A brace of tries from Dan Sarginson was not enough to prevent Warrington Wolves claiming a victory in Mike Cooper’s testimonial match.
Both of Sarginson’s tries came in an impressive first half display from Salford, in their final preseason game, ahead of the 2020 Betfred Super League season.
The Red Devils struck first, moving the ball from right to left, where Sarginson opted to go himself and was rewarded.
The hosts then took the lead in the twelfth minute, as Toby King claimed the ball in the air to score a converted try.
Sarginson was in again with fifteen minutes remaining until the break, after Salford had gained field position when Tui Lolohea and Connor Jones combined to put Niall Evalds through a gap.
Warrington then displayed how seriously they were taking the fixture, when Stefan Ratchford opted to kick a penalty in the 38th minute.
Halftime: Warrington Wolves 8-10 Salford Red Devils
The first ten minutes of the second-half were tight, but Warrington were showing more purpose and after making some changes, Anthony Gelling took the lead from chasing down a kick.
Luther Burrell then went over from an offload and in the 68th minute, Tom Lineham dived in at the corner to secure the victory on a last tackle play.
Connor Aspey was introduced for some senior game time in the closing stages and the Red Devils could have claimed a late try when Elliot Kear put in a dangerous little kick, but the Wolves held out to ensure Mike Cooper had a victory in his testimonial match.
Full-time: Warrington Wolves 26-10 Salford Red Devils
Warrington tries: King (12), Gelling (51), Burrell (62), Lineham (68)
Defending champions St Helens ran in eight tries as they began their Super League campaign by thumping 2019 Grand Final opponents Salford Red Devils.
Zeb Taia, Alex Walmsley and Theo Fages all crossed as the hosts eased to a formidable 18-2 lead at half-time.
Kevin Naiqama ran in at the corner to extend St Helens' advantage with Ken Sio scoring Salford's only try.
Naiqama and Jack Welsby made it a pair of tries each as Walmsley added another of his own late on.
Saints capitalised on Salford's wastefulness in possession in a dominant first-half display, with Taia, Walmsley and Fages scoring after forcing the visitors into goal-line drop-outs.
The Red Devils, whose head coach Ian Watson signed a new contract earlier this week, started the second half much better and were almost rewarded with a quickfire try.
Sio cheekily crossed the corner as he caught out an unaware Lachlan Coote who was waiting for the ball to go dead, but video referee James Child ruled it out as Sio was narrowly in touch.
Saints never looked in danger of letting the game out of their grasp as Naiqama and Welsby added a pair of tries each either side of Sio eventually touching down for a consolation.
There was much for new Saints coach Kristian Woolf to be happy about as his side continued the dominance they showed under his predecessor Justin Holbrook.
Salford, on the other hand, were second best in all departments and could have conceded over 50 points had it not been for their resolute defensive display in the face of a Saints side who look primed to maintain their winning qualities this season.
St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf: "I'm very happy. We worked really hard in pre-season to put ourselves in a good position to start the season.
"Salford were up for the game and they challenged us early on but Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley are hard to handle over a long period and we wore them down.
"There was a relentless nature about them when we got on top.
"We've got plenty of improvement in us. I think at different times, we lost our way a bit, particularly at the back end of the first half and we were a bit indisciplined coming out of our end."
Salford head coach Ian Watson: "It was way below any standard we want to set as a team, that's putting it mildly.
"They taught us a lesson on how to play the game. They did the basics really well, they ran hard and tackled hard.
"Thirty-odd points is a bit of a lesson but when the score blows out to 40 or 50, it starts to get embarrassing."