26th October 2020, 22:30 | super_league
Salford Red Devils snatched a 12-10 victory to condemn reigning Betfred Super League champions St Helens to their first defeat since the resumption of the season.
Winger Krisnan Inu marked the 250th appearance of his career by pouncing for the all-important try five minutes from the end to bring the scores level and then held his nerve to land the match-winning conversion to break the hearts of a youthful Saints team.
With an eye on Friday’s derby against Wigan Warriors, Saints coach Kristian Woolf opted to field a vastly-inexperienced side with five debutants and watched on with immense pride as they pushed the Red Devils all the way.
The youngsters looked set to extend the club’s winning run to 11 matches after building up a 10-0 lead but they crucially conceded a Pauli Pauli try just before the break and then Inu's effort near the end.
It was only the seventh win by Salford in 49 meetings in Super League with Saints, for whom Josh Eaves had crossed early on and Lewis Dodd landed three successful kicks.
Winger Ben Jones-Bishop scored a hat-trick of tries as Wakefield Trinity produced their best rugby of the season to beat Hull KR 48-18 in an entertaining basement battle at Belle Vue.
Trinity ran in nine tries to three to ensure their opponents will go into Thursday's Hull derby bottom of the table.
Chris Chester's men halted their 10-match losing run at the expense of Huddersfield Giants three days earlier and that win clearly delivered a major lift in confidence as they posted back-to-back victories for the first time this year.
Their performance contained two brilliant long-range tries which would have been worth the admission money alone had there been any paying spectators.
The handful of media and club officials in attendance included Rovers favourite Mose Masoe, who returned on crutches for the first time to the scene of his horrific career-ending spine injury in January, but not even his welcome presence could inspire his team.
The visitors trailed 26-0 at half-time but at least rallied after the break.
Leeds Rhinos twice came from behind to beat 12-man Castleford Tigers and strength their bid for a top-four finish.
Rhinos captain Luke Gale was among the tryscorers on his first appearance against his old club as the Challenge Cup winners kept alive their hopes of the double with a 28-24 win at Headingley.
Castleford were forced to play more than half the game a man short after second rower Oliver Holmes, who was back in the side after a six-week absence, was sent off for kicking Leeds full-back Richie Myler.
They worked overtime in an effort to overcome the handicap but were undone by three tries in the last 17 minutes.
Round 18 results:
Wakefield Trinity 48-18 Hull KR
Salford Red Devils 12-10 St Helens
Leeds Rhinos 28-24 Castleford Tigers