Interim coach Alan Hunte believes Salford City Reds’ narrow defeat to St Helens in treacherous conditions at Langtree Park was an opportunity missed.
Late tries for Liam Foran and Marc Sneyd – who also kicked two points – threatened to snatch a draw for the Reds, but earlier scores by Ade Gardner and Francis Meli and six Lewis Charnock points proved the difference.
It means Salford have still won only once this season, but Hunte believed his side deserved better after a bruising encounter in the snow.
“Performance-wise it’s very pleasing,” he said. “The commitment level of the guys was very pleasing but unfortunately we are in a results-based industry and we are disappointed to go away with nothing.
“I thought it was a good game of footie – I thought both teams rolled their sleeves up and worked their socks off.
“We played some good footie as well and when you give yourself a chance it’s always disappointing to be coming off the park with nothing.
“And we’ve got every right to be disappointed – we have given everything and it just wasn’t quite enough.”
Although not expected to beat an in-form St Helens side, Salford more than held their own, going in at half-time just 6-0 down.
Despite Salford dominating the territory at the start of the second-half, a powerful break by Josh Jones allowed Meli to score and seemingly put the game beyond their reach though.
However, the Red Devils rallied – despite Charnock’s penalty extending the lead with 15 minutes to play – and the pressure told when Foran and Sneyd scored well-worked tries.
But it proved just too late and St Helens clung on for only their second home win of the season.
Hunte was pleased with his side’s commitment despite the defeat however, singling out prop Adam Neal for particular praise.
“I can’t talk highly enough of Adam Neal,” he said. “He’s absolutely put his blood to water.
“He’s done long minutes, his stats are right up there and he’s just playing really tough.
“The whole middle unit have really worked hard. There are some battered and bruised bodies.
“We were down to the bare bones at the end and the big guys just worked their socks off.”
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