St Helens responded to Matty Lees red card brilliantly, says Justin Holbrook

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said the way his side responded to going a man down was really pleasing in their win at Salford.

Ben Barba scored a hat-trick to help St Helens run in 11 tries and seal an impressive 60-10 win over Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday night.

Saints went down to 12 men in the 37thminute though, after young prop Matty Lees was sent off for committing a high tackle on Niall Evalds.

But Holbrook was delighted with the way his side responded to the sending off.

He said: “I thought it was a harsh sending off.

“He (Evalds) is only 20 centimetres off the ground. I’ve only seen the replays but I thought Matty hit his shoulder first.

“It’s hard for me to comment because he’s on my team, but it is what it is. I couldn’t be happier with the way the lads responded at half time and none of the players wanted to use that as an excuse to lie down in the second half.

“The players saw it is an extra challenge and when you have got the playing group playing the way they are, it’s a real pleasure to watch them.”

St Helens sit top of the Super League table, with 11 wins from 13 games.

They have also scored 126 points in their last two outings and Holbrook is over the moon with the way his team are playing at the moment.

He added: “When you come off a big win like that the week before (against Huddersfield), I was saying to the boys that they could start again and continue on and the way they did continue and defend so well with 12 men was really pleasing.

“It was a pleasure to watch them play. I’m not prepared to say there is going to be bigger scorelines, but every team is getting better and we’re no different.

“It’s not like an Olympic sport, you don’t peak at a certain period, you just enjoy training and enjoy playing and keep getting better. Even though we have had a few wins now, I know we can get better. I’m enjoying our boys doing what they are doing.”

Holbrook revealed the club aren’t sure what Ben Barba’s injury is just yet, but confirmed that there are no other injury concerns on the back of the game.

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