Jodie Broughton scored a 13-minute hat-trick to help Catalans move off the foot of the Super League table with a 26-12 win over Salford.
The win sees the Dragons now sit in ninth position in the Super League table, just two points behind the Red Devils, who are in eighth.
Ian Watson made two changes to his Salford side that was knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Leigh Centurions last week. Rob Lui and Daniel Murray came in for Jake Shorrocks and Ben Nakubuwai. Junior Sa’u made his 100thSuper League appearance, with all of them being for Salford.
Catalans coach Steve McNamara made five changes to his team that beat Whitehaven in the Challenge Cup last time out. David Mead, Brayden Wiliame, Greg Bird, Rémi Casty and Louis Anderson replaced Iain Thornley, Vincent Duport, Samisoni Langi, Alrix Da Costa and Mickael Goudemand. Ben Garcia made his 100thappearance for Catalans.
Derrell Olpherts, who joined Salford from Newcastle Thunder in the off-season, thought he had scored in the second minute. It was disallowed though due to Weller Hauraki being offside during Lui’s kick.
Salford did score the opening try of the game though as Mark Flanagan produced a slick offload to Hauraki who powered over the line from close range. Lui converted to put his side 6-0 up.
It didn’t take long for Catalans to reply though. France international Garcia reached over the line after taking on the Salford defence. Josh Drinkwater failed to convert.
The Dragons missed a good opportunity to level the score midway through the first half. Tony Gigot missed a penalty goal from near the sticks.
Catalans were growing in confidence as the game went on. They took the lead when Julian Bousquet got on the end of a Micky McIlorum grubber kick. Gigot didn’t miss the goal this time and Caatalans were 10-6 ahead.
The Red Devils were struggling to deal with the physicality of the Dragons pack in the first half and Garcia thought he had scored his second when he raced onto a grubber from Drinkwater. Salford were let off the hook as Garcia knocked on when grounding the ball.
Penalties were costing Salford in the first half and Salford were quite lucky to only be 10-6 behind at the break, considering the amount of ball Catalans had near the Salford line.
Catalans continued their physical rugby at the start of the second half and scored nine minutes after the restart. The ball was shifted wide to Broughton, who scored in the corner against his former club. It was his 100thSuper League try.
It was all Catalans in the second half. Drinkwater came up with another assist as he produced a fancy out of the back-door pass to Broughton, who raced 50 metres to score near the posts. Gigot’s boot made the score 20-6.
Broughton completed his hat-trick just 13 minutes after scoring his first. The mercurial winger latched onto a well-placed kick from Gigot.
In the 71stminute, the Red Devils gave away a penalty for interference and the Dragons opted to take the two. Gigot added the penalty goal to put his side 26-6 in front.
Salford scored a consolation try late on as George Griffin ran a good line to burst onto a pass from Jack Littlejohn to touch down. Lui’s conversion was successful, but Catalans were 26-12 winners in the first ever meeting between the two sides at Magic Weekend.
Salford: Evalds; Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Olpherts; Lui, Littlejohn; Kopczak, Tomkins, Mossop, Griffin, Hauraki, Flanagan. Subs: Tasi, Murray, Wood, McCarthy.
Catalans: Gigot; Broughton, Mead, Wiliame, Tierney; Bird, Drinkwater; Simon, McIlorum, Moa, Jullien, Garcia, Casty. Subs: Anderson, Bousquet, Maria, Baitieri.
Starman: Jodie Broughton will get the headlines for his hat-trick, but Josh Drinkwater played a big role in the halves for the Dragons.