|St Helens (13) 29|
|Tries: Makinson, Grace, Percival, Naiqama, Walmsley Goals: Makinson 4 Drop objectives: Welsby|
|Salford (0) 6|
|Tries: Sio Goals: Inu|
Champions St Helens launched the 2021 Super League season within the Covid-free bubble of Emerald Headingley with a stable victory over Salford Red Devils.
In the primary of six behind-closed-doors video games over the opening weekend in Leeds, Saints scored inside two minutes by Tommy Makinson.
Regan Grace and Mark Percival crossed both aspect of Ken Sio’s attempt for Salford.
Late tries for Kevin Naiqama and Alex Walmsley added gloss to the rating.
Grand Final hero Jack Welsby additionally dropped a objective, a pleasant option to bookend the notorious ‘drop-goal ricochet’ attempt with which he wrapped up the 2020 season in Hull nearly 4 months in the past, to climax Saints’ last-gasp win over Wigan.
Saints had been weakened by the absence of Lachlan Coote, forcing the adaptable Welsby’s change to full-back – and victory got here at the price of a late first-half damage to certainly one of their pre-season signings Agnatius Pa’asi, who got here off the more severe from a collision with Salford’s Pauli Pauli.
But they had been in entrance early when proper winger Makinson caught Theo Fages’ off-balance kick and scored by the nook flag.
After a Makinson penalty, so as to add to the conversion of his personal attempt, Saints had two tries disallowed earlier than Grace went in on the left nook, regardless of the suggestion that this one ought to have been chalked off too as Percival had ripped the ball off Kallum Watkins.
Sio’s attempt within the nook gave former Saints quantity two Richard Marshall’s Salford hope in his first sport in cost, particularly when Krisnan Inu’s conversion introduced them to inside seven factors at 13-6.
But fit-again centre Percival marked his return by latching on to a different Fages kick – for his first attempt since 2019 – and Naiqama turned the ultimate member of the Saints four-man again line to cross earlier than rampaging ahead Walmlsey accomplished the scoring.
Following the elongated 2020 marketing campaign which culminated in November, Covid-19 guidelines nonetheless apply for 2021. And the Saints-Salford sport at Headingley was the primary of two matches to kick off the season behind locked doorways, adopted by Leigh’s assembly with final 12 months’s Grand Final runners-up Wigan.
St Helens coach Kristian Woolf:
“It was a good game of footy. Both teams came out with good intensity and we did a good job coming through A lot of things didn’t go our way in the first half but we didn’t allow that to frustrate us.
“Agnatius Pa’asi is okay. He’s recovered very well. He was actually good the time he was on the sphere. He confirmed what kind of affect he’ll have for us.
“Mark Percival had a little bit of a twinge. We don’t think it’s anything serious but obviously with his history we needed to be smart.
“Lachlan may have performed however he is had a few niggles and we simply did not suppose it was a sensible transfer to play him. He must be accessible to play subsequent week.”
Salford boss Richard Marshall:
“It’s a troublesome one. There had been moments we had been actually happy about. At instances our defence was actually good and we had that Salford never-say-die angle.
“They had a couple of late scores which didn’t reflect our true efforts. There were a few individual errors which cost us as well. And we didn’t capitalise on our try.
“The sport was within the steadiness at that time and, if we had been a bit extra resilient with the ball and extra disciplined, it might need been totally different.
“It’s a new team and we were a bit rusty. It will take time for us to gel. Losing to St Helens won’t define our season.”
St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Fages, Lomax; Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Thompson, Bentley, Mata’utia.
Interchange: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Paasi, Smith.
Salford: Sarginson, Sio, Watkins, Kear,Inu, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Addy, Ikahihifo, Livett, Lannon, Taylor.
Interchange: Pauli, Ormanroyd, Wells, Patton.
Referee: Liam Moore.