28th February 2019, 23:23 | super_league
Evergreen hooker James Roby continued his remarkable start to the season with a brace of tries as St Helens maintained their 100 per cent start with a 26-4 win over Salford Red Devils to go top of the table.
The 33-year-old England international went into the fourth round of Betfred Super League with a two-point lead in the 2019 Steve Prescott Man of Steel race and was again at the heart of his side's efforts.
Last year's league leaders ran in five tries to one to quell the threat of the Red Devils, who themselves had the chance to take over at the top.
Salford, who have the smallest squad in Super League, were hit by a spate of injuries before kick-off.
Daniel Murray was drafted in at loose forward after George Griffin tore a hamstring in the warm-up and captain Lee Mossop succumbed to a foot injury after just six minutes.
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: "Salford started the season really well and they've got some dangerous attacking threats so we had to do a really good job on them and we did.
"For us to defend the way we did was fantastic. I thought this was our best performance so far. We were really good across our 17 players and to have the whole team play well really is pleasing as a coach.
"We controlled the game really well, I'm really happy with the team performance."
Salford coach Ian Watson said: "I've got to give credit to St Helens for how good defensively they were.
"We can learn lessons from a champion team. I'm really confident in my players' ability to learn.
"There was lots of effort and endeavour, something we can build on. We dug in against a really good team, most teams would have cracked before we did."