Saints 32 Salford 12

Saints Luke Thompson is tacked by Salford Red Devils' Jordan Walne (left) and Weller Hauraki (right), during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park
Saints Luke Thompson is tacked by Salford Red Devils' Jordan Walne (left) and Weller Hauraki (right), during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park
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Saints moved to the top of the Super League with a 32-12 win over Salford that was tougher than the scoreline suggested.

After the champions took a 24-0 lead at the break, Salford rallied with a quick brace at the start of the second half when they monopolised the ball.

Tommy Makinson goes over for a try against Salford Red Devils, during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park

Tommy Makinson goes over for a try against Salford Red Devils, during the First Utility Super League match at Langtree Park

But a try from full back Shannon McDonnell killed off the Red Devils resistance and Saints closed out the game.

Salford made a promising start and were first to threaten the line, but Weller Hauraki was held up by the defence.

It took Saints 12 minutes to open their account but when the try came it was a fine one, with James Roby bursting through before finding Tommy Makinson on his inside.

The Saints wing did the rest, dashing home through the last 40 metres for his first of the night.

Saints then suffered the loss of Roby, who was led off by the club doctor, but with Mark Flanagan slotting into dummy half and the pack getting well on top they began to take control.

It took a spectacular try to double their account, with McDonnell going the length of the field on a twisting, turning run before slipping the ball wide for Adam Swift to polish off in the corner.

It was all Saints by this stage and good hands resulted in Jon Wilkin firing a pass left for Jordan Turner to straighten on to and score.

A 40/20 from Theo Fages put the Red Devils back on the attack, but Saints held firm with Mark Percival’s perfectly executed try on Junior Sau bundling the centre into touch.

A minute before the half-time hooter sounded, Saints were back again with short inter-passing from Flanagan and Percival sending Makinson in for his second.

Makinson slotted home his fourth goal to make it 24-0 at the break.

But the Red Devils rocked Saints with a blistering start to the second half with two quick tries.

First full-back Niall Evalds chased a clever kick through the posts to touch down and then, on 51 minutes, Rangi Chase, playing his first game back after missing seven matches through suspension, supported well on the inside after some strong work from the Red Devils forwards and just about had enough in him to stretch over.

Suddenly it was all Salford, who monopolised the ball with a succession of repeat sets before an handling error and then a penalty pricked the bubble of pressure.

Saints were awarded another penalty in front of the posts, which Makinson goaled to restore a three-score lead going into the last quarter.

And the next score killed it, with Saints prop Andre Savelio punching a hole in the defence, with the supporting McDonnell dashing over for a converted try.