Rugby League - Saints pummel sorry Salford, Castleford beat Hull

St Helens ran in seven second-half tries to condemn bottom side Salford to a 52-10 defeat.

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Rugby League - Saints pummel sorry Salford, Castleford beat Hull
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Jordan Turner scores the opening try

The City Reds showed genuine signs of improvement early on and trailed only 14-10 soon after the break, but the floodgates then opened again in familiar fashion.

Centre Jordan Turner grabbed two tries against his old club while Francis Meli - linked with a move to the Reds - also claimed a double at the Salford City Stadium. Gareth O'Brien added to the home side's humiliation by kicking eight goals from 10 attempts.

It was some time before Saints pieced together anything meaningful and even then Turner knocked on with the line at his mercy. He made no such mistake to ensure the visitors finally broke through after 17 minutes, finishing simply after Jonny Lomax had broken the line and passed inside to veteran Paul Wellens.

Saints followed up with a second try just three minutes later as Willie Manu barged through some weak tackling to touch down. Salford fans may have feared the worst at that point but their side responded as Gaskell pushed forward and former Saints star Martin Gleeson showed his enduring class to dummy and cross.

The Reds then held firm until the stroke of half-time when Gareth O'Brien added a penalty to his two earlier conversions. Salford cut into that lead further after the restart as Sneyd spread the play and Gaskell set up Jodie Broughton out wide with a long pass.

The hosts could not maintain that momentum and were stunned as Saints upped a gear and hit them with four tries in a blistering nine-minute spell.

Wellens, linked with a move to Salford next season, slipped through a weak tackle from Adam Walne to mark his 450th Saints appearance with a try under the posts. Lomax got lucky as his kick rebounded kindly off a defender but the Reds failed to react as he regathered and sprinted through.

Saints then cut Salford open down the right to set up a second for Turner and Anthony Laffranchi burrowed over from close range soon after. Salford briefly stemmed the tide but Lomax put Meli over for another in the corner and O'Brien curled a touchline conversion over off the post.

It all seemed too easy for Saints as Meli was given time to flop over for his second and Josh Jones gathered a loose ball to bring up the half-century late on. O'Brien's final goal took Salford's points against tally in their last three games to 166.

Castleford winger James Clare scored a dramatic length-of-the-field try 11 minutes from the end of a pulsating Super League game to give Daryl Powell a notable 30-28 victory over Hull FC in his first home match as head coach.

The Tigers twice came from behind to secure a third consecutive home win and leave Hull centre Ben Crooks on the losing side despite scoring four tries. Hull actually outscored their hosts by six tries to five but Daniel Holdsworth missed four conversion attempts, whereas Kirk Dixon enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate with the boot.

The Black and Whites, led by hooker Danny Houghton in the absence of the injured Gareth Ellis, thought they had snatched victory in the last play of the game when exciting winger Tom Lineham made a dash for the line but was agonisingly halted inches short.

It was non-stop action from the moment Joe Westerman carved open the Tigers defence for the game's opening try in the second minute to get Crooks over for his first try. Castleford drew level four minutes later when right winger Richard Owen outjumped Jason Crookes to collect the ball from Rangi Chase's high kick.

Weller Hauraki, chosen at stand-off in a bid to stiffen Castleford's defence, then pulled off a try-saving tackle on former Tigers centre Joe Arundel but was hurt in the process and was forced from the field.

Powell's men held out until nine minutes from the break when Hull forward Liam Watts broke their line to get fellow substitute Aaron Heremaia over and Castleford cracked again six minutes later when centre Jordan Thompson missed a one-on-one tackle to let Crooks in for his second try.

Holdsworth kicked his second goal to make it 16-6. However, the battling Tigers turned the game on its head with three tries in six minutes to storm into a 24-16 lead. First Chase put centre Kirk Dixon through a gap and took a return pass to touch down, while prop Craig Huby produced a neat pass out of the tackle to get hooker Daryl Clark over.

Replacement prop then Jonathan Walker romped over for his side's fourth try. Dixon's fourth conversion put the Tigers into an eight-point lead but it was halved on 57 minutes when Heremaia went over for his second try. Holdsworth's conversion attempt rebounded off an upright and he was also off target when Crooks completed his hat-trick,

In a frantic finish, Castleford full-back Jordan Tansey saved his side with a last-ditch tackle on Crookes before Clare pounced on a loose ball and sprinted 95 metres for the match-winning try.

Chase was wide with a drop-goal attempt that would have sealed it and there was one last twist when Miller's cut-out pass got Crooks over for his fourth try, with Holdsworth failing with the touchline conversion attempt.

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