Saints produced one of their most complete displays of the season to beat Salford 60-10 on Thursday night.
After running in 12 tries against Huddersfield last week, 11 followed at the AJ Bell Stadium as Justin Holbrook’s side put the Devils to the sword.
Ben Barba was at his imperious best with a hat-trick, whilst Regan Grace and Ryan Morgan both scored braces in the rout.
And 32 of the points came when they were down to 12 men too as Matty Lees was sent off just before the end of the first half.
His tackle on Niall Evalds earning him a red card.
Unsurprisingly the first half was all Saints and the brilliant attacking display began in the first five minutes.
After forcing an error, Matty Smith, deputising once more for the injured James Roby, fed Danny Richardson and he linked up with Barba to send Tommy Makinson in.
Ten minutes later, Makinson turned provider as he out-jumped Greg Johnson to collect Richardson’s high kick and offloaded to the supporting Dom Peyroux.
At 10-0 Saints were already turning the screw and it got much better as from the restart they scored again.
This time combination of Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival sent Grace away down the left hand side.
Buoyed by his scintillating try against the Giants the week before, the youngster then stepped inside his opposite number to put Barba under the black dot for his 13th of the year.
Shortly afterwards, Barba was putting Ryan Morgan over for his first of the night.
Salford hit back through Tyrone McCarthy for 22-6 but the quick thinking of Barba stopped any chance of another which would have made it game on.
With the Devils camped on Saints’ line, he read the mind of Josh Wood, picked off his offload and went the length of the field.
You’re never safe when you’re up against Ben Barba…
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) 27 April 2018
Saints were now well in charge but any thoughts of cruising home with the points took a hammer blow when Matty Lees was sent off two minutes before half time.
Salford’s Niall Evalds had cleaned up a bouncing ball but with player ‘un-tackled’, Lees flew in, struck the full back, and forced the ball loose.
Saints duly touched it down but it was chalked off for that hit, and Lees was sent off.
Holbrook’s men didn’t hang around to lick their wounds though and after forcing another error, Richardson, Lomax and Percival interplayed to send Grace spectacularly over in the corner.
Saints 32-6 to the good at half time.
Holbrook knew the Devils would come at his side in the second half, looking to exploit the inevitable gaps with a man advantage.
And they almost did that early on as back to back penalties put them right on the visitor’s line.
But Saints weathered the pressure, went up the other end of the field and scored.
A towering bomb was knocked-on by young Jake Shorrocks and from the resultant set, Barba hit Grace for his second of the evening.
Second-half tries from Regan Grace, Mark Percival and Ben Barba have extended St Helens’ lead to 48-6!
— Sky Sports RL ? (@SkySportsRL) 26 April 2018
And it got better as from the restart, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook went 45 metres and within the blink of an eye, Lomax had found Mark Percival for another try.
Ben Barba then notched up his hat-trick as he took Richardson’s cute grubber.
Parity in numbers, for 10 minutes at least, came as Junior Sa’u saw yellow for a late flop on Ryan Morgan.
Saints should have gone further ahead too but Peyroux’s pass to Richardson was forward.
The game was then halted for a significant period as Barba was stretchered off with a neck injury – but Saints regrouped and scored twice in three minutes.
Theo Fages produced a bit of magic on 75 minutes before Makinson’s chip over the top saw Ryan Morgan collect for his second.
Kris Welham crossed at the end for the Devils but it always was Saints night.
Justin Holbrook was understandably delighted with his side’s performance as they beat Salford 60-10 on the road last night.
Saints ran in 11 tries to stretch their lead at the top of the Betfred Super League table … and give their points difference a healthy boost too.
Ben Barba grabbed a hat-trick in the rout too but left the field on a stretcher late in the game.
“I’m obviously not 100 per cent sure on Benny’s injury, but we are hoping it is just precautionary and the doctors are playing on the safe side,” Holbrook said. “He looked like he fell awkwardly and at first I thought it was a collarbone type thing.
“Our doctor was checking his neck to see what feeling he had and we’re hopeful it is a burner or a stinger.
“Ben was brilliant tonight. He is enjoying playing and is a leader in our team for what he does not just on the ball but off it too. It is hard to single any one out in a performance like that but as we are talking about him, he has been in great form.
“He played a couple of games last year unfit as we took a chance; in pre-season he came back two weeks earlier than anyone else and as I have said before, when you do those things you get the rewards.
“He has been fantastic for us and he was again tonight.”
He continued: “When you come off a win like the one we had last week, you know you cannot just continue and expect it to happen again. The players knew that, created chances early and did so well with 12 men.
“It is hard for me to comment about Matty Lees’ sending off as he is on my team but I thought it was harsh. I only saw a few replays and I thought he hit the shoulder first.
“It is what it is though and I couldn’t be happier with how they responded at half time. Not one of the players wanted to take what happened as an excuse and they saw it as a challenge.
“It was a pleasure to watch them go about it.”
Tries: McCarthy, Welham
Goals: Shorrocks (1 from 2)
Tries: Makinson, Peyroux, Barba (3), Morgan (2), Grace (2), Percival, Fages
Goals: Richardson (8 from 11)
REF: C Kendall
5. Niall Evalds; 2. Greg Johnson, 4. Junior Sa’u, 3. Kris Welham, 24. Jake Bibby; 28. Jake Shorrocks, 7. Jack Littlejohn; 23. Lee Mossop, 9. Logan Tomkins, 16. Luke Burgess, 10. George Griffin, 15. Ryan Lannon, 13. Mark Flanagan.
Subs: 8. Craig Kopczak, 14. Lama Tasi, 17. Tyrone McCarthy, 19. Josh Wood.
23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 7. Matty Smith, 16. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 17. Dom Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 20. Matty Lees.
Saints are next in action when they host Catalans Dragons on Thursday May 3 (7.45pm). Tickets are now on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.