Super League: Salford Red Devils 22-14 St Helens

Michael Dobson
Former Wigan and Hull KR stand-off Michael Dobson joined Salford from Newcastle Knights in 2015
Super League
Salford (8) 22
Tries: Kopczak, Dobson 2 Goals: Dobson 4, O'Brien
St Helens (0) 14
Tries: Walmsley, Morgan, Lomax Goal: Percival

Salford Red Devils continued their impressive start to the season with a tight win over St Helens to move temporarily joint top of Super League.

Michael Dobson kicked the first points with a penalty after 22 minutes for the hosts, and Craig Kopczak crossed for a 8-0 lead at the break.

Dobson added a second try for the Red Devils but Alex Walmsley and Ryan Morgan responded for Saints.

Despite Jonny Lomax's score, half-back Dobson's second try sealed the win.

The Red Devils have won four of their past five games and move up to third after eight matches, while Saints are sixth.

Keiron Cunningham's side lost former Salford stand-off Theo Fages in the first two minutes of the game, disrupting their rhythm in the first half.

Wales captain Kopczak crossed for the opening try of the game days after agreeing a new contract - but it was an impressive defensive display that helped secure two points.

Salford head coach Ian Watson told BBC Radio Manchester:

"I thought it was a great performance and the first-half was exactly how we wanted to play.

"Everything we've spoken about they have taken out there.

"If the defence is good you can attack and play some football, and your attitude has to be right.

"We set about this season where we wanted to let people know what we're about that we're a good team, and we're doing that now."

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham:

"In the opening 20 to 25 minutes we weren't great but credit goes to the players for hanging in there.

"Salford are a good side and they played some good stuff. Their structures are good and the boys seem like they enjoy doing what they are doing.

"The game could easily have gone either way. We were a little bit panicky and came up with errors which hurt us in the end.

"We let ourselves down in the opening gambit. In these tight games you've got to start from minute one."

Salford Red Devils: O'Brien; Johnson, Welham, Jones, J Carney; Lui, Dobson; Tasi, Tomkins, Mossop, Griffin, Murdoch-Masila, Flanagan.

Replacements: Kopczak, Walne, Brinning, T Carney.

St Helens: Lomax; Owens, Morgan, Percival, Makinson; Fages, Smith; Walmsley, Roby, Douglas, Taia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wilkin.

Replacements: Amor, Walker, Lee, Peyroux.

Referee: James Child.

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