LOOK out Super League; champions Saints may have kicked off the defence of their crown with a 48-8 thrashing of last year's beaten finalists Salford but coach Kristian Woolf still said there was room for improvement.

There was plenty in the game to admire - from the thundering runs from two-try Alex Walmsley in tandem with Luke Thompson, the sublime play of stand off Jonny Lomax to the classy touches of Jack Welsby.

The only dampener on the evening was the MCL injury sustained by full back Lachlan Coote.

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Woolf, pleased to start his tenure at Saints with a win, said: "We came into the game very confident on the back of knowing we have worked very hard and there's a real honesty in the group.

"Those two things make you confident, I suppose.

"We played that way as well. We had a real relentless nature about us when we got on top."

In the first 10 minutes the visitors were marginally on top and took a lead through a Tui Lolohea penalty.

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But with Walmsley's defence scattering runs becoming a real feature, the tide slowly began to turn with Saints beginning to benefit from a more varied kicking game to ratchet up the pressure.

Woolf said: "Salford, to their credit were up for the game. Early on in particular they had some terrific line speed and some energy in their D and challenged us a bit there.

"But Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley are hard to handle over a long period - with Louie as well.

"And we just wore them down and got on top by the end."

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Woolf, however, is not getting carried away by the eight-try triumph - and singled aspects where he felt things could get better.

"I think we have still got plenty of improvement in us," he said.

"At different times we lost our way on a few sets attack wise at the back end of the first half.

"We were a little bit ill-disciplined coming out of our own end and when Salford were coming out of their end too, giving away three penalties when we were well on top of them with sets.

"There are a couple of clean up areas there and obviously we are going to get challenged a lot more at Warrington.

"We have worked really hard through the pre-season to put ourselves in a good position to start the year.

"We showed that last night and have to keep showing that."

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Teenager Welsby who started on the wing, but moved to full back after Coote's injury, put in a couple of fine passes and grabbed two tries.

One was off a super inside ball from Lomax, the other was a solo dribble from dummy half.

"Jack has shown plenty of glimpses of what he is capable of tonight. And remember he is only 18-years-old," Woolf said.

"Although there were moments where we didn't defend as well as we could have on that right edge, through his and Kevin Naiqama's effort we still managed to clean things up and not allow any tries there.

"When Lachlan Coote went down he certainly showed his class with a couple of balls out the back as well.

"He is going to be a really good player."

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Kevin Naiqama grabbed two tries, with Zeb Taia and Theo Fages scoring the others.