Ben Barba grabbed a brace as Saints beat Salford 34-2 to top Super League.
The full back took his season tally to four with a superb display that also saw Luke Thompson cross on his 100th appearance for the club.
But they were pushed all the way by a physical Red Devils who battled throughout.
It was the visitors that opened the scoring with a penalty in the 17th minute as Saints were caught offside.
It was a turgid contest up until that point, with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball in cold and damp conditions.
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was held up over the line on 22 minutes but just a couple of minutes later Tommy Makinson won the race to Barba’s deft chip into the in-goal.
Saints then piled on the pressure but couldn’t find a way past resolute Salford defence until just before half time; Luke Douglas and James Roby combining to put Ben Barba away on the left hand side.
It had been a battle but Saints finally took control of the match early in the second half.
And it was Barba who did the damage, taking the ball from a standing start and finding the strength to twist over with three defenders around him.
Richardson added the extras for 14-2 and then notched over a penalty just before the 50 minute mark to take the gap to 14.
It was a gap too far for the visitors and it was made harder when former Saint Lama Tasi was sinbinned for two late and high shot.
Saints couldn’t make the extra man pay, but they did secure the win with two tries in three minutes late on.
Firstly, great build up saw LMS charge onto the ball for his first of the season.
Then, great invention from Theo Fages following Dom Peyroux’s break saw him get the ball away, whilst being tackled, for Lomax to win the chase.
That was game, set and match but Saints had saved the best until last.
Winning a penalty with around 15 seconds ago, Richardson kicked for field position and from the tap the ball went through several pairs of hands for Thompson to plough over on his special day.
Justin Holbrook said Saints were scratchy in their win over Salford on Sunday.
His side ran in six tries to defeat the Red Devils and keep up their great start to the season.
“It was a good win but it was a bit of a scratchy performance for most parts,” he said. “I’m pleased we got the win the way we did.
“It took us a long time to settle down and we forced our hand with the ball too, but in the end we found a good balance.
“I thought Benny Barba was outstanding for us, as was Dom Peyroux and Luke Thompson. Those guys stood up. A few of the boys didn’t have their best games, but they know that and you do get it at this time of the year.
“We are hard markers on ourselves and are disappointed but it has been a disruptive week with training and not knowing if the game was on or not. All those factors make it hard.
“I even have to give Benny credit for what he did during the week. If there’s someone who is going to complain about the weather it would be a bloke from North Queensland!
“He has got stuck in and said to the lads what are they complaining about. He’s in a good place at the moment, is enjoying training, and it is showing on the field.
“It’s good to have him here.”
Saints are next in action when they travel to Warrington this Friday.
Tickets for the clash are on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052, or online here.
Tries: Makinson, Barba (2), LMS, Lomax, Thompson
Goals: Richardson (5 from 7)
Goals: O’Brien (1 from 1)
REF: S. Mikalauskas
23. Ben Barba; 5. Adam Swift, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas.
1. Gareth O’Brien; 24. Jake Bibby, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Junior Sa’u, 5. Niall Evalds; 6. Robert Lui, 7. Jack Littlejohn; 23. Lee Mossop, 9. Logan Tomkins, 14. Lama Tasi, 17. Tyrone McCarthy, 11. Josh Jones, 13. Mark Flanagan.
Subs: 8. Craig Kopczak, 16. Luke Burgess, 18. Ben Nakubuwai, 19. Josh Wood.