Salford 42-24 Catalans: Krisnan Inu scores 26 points as Red Devils defeat Catalans

Krisnan Inu scored 26 points to help Salford to a 42-24 victory over Catalans Dragons in a re-arranged Super League match at the AJ Bell Stadium on Monday.

The French club, whose three previous fixtures were wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, raced into an 18-6 lead after 28 minutes before running out of steam in their first game for 24 days.

Salford forfeited their previous game after finding themselves with just 13 players and they looked distinctly out of sorts in the opening quarter but grew into the game and dominated the second half with six tries.

Inu, who is out of contract at the end of the season, led the way for the Challenge Cup runners-up with his second hat-trick of the season and also kicked all seven conversions to maintain his prolific scoring run.

Eighth-placed Salford may have little to play for in the league but it hardly showed as they rediscovered the form that took them all the way to Wembley.

The Catalans stay fourth in the table but their second-half collapse will be a worry for coach Steve McNamara as they strive for a semi-final spot.

This was their 13th match of the season, edging them closer to the 15 they need to qualify for the play-offs but they also must finish in the top four as things stand.

The Dragons were without brothers Sam and Joel Tomkins as well as Matt Whitley and Jason Baitieri due to Covid-19 testing but it hardly seemed to matter as they made a flying start.

Stand-off James Maloney put second rower Paul Seguier through a gap in the home defence for his first Super League try after 10 minutes and centre Israel Folau burst through three minutes later to get winger Tom Davies over for his 12th of the season.

Maloney converted both tries to make it 12-0 and, although Inu grabbed his first try in the 23rd minute, the Dragons were firmly in command when substitute prop Sam Kasiano dived on a loose ball to claim a third try five minutes later.

Trailing 18-6 at the break, the Red Devils made the best possible start to the second half, with winger Rhys Williams breaching the Catalans defence for a try within a minute of the restart.

Amid the blustery conditions, the Dragons began to lose their focus and Salford sensed their opportunity.

Centre Kris Welham got Inu over for his second try, stand-off Tui Lolohea grabbed the first of his brace and second rower Pauli Pauli proved unstoppable from 10 metres out as the visitors began to wilt.

The dangerous Lolohea scored his second and full-back Dan Sarginson worked Inu over for his hat-trick before Dragons full-back David Mead grabbed a last-minute consolation try, which Arthur Mourgue goaled.

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