Brown - We’re still a work in progress

St Helens Luke Walsh (left) celebrates his try against Salford Red Devils, during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford.
St Helens Luke Walsh (left) celebrates his try against Salford Red Devils, during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford.
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Nathan Brown praised Saints’ stunning nilling of Salford last night but insisted his side are still a “work in progress”.

Brown’s boys never looked back after racing into a 12-0 lead inside 10 minutes thanks to tries from second rower Jon Wilkin and Luke Walsh.

Salford briefly stemmed the tide following the introduction of skipper Adrian Morley from the bench but were swept aside after the break, with promising centre Mark Percival scoring two of four second-half tries.

St Helens maintained their early-season promise with a third straight win that lifts them to the top of the table but Brown is not getting carried away.

“We’re obviously happy with the result,” he 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.”

The result was a reality-check for big-spending Salford.

“I am disappointed but those kind of things can happen with a new team,” said Reds coach Brian 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 combintions and pretty much everyone has played.

“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.

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

Salford’s misery was compounded by the loss of England forward Gareth Hock 16 minutes from the end with a foot injury.

“It doesn’t look good,” Noble said. “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.”