Salford came from 20-0 down to win 34-30 over Catalan Dragons, and did so having been cut down to 11 men.
Daniel Holdsworth and Vinnie Anderson were sin binned three minutes and one minute before half time respectively. Rather than hinder Salford’s chance to take the two points, the sin binnings appeared to show how threatening Phil Veivers’ side can be.
Salford started poorly, and their discipline was very poor in the opening 20 minutes. This game looked like it would be one-way traffic as the Dragons posted early tries.
Ben Fisher should have score the first Catalan try after making a clean break just inside the Dragons’ own half. However he had no support from his team mates, and was brought down by the Salford scrambling defence. Several plays later referee Steve Ganson awarded Catalan a penalty, and Darryl Millard scored in the corner on the back of some excellent passing moves.
Catalan’s opening 20 minutes was almost perfect, while Salford were ill-disciplined and conceded penalties like they were going out of fashion.
Lopini Paea managed to get the ball to make contact with the whitewash under the posts despite being surrounded by City Reds defenders.
However in the second quarter of the game Salford clicked into gear. They were finally allowed to throw the ball around, before Joel Moon stretched out and touched down close to the half hour mark.
Daniel Holdsworth quickly added a second for the City Reds, and suddenly Salford were back in the game trailing by only eight points.
However as things were looking up for Salford, they found themselves on the wrong side of the penalty count in a short space of time. Holdsworth was the first Salford player to see himself sat on the bench for ten minutes after speaking out of turn to referee Ganson, but was soon given some company as Vinnie Anderson was sent to the sin bin for the same offense. All of this happened just before half time.
Salford were motivated to make sure their two man loss didn’t concede points, but instead it scored them points.
Sean Gleeson was the first to score in the second half for the Reds in the right corner. This was before Jodie Broughton capitalised on a rare Catalan error. Dureau’s pass to Leon Pryce was poor, allowing Broughton to pick up the loose ball before running over 50 metres to score under the posts.
The City Reds were suddenly 24-20 up before Holdsworth, the first player to be sin binned, returned to the field.
Salford had the momentum, and were full of confidence after failing to concede a point while down to 11-men, before Luke Patten extended Salford’s lead.
Gleeson made the initial break down the right side before offloading to Jodie Broughton. Broughton sprinted down the right flank, but had support in Patten who finished off the try.
Remi Casty brought the scores to within two points, aided with a conversion from Dureau, as he scored next to the posts from close range. This was Catalan’s first try since Salford began scoring points in the first half.
Jodie Broughton increased Salford’s lead to 34-26 with 10 minutes remaining touching down at the end of Matty Smith’s grubber kick just in time. This sealed an unlikely victory for the City Reds, despite Vincent Duport’s late try for Catalan.
Salford scores: T- Moon, Holdsworth, Gleeson, Broughton (2), Patten. G- Holdsworth (3), Smith (2)
Catalan scores: Millard, Dureau, Stacul, Paea, Casty, Duport. G- Dureau (2), Bosc
Salford sin bin: Holdsworth, V Anderson
Salford: Patten; Broughton, Moon, Gleeson, Williams; Holdsworth, Smith; Jewitt, Howarth, Sidlow; Ashurst, V Anderson, Wild. Subs: Owen, Palea’aesina, McPherson, Nero.
Catalan: Bosc; Millard, Baile, Duport, Stacul; Pryce, Dureau; Casty, Fisher, Paea; Menzies, L Anderson, Baitieri. Subs: Ferriol, Henderson, Mounis, Raguin.
Referee: Steve Ganson
Half time: 12-20