Super League: Brian Noble looks long term after loss to St Helens
Salford coach Brian Noble feels his players can learn some "great lessons" from their 38-0 home defeat to St Helens.
Last Updated: 28/02/14 8:28am
The Red Devils had the chance to go clear at the top of the Super League table for the first time in their history but instead were put to the sword by a ruthless Saints side.
Luke Walsh scored a try and knocked over all seven of his attempts at goal while centre Mark Percival crossed twice to help the visitors ease home after the kick-off had been delayed by 15 minutes due to crowd congestion.
"I am disappointed but those kind of things can happen with a new team," said Noble. "There were some great lessons for us.
"I would be more disappointed if that was round eight, nine or 10 and we dished up something like that.
"We got caught at the start but we got back in the game and that breakaway try 10 minutes into the second half knocked the stuffing out of us.
"I suppose for us the honeymoon period is over internally. We've been taking small steps, we've been looking at different combinations and pretty much everyone has played.
"It's important we now get down to the nitty gritty of some tough practices and recognise it's a marathon and not a sprint.
"There is nothing I have seen that we can't improve on. The players are probably more disappointed than me."
Defeat wasn't the end of the misery for the Red Devils, however, as it seems they will be without Gareth Hock for a while after the forward was forced off in the second half with an ankle injury.
"It doesn't look good," Noble added. "He's going for a scan tomorrow and I'm keeping my fingers crossed but it's looking like a six-or-seven week job."
As for St Helens, they now find themselves sitting at the summit after making if three wins from three at the start of the new campaign.
Yet despite the impressive start, and managing to keep Salford scoreless, head coach Nathan Brown refuses to get too carried away.
"We're obviously happy with the result," the former Huddersfield Giants boss said. "It was tough.
"We had to work hard to get the score we did.
"I think we're a work in progress. The guys working hard for each other but we know to catch up with Leeds and Wigan and Huddersfield and those sides, we've got to keep our feet on the ground and keep working hard and improve.
"Our defence seems to be improving, we're not perfect but the pleasing thing is that, when things go wrong, the guys are covering for each other."