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Super League: Salford 'deserved' historic victory over St Helens admits boss Paul Rowley

Paul Rowley could not hide his delight after Salford overturned a 14-point deficit to claim a sensational 24-20 victory over league leaders St Helens, marking their first win at Saints since 1980.

The comeback featured crucial tries from Nene Macdonald, Chris Atkin and Deon Cross, while Marc Sneyd kicked four goals from as many attempts.

Salford coach Rowley, whose side have now won three on the trot, said: “To come here and break a record like that is very pleasing. We always expect to win games as a group, but we have so much respect for this great club. The result shows how committed we were.

“Our boys’ character and commitment to the cause have been fantastic all season. We deserved the victory, and I am very proud of the players and staff. The supporters were fantastic – they have got their moment.”

Saints looked on course for victory, even when Mark Percival was sent off in the 45th minute for a late hit on Salford’s Jack Ormondroyd.

But Salford’s late comeback, overturning a 20-6 deficit, thrilled Rowley, who felt their margin of victory could have been even bigger.

He said: “If we had more composure and nailed our chances, I thought we’d win by 10 points. The Saints try just after they went down to 12 men hurt us.

“We got a couple of rough calls, but this group never panicked and stayed calm. They didn’t lose their way when faced with adversity. We need to work on being more polished.”

He added: “We are brave and have got confidence that we can execute.

“There were spells when St Helens threw the kitchen sink at us, and you know you’ll get those storms when you come here.

“St Helens are a physical and aggressive team, and they are very good. You have got to be good to come here and get anything out of the game. We knew this game would go the distance, and I’m proud of how we kept our cool at the death.”

Asked about Percival’s red card, Rowley said: “Our footage of the incident is not great, so I’m not sure. I didn’t have a good view of it, so I can’t comment. We also lost Cade Cust, which means he’ll be out next week because he failed his head test.”

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