Rugby League - Noble hopeful despite heavy defeat

Salford coach Brian Noble felt his team had shown a "pulse" despite slumping to a third successive heavy loss in Super League.

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Rugby League - Noble hopeful despite heavy defeat

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Brian Noble believes there were positives to be found despite his side's heavy defeat

The City Reds crashed 52-10 to St Helens on their home ground but had been competitive at 14-10 early in the second half. The loss left Noble's men rooted to the foot of the table but the former Great Britain boss - who demanded improvement after recent heavy losses to Warrington and Wakefield - saw signs for encouragement.

"There looks to be a pulse this week, and quite a strong one, because of the way we played in the first half and the way we tried to play," he said.

"We shaded possession in the first half and that gave us an opportunity - but then it went massively against us. I do think the scoreline flattered St Helens a little bit and I don't think, in the main, our fans will be too dismayed this time because the players have had a dig.

"I thought we looked like a really good team for 50 minutes. I am less disappointed than I was last time. If I can knock a few nails into heads tomorrow, and show pictures as to why it happened, we can improve next week and get ready for a really big game down in London."

Saints' run of 42 unanswered points included seven tries as former Salford centre Jordan Turner and Francis Meli - linked with a move to the Reds - completed doubles. Another player linked with Salford, 33-year-old former Great Britain full-back Paul Wellens, showed no sign of slowing up by marking his 450th Saints appearance with a try.

Saints coach Nathan Brown said: "He was never the quickest fella anyway. I suppose if he does lose the touch it doesn't change the way he plays anyway."

Willie Manu, Jonny Lomax, Anthony Laffranchi and Josh Jones also crossed for Saints while Gareth O'Brien kicked eight goals. Salford's replies came from Martin Gleeson and Jodie Broughton.

Brown said: "First half I thought we were just doing enough. They responded to a few (poor) performances and there was an improved showing.

"They did some decent stuff but in the second half we really lifted the intensity, as we should do with some of the players we had and against a side in the position Salford are at the moment."

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