|Salford (10) 26|
|Tries: Sio 2, Costello, Atkin, Robson Goals: Atkin 2, Inu|
|St Helens (14) 14|
|Tries: Bennison, Lomax Goals: Martyn 3|
Salford Red Devils signed off their disappointing Super League campaign with victory over a youthful St Helens.
Debutant Jon Bennison and Jonny Lomax tries gave Saints a flying start, but Ken Sio and ex-Saint Matt Costello pulled it back to 14-10 at the break.
The home side took control in the second period, with Chris Atkin and Ellis Robson tries turning the score.
Sio’s second took the game away from Saints, who have a week off before their play-off semi-final.
With their second place assured, Saints opted to blood some young talent such as Bennison and Shay Martin – son of Saints favourite Tommy – and got their early rewards with some points on the board.
However, Salford looked keen to make an impact in front of their fans for the last time, and there was a welcome double for Ken Sio as part of that, with him taking out the top tryscorers award with 19.
While the loss is a disappointment for Kristian Woolf and Saints, they have a week to regroup and refresh before discovering their opponents in the Super League semi-finals – with the aim of a third straight title still available.
Salford boss Richard Marshall:
“The game probably summed up our season. In the first half we made far too many errors. Saints had a few young players out there tonight but Jonny Lomax was pivotal.
“I thought we blew them away in the second half and created a lot of opportunities while we defended well. We were able to limit their attacking opportunities.
“Everything we did tonight was for our supporters. We went after St Helens and took our opportunities. It was a pretty impressive performance. We were only playing for pride and I thought we were really professional.
“To keep a team like Saints scoreless for the second half was really pleasing.”
Salford: Escare; Sio, Costello, Sarginson, Williams; Lolohea, Atkin; Ormondroyd, Ackers, Johnson, Roberts, Robson, Taylor.Interchanges: Ikahihifo, Burke, Aspey, Inu.
St Helens: Bennison; Martyn, Simm, Davies, Grace; Lomax, Dodd; Amor, Smith, Lees, Thompson, Royle, Wingfield.
Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Welsby, Eaves, Norman.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths (RFL)