GOING into Sunday's fixture at Salford, Saints were sitting pretty at the top of the Betfred Super League table, albeit Wigan still have that game in hand.

But, unfortunately following Wigan’s 36-0 drubbing of London and Saints disappointing performance and loss to Salford, we now drop to joint second alongside Hull KR as the Warriors go two points clear, potentially soon to be four.

It was a Marc Sneyd masterclass that helped Salford do ‘the double’ over Saints this season...the first time in 44 years.

Saints posted the first points of the game as James Bell pounced on a clever Jack Welsby kick, but that was soon nullified by a smart short side play from a tap penalty, which caught out the Saints right edge allowing Deon Cross to finish.

Cross was soon to make it a double, after a clever Sneyd kick again fooled the opposition defence.

It stayed that way up to the 53rd minute, when one of the very few times Lewis Dodd took the ball to the line and fed a charging Curtis Sironen to level the scores. Mark Percival added the two to put the visitors back in control.

Kallum Watkins then scooped up a Nene Macdonald tap back…to put the Red Devils two points ahead with 20 minutes to play.

The next part showed to me Saints complete lack of confidence on attack.

We were awarded a penalty over 40m out, with 17 minutes left on the clock and chose to ask Mark Percival to kick the penalty…to draw the game!

Percy duly delivered a great kick, but for me that ball should have been put in touch 10 metres from the Salford line and back the quality of St Helens to score. Clearly a different mentality these days!

Saints did receive the ball back from the restart, and were boosted by a penalty for Salford's indiscipline.

A Sironen break was finished by Percy. Unfortunately he proceeded to miss his easiest kick of the day…keeping Saints lead to just four.

What followed was more awful Saints defence and some excellent Salford attack, the home side scored try of the match via Chris Hankinson with only four minutes to play. Marc Sneyd (who else ?) stepped up to covert the vital two point difference, and win the match.

Saints will now have two weeks to control their frustrations of that defeat before facing Castleford back at the TWS on July 5.

No Betfred Super League fixtures this weekend due to the International fixtures between France and England in Toulouse.

For the majority of clubs, this week off will be much welcomed, allowing players to rest up and maybe injured players to return in preparation for the business end of the season.

Title sponsors Betfred remain convinced current Champions Wigan will again lift the trophy at The Theatre of Dreams.

They are 4/5 favourites, followed by Saints at 5/2, Wire and Hull KR both at 9/1, Catalans at 14/1 - and in-form Salford at 33/1.

Head Coach Paul Wellens, spoke about his disappointment of his side performance on Sunday, and said three of the four tries conceded were ‘soft’. Not something we are used to hearing at this club.

But I have to agree, and unfortunately watching all the games this season there are players out there wearing the iconic Red V who are not St Helens RLFC quality.

Take nothing away from a spirited Red Devils side, who seem to have found their own brand of football. Willing to play expansive and take risks with the ball, they fully deserved the win.

Wello paid his due to Oldham born Sneyd who tried all the tricks in the book…including trying to fool everyone his ‘missed’ penalty conversion that just happened to land in the arms of the chasing Chris Atkin!

Referee Jack Smith deemed he deliberately missed the kick. You have to applaud his creativity!

Maybe something the stagnant Saints attack can learn from going forward, ahead of the Tigers coming to town…