Salford Red Devil’s make the trip down the East Lancs on Sunday afternoon (subject to a 10am pitch inspection) to face early season pace setters St Helens. The Saints crushed last seasons league leaders Castleford in there opening fixture and have followed that up with two really solid away performances at Catalan and Huddersfield.
Salford are yet to register a win at Langtree Park: The Saints former home Knowsley Road wasn’t the happiest away trip for us either. In fact our last away victory at St Helens came in January 1980. Kevin Ashcroft came up with the drop goal that day to clinch the victory for Alex Murphy’s Salford side.
Last season’s clash was a thriller but absolute heart break for Ian Watson’s men, who outplayed the hosts for much of the game only to throw the match away in the last ten minutes. Matty Smith with the drop goal as the hooter sounded got his side out of jail 25-24.
Super league away record to St Helens.
Played – 21
Lost – 21
They played for both
Over the years there has been so much player movement between the two clubs. The town of St Helens is a real hot bed of the game with some fantastic amateur set ups including Thatto Heath, Blackbrook and Clock Face. In the Super League era Matty Smith, Jordan Turner, Lama Tasi, Tommy Lee and Theo Fages have all moved to Saints. Tasi returned after just one season at Langtree Park. Willie Talu, Tony Puletua, Francis Meli, Matty Ashurst, Andrew Dixon, Danny Arnold, Josh Jones and Anthony Stewart to name a few.
Can you name the player playing away at Saints in 2006; the player with the beard; and the Salford product in the mugshot? (Comment below)
St Helens v Salford Reds 1997 a match to remember
Salford coach Andy Gregory was left fuming after his sides unbeaten league run came to an end at Knowsley Road. Champions St Helens lead 14-12 with just ten minutes remaining when winger Anthony Sullivan spilled the ball. Salford’s mighty atom Fata Sini hacked the ball on and looked destined to score before being taken out by Vila Matautia five yards short of the try line. What looked like a certain penalty try was not given by referee Steve Presley.
Reds forward Esene Faimalo led from the front punching holes in the hosts defence all night proving a real handful. In a stirring all round team performance Cliff Eccles worked non stop along with veteran David Hulme.
Salford’s tries came from Ian Watson and Fata Sini. It was a team effort to make the supporters very proud, unfortunately the star studded Saints team just did enough to take the two points. Chris Joynt and Tommy Martyn with big performances along with scrum half maestro Bobbie Goulding.
Final score St Helens 19 Salford 12.
After last Fridays victory over Hull Kingston Rovers Salford will be looking to push St Helens all the way in what promises to be a real tough encounter.
The Saints have pace and strike players all over the park. New star signing Ben Barba has looked excellent in the early rounds of the season in both attack and defence and he’s definitely a player Salford will have to keep their eye on. It should also be a tremendous forward battle. With both sides looking strong in that department. One things for sure Salford will get tested in defence on Friday night with St Helens playing a real open brand of rugby league, they certainly like to throw the ball around and under coach Justin Holbrook they really have got their mojo back.
The action gets under way at Langtree Park at 4pm this Sunday afternoon subject to a 10 am pitch inspection, have a safe journey and enjoy the game.