Yates’ verdict: A game best forgotten

Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne dives in to score a try during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium
Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne dives in to score a try during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium

Embarrassing, humiliating and best forgotten as quickly as possible.

Words which immediately bring to mind in the aftermath of Saints 44-10 mauling against the Salford Red Devils at the A.J.Bell Stadium on Thursday night.

Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne (left) celebrates scoring a try with team-mates during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium

Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne (left) celebrates scoring a try with team-mates during the First Utility Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium

Fans travelling home to St Helens must have been shaking their heads in sheer disbelief and almost stunned silence at a result which will reverberate around Super League.

No one wishes to take the gloss of a superb Salford victory.

They punished two glaring early Saints' errors and never looked back, putting their rivals from the other end of the East Lancs Road to the sword for the first time since May 15, 2010.

Keiron Cunningham's boys didn't get off the team bus, figuratively speaking, and while it would be dangerous to dismiss as “just one of those nights”, the 2014 champions look to have a great deal of hard work to do on the training pitch.

Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne (no.15) celebrates

Salford Red Devils' Adam Walne (no.15) celebrates

Neither did the head coach mince his words after the final hooter had sounded.

He said: “It was a horrible start, completely and utterly a mentality thing. We just didn't approach the game with the right mindset.

“You could smell an air of complacency about the place just before the game. I spoke to my staff about it, I was a little bit worried about it but, once they're ready to cross the line, it's a little late.

“Rugby league is about energy battles and, if you lose the energy battle, you dig yourself into a hole.

St Helens' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (centre) is tackled by Salford Red Devils' Craig Kopczak (left) and Adam Walne

St Helens' Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (centre) is tackled by Salford Red Devils' Craig Kopczak (left) and Adam Walne

“I don't want to make any excuses or take any polish off what Salford have done. They responded outstandingly to a loss the previous week at Hull FC and played the perfect game tonight.”

Salford Red Devils' Niall Evalds(second left) dives in to score

Salford Red Devils' Niall Evalds(second left) dives in to score

Salford Red Devils' Phil Joseph (left) and Mark Flanagan tackle St Helens' Atelea Vea

Salford Red Devils' Phil Joseph (left) and Mark Flanagan tackle St Helens' Atelea Vea