live action...

England  -  PNG

23rd June 2017, 22:30 | StHelens

Matty Smith drop goal seals dramatic Saints win

Matty Smith drop goal seals dramatic Saints win

St Helens 25-24 Salford Red Devils

Matty Smith kicked a long distance drop-goal after the full-time hooter to complete an amazing fightback from St Helens against his old club Salford Red Devils at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Smith's perfectly struck kick from 40 metres completed the most remarkable of comebacks from Justin Holbrook's side who had looked dead and buried with seven minutes remaining as they trailed 24-8 and came away with a 25-24 win.

The home side scored three times in the closing stages to claw their way back into the game and eventually seal the win which broke Salford hearts, denying them a first away win against Saints in 37 years.

Salford had looked on course for a famous win after dominating much of the second half. Niall Evalds scored two tries, while half-backs Robert Lui and Todd Carney orchestrated play superbly for the Red Devils.

Both teams struggled to build pressure in a scrappy opening which was littered with handling errors and penalties. The nearest either side came to scoring was in the eighth minute when St Helens centre Mark Percival lost the ball with the try-line at his mercy after being put clear by Zeb Taia's pass.

Justin Holbrook said:  "It was fantastic to see that sort of finish. I'm just as excited as the players.

"I know it's easy to say because we won but I was always confident that we had a chance. It was very gutsy from us. It is great for the players to have that belief to finish like that."

Ian Watson added: "It was a tough lesson and a tough way to learn a lesson. We didn't play particularly well in the first half but we rectified that in the second.

"We need to take that as a lesson and learn it pretty quickly because the further you get down the track there are going to be big games where we need that arm wrestle mentality."