Catalans 14-46 Salford: Red Devils claim play-off spot with impressive victory

Super League Salford

Salford Red Devils claimed sixth spot in the Super League table from Castleford following a 46-14 victory over Catalans in Perpignan. 

Salford’s incredible resurgence under coach Paul Rowley this season continued with a slick attacking performance and ferocious defence which defied the extreme heat and searing sunshine in the south of France.

The Red Devils were only able to name a 19-man provisional squad for this game because of injuries. Catalans too were missing full-back Sam Tomkins (knee) and stand-off Mitchell Pearce (calf) but benefitted from the return of captain Ben Garcia.

Match report

It was all Salford in the first half but Catalans winger Tom Davies was first to cross the line in the seventh minute after Josh Drinkwater and Tyrone May spun the ball to the right corner, Arthur Mourgue unable to convert from the touchline.

But Salford hit back with some slick attacking co-ordinated by scrum-half Marc Sneyd to force two goal-line drop-outs by the Dragons and Sneyd made it pay with an elusive 25-metre strike, brushing through three tackles to score in the 16th minute and converting to put the Red Devils in front.

Then stand-off Brodie Croft continued his stunning recent streak with a simple collect from 30 metres out to stroll between the posts untouched, Sneyd again on target to make it 12-4 midway through the first half.

Two minutes later Kallum Watkins was next over the line for the Red Devils after centre Deon Cross skipped through the Dragons’ defence and released his second-rower on a 20-metre sprint over the line, Sneyd’s conversion pushing Salford ahead 18-4.

A Mourgue grubber forced Salford to drop out from between their own posts in the 28th minute and Catalans spun the ball right for Tyrone May to hold off a tackler and put Davies in for his second try, Mourgue again off-target with his attempted conversion.

But Catalans could do little more to prevent the visitors from holding on to an 18-8 half-time lead.

HT: Catalans 8-18 Salford

And Salford went further ahead early in the second half when a dynamic burst by hooker Andy Ackers sent Watkins racing 40 metres for his second try, converted by Sneyd for 24-8.

Things got worse for Catalans when they lost full-back Mourgue with an apparent ankle injury and even worse when Ken Sio stepped around his opposite number Davies to score in the left corner in the 52nd minute.

When Samisoni Langi was sin-binned in the 60th minute for holding down Tim Lafai in the tackle, the gaps were there for full-back Ryan Brierley to chip through for Chris Atkin to collect and score, Brierley on target again with the conversion to push Salford 34-8 ahead.

Then Croft broke through midfield and released Brierley for a sprint under the posts and Salford had 40 points on the board.

Garcia managed a consolation try for the Dragons with eight minutes left but it was too little, too late for Catalans who had been outplayed from start to finish.

It was only fitting that Salford finished the scoring with Cross going over in the final minute, Sneyd converting for 46-14.

FT: Catalans 14-46 Salford

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