21st September 2017, 22:18 | StHelens

Saints almost certainly secure semi-final spot

Saints almost certainly secure semi-final spot

Salford Red Devils 4-30 St Helens

St Helens all but secured their place in the Betfred Super League semi-finals with a 30-4 win at 12-man Salford Red Devils.

Hull FC would need at least a point against Castleford Tigers and Wigan Warriors would have to win by at least 90 points at Wakefield Trinity to deny Saints a top-four spot.

A well-worked scrum set move led to Niall Evalds cutting through to give the hosts a 4-0 lead after five minutes but they did not score another point.

Mark Percival, on his 100th Saints appearance, touched down and Alex Walmsley scored the first of his two tries before Salford had Ryan Lannon sent off for a late hit on Theo Fages.

And St Helens eventuallly took full advantage in the last 20 minutes with further tries from Zeb Taia, Walmsley and Ben Barba.

Percival added a further three goals to take his personal points tally for the evening to 14.

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: "It was a tough game, spiteful at times and a bit emotional. It was important we settled down in the second half and we finished it off well so I'm really pleased.

"I always had belief in them and now we're there, I'm very proud of the team, they're the ones that have worked really hard.

"I'll obviously now watch with interest. Castleford and Leeds have two very different styles and whoever it is they're going to be hard to beat, but I'm confident in my team."

Salford coach Ian Watson said: "I thought we had a really good dig. In the opening exchanges we were outstanding and looked a really good team. We didn't panic when we went down to 12 men and I thought the way they backed each other up typifies the spirit we've got.

"For two-thirds of the season we were outstanding. The last third was disappointing but we have learned lot from this period which will hopefully make us better."