corner after a good dummy from make-shift scrum-half Jonny Lomax. Travis Burns missed the first conversion and Percival followed suit with the second attempt.
It could well be described as a hellish performance from the Devils who were guilty of poor indiscipline all night and that cost them as they gave away a needless penalty for interference giving the Saints field position.
A good James Roby dummy created a gap for Joe Greenwood to run through the said gap to make it 14-0 after just 21 minutes.
On the half hour mark Salford got themselves onto the scoreboard when Ben Jones-Bishop cut through the visitors defence with a 70-metre run after collecting a Tommy Makinson kick, that was his third try in two games.
Five minutes before the break Gareth Hock fumbled a high Wilkins kick giving Saints head-and-feed at the scrum. Substitute forward Luke Thompson crossed for their fourth try and a comfortable 20-6 half-time lead.
The second half got much worse for the hosts. Just four minutes into the period when Makinson produced a trademark finish in the corner following a handling error from Jones-Bishop.
Salford were trying to reduce the arrears but hooker Theo Fages was twice held up on the Saints try line showing the champions steel in the backs. Then the floodgates pretty much opened up.
Saints scored five tries in a devastating 36 minute spell which saw Percival get his second along with Greenwood. Sandwiched in between those tries saw Gareth Hock sent to the sin-bin for his second late challenge, this time on Mose Masoe.
Turner got his name on the scoresheet when he stretched out and just managed to get downward pressure on the ball on the line. The last play saw Andre Savelio get his second try in as many games after Saints kept the ball alive on the fifth tackle.
A simple victory for a St Helens team that looked to strong for a weak defensive unit at Salford. The visitors have set an early mark with the high standards this season and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone can match them this weekend.
Iestyn Harris has work to do to strength his defence and stop it from leaking as many tries as they did tonight, albeit against formidable opposition.
St Helens attentions turn to next Sunday’s World Club Challenge match against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Langtree Park while Salford have the weekend off to recover them this mauling.