Saints coach Justin Holbrook wary of 'dangerous' Salford

Justin Holbrook
Justin Holbrook
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Salford seek to bridge a 39-year gap when they take on Betfred Super League leaders St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium tonight (Friday).


The Red Devils have won five times away from home so far this season, most notably at second-placed Warrington, but they have lost 34 successive fixtures on the road against Saints since gaining an 18-17 victory at Knowsley Road in January 1980.

St Helens also triumphed 26-4 at the AJ Bell Stadium in February, but coach Justin Holbrook is wary of the threat posed by Ian Watson's men.

"We know what they are capable of," Holbrook said. "They had a great, dominant win over Warrington a couple of weeks back and went over to Catalans and thumped them over there, which nobody has been able to do.

"So they are a real dangerous attacking team. They execute their plays really well. Every team run plays, but there is a difference between running plays and executing it well and Salford do run their plays really well.

"Jackson Hastings and Robert Lui in the halves are the dominant playmakers in their side and do a really good job for them."

Saints are without skipper James Roby, who rests a minor injury, while Salford will give a debut to giant forward Pauli Pauli, who has joined them on a month's loan from Wakefield.

Pauli was a tryscorer in Trinity's 33-22 win over Salford at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in March but is now hoping to make an impact for his new club.

"It's always exciting to get on the field with a new bunch of blokes and see how they play," he said.

"St Helens are a top team, so hopefully we can prove this week that we can do something.

"I just want to turn up for the boys and play. That's why I enjoy playing and that's what I'm here for."

Wales international Morgan Knowles will make his 100th appearance for Saints.

LAST 10 MEETINGS

Salford 4, St Helens 26 (SLR4, 28/2/19)

Salford 10, St Helens 60 (SLR13, 26/4/18)

St Helens 34, Salford 2 (SLR4, 4/3/18)

Salford 4, St Helens 30 (SLS8-R7, 21/9/17)

St Helens 25, Salford 24 (SLR19, 23/6/17)

Salford 22, St Helens 14 (SLR7, 30/3/17)

St Helens 34, Salford 20 (SLR14, 13/5/16)

Salford 44, St Helens 10 (SLR2, 11/2/16)

St Helens 32, Salford 12 (SLR17, 5/6/15)

Salford 6, St Helens 52 (SLR2, 12/2/15)

SUPER LEAGUE SUMMARY

St Helens won 39

Salford won 6

St Helens highest score: 66-16 (h, 2001). Widest margin: 58-4 ( a, 2000).
Salford highest score: 44-10 (h, 2016 also widest margin)

MARK Percival requires one appearance to reach 150 for his career - 142 for St Helens (2013-2019), 1 for Rochdale Hornets (2014, dual-registration), 6 for England (2016-2018)

MORGAN Knowles needs one appearance to reach 100 for St Helens - debut: York City Knights (h CC, w 46-6 2015)

ADAM Swift is two tries short of the magical ton - 86 for St Helens (2012-2019), 2 for Leigh Centurions (2019, dual-registration), 3 for Sheffield Eagles (2018, dual-registration), 4 for Rochdale Hornets (2013-2014, dual-registration), 3 for Whitehaven (2013, dual-registration).

JONNY Lomax needs three tries to reach 100 for his career (97 for St Helens, 2009-2019)