CHAMPIONS Saints got their campaign off to a winning start with an emphatic 48-8 over Salford, there were plenty of talking points arising from that Super League opener.

1. There was plenty of focus on Kristian Woolf's first game in charge - and with no new faces on the pitch it was a case of looking to see what tweaks the new boss has made to the Saints play.

Early days but the work Saints did in defence in meeting the Salford ball carriers, winning that collision and then seeking, mostly successfully, to slow down the Red Devils play the ball.

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It is an area that teams have to get right given how thin the line is between conceding a penalty and jumping off the tackled player too quickly and giving up a deserved advantage.

Saints got it right most of the time on Friday - and were rewarded for that with the way they stymied the Salford attack.

2. With the ball there was no reining in of Saints' flair with the ball, but there was a significant tweak to their attack.

It appeared that the halves Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages took more of a lead role at the end of the sets, and both put in a variety of kicks. This was the case even during the 53 minutes Lachlan Coote was on the pitch.

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The pair's kicking game, allied with the chase, was instrumental in asking more questions and earning repeat sets and will undoubtedly be something that develops as the year goes on.

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3. We can't mention the halves with talking about another top-drawer display from Jonny Lomax - three try assists being a highlight of a fine attacking performance.

His perfectly timed pass for Zeb Taia opened Saints' account and the inside ball to the supporting Jack Welsby was a joy to behold. The pick was him setting up Kevin Naiqama's second try - taking the ball to the teeth of the defensive line before floating the perfect scoring pass wide.

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4. Every cloud has a silver lining, is the only way to treat the knee injury sustained by Lachlan Coote. Scans will reveal the full extent of the damage and the length of absence, but in his place Saints have an able deputy in Jack Welsby.

The 18-year-old started on the win and reverted to his more accustomed role when Coote departed.

Two tries and a magnificent assist later, the England Academy international again showed why he is putting pressure on the seasoned first teamers and how he is getting better with every game.

Saints have a huge talent on their hands with him - and without wishing injury on any of the others - the more games he can get under his belt the better.

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5. Going back to kick chase and Saints' aggressive defence there were two pieces of play that stuck out.

The first was when the Salford's ball carrier was hunted down and hammered back over the line by a phalanx of hungry defenders.

The second was Matty Lees motoring up field to chase a high ball to time his tackle on full back

Niall Evalds to perfection.

It was Lees' first competitive game back since that horrific injury in August - and not only do you take your hat off to the bottle shown by the young packman to get on the field again, but it was pleasing that he has lost none of the qualities that make him such a strong part of Saints' forward unit.

6. And finally, let's have a moment's silence to mourn the passing of the Saints programme. The club broke new ground on Friday by ditching the printed version of the matchday magazine and having a digital edition.

It is a sign of the times - given where a lot of people now access their information - but a sad day for those traditionalists and that dwindling band of programme collectors.