Super League: St Helens 32-12 Salford Red Devils
|First Utility Super League|
|St Helens (24) 32|
|Tries: Makinson 2, Swift, Turner, McDonnell Goals: Makinson 6|
|Salford (0) 12|
|Tries: Evalds, Chase Goals: Paterson 2|
Tommy Makinson scored a haul of 20 points as St Helens returned to the top of Super League with a dominant performance in their win over Salford.
A brace from Makinson as well as scores from Adam Swift and Jordan Turner saw Saints lead 24-0 at the break.
Niall Evalds and Rangi Chase, returning from his seven-game suspension, gave the Red Devils some hope.
But a Makinson penalty and Shannon McDonnell's try secured the win for the reigning champions.
Saints won 52-6 at AJ Bell Stadium in the reverse fixture in February and they produced a similarly impressive display in the first 40 minutes.
|Super League top tryscorers|
|Joe Burgess (Wigan)||16|
|Tom Lineham (Hull FC)||15|
|Tommy Makinson (St Helens)||13|
|Dom Manfredi (Wigan)||12|
|Jordan Turner (St Helens)||12|
|Kieran Dixon (Hull KR)||12|
James Roby's dart put in Makinson for his first, before McDonnell ran back a kick from deep and, after running most of the field, fed Swift to cross.
The hosts created a two-on-one after clever footwork by Jon Wilkin to put Tuner in, and Makinson, who kicked all six of his goals on the night, did brilliantly to finish from another McDonnell offload.
Iestyn Harris' side got on the score sheet at the start of the second half when full-back Evalds reached Chase's kick first, before the England stand-off Chase touched down himself.
Any hopes of a comeback where halted when Makinson kicked a penalty and then Australian McDonnell got his deserved score.
St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham:
"I expected what they threw at us and that is the strongest Salford team I've seen in two or three months. Rangi Chase was very influential and troubled us all night.
"With the amount of possession Salford had, even though my team was a bit dumb at times, you have to tilt your cap at how resilient we were defensively.
"To come out and win with 32 points I am very happy with the result, I would have taken that before the game, but it was a very costly one for us. You lose James Roby and then Josh Jones at half time, we ended up losing four at the end, and it hurts you.
"But I am telling you this tale on the back of a victory rather than a loss so I am quite happy."
Salford head coach Iestyn Harris told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I think what it reflected is how clinical Saints were and the missed opportunities that we had.
"We created a lot of opportunities against one of the best sides in the competition.
"If we perform as we did tonight we're going to be difficult to play against - we've just got to pick up on those lapses in concentration defensively."
St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Percival, Turner, Swift; Burns, Wilkin; Amor, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flanagan, Jones.
Replacements: Masoe, Thompson, Richards, Savelio.
Salford: Evalds; Jones-Bishop, Sa'u, Caton-Brown, Johnson; Chase, Fages; Morley, Hood, Taylor, Hauraki, Paterson, G Griffin.
Replacements: Hansen, D Griffin, Walne, L Tomkins.
Referee: B Thaler (RFL)