Saints coach Justin Holbrook's reaction to last gasp win over Salford

Tommy Makinson claims a crucial try against Salford. Picture: SWPix
Tommy Makinson claims a crucial try against Salford. Picture: SWPix

St Helens boss Justin Holbrook hailed his side's character after they fought back from 30-16 down to snatch a 32-20 victory in the last minute against determined Salford at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

James Bentley got the decisive try with just a minute of the game remaining tolevel the scores and a conversion from Lachlan Coote sealed a 32-20 victory for the Betfred Super League leaders.

Salford had led 30-16 with only 15 minutes remaining, but Saints - a team famed for their abilty to come back from seemingly impossible situations - scored late tries through Coote, Tommy Makinson and Bentley.

Holbrook said: "I am happy to win that one. What an entertaining game of rugby league. Massive credit to the players to storm back in the way they did.

"We started well, but we knew if we gave Salford any opportunities they would take them and scored some good tries.

"The good thing is that we stayed calm and you have got to win all different ways during the year. We will learn a lot from this, but to get the two points was massive after being in a really tough spot."

It was heartbreaking for Salford, who have not won in St Helens since 1980, and for much of this game they seemed on course to end that jinx.

Ian Watson's side had themselves battled back from 16-0 down to lead 18-16 with 11 minutes of the first half remaining.

The Salford coach said: "That's a tough one to take. To come from 16-0 down and show that determination and desire and get into a really good position at Saints is a tough one.

"The big thing I'm pleased about is the work the boys put in. If they can do that every week, they can compete with the top teams.

"When we have done the right things in games and kept to processes we have beaten teams. Hopefully a performance like that will give those players that belief in themselves.

"Saints turned the heat up when they got a sniff and we gave away penalties and too much possession."