A dominant second-half display from Salford Red Devils saw them run out 42-24 winners against Catalans Dragons, on their return to the AJ Bell Stadium.
Despite trailing by 12 points at half-time, six tries in the second forty made sure the tie ended well and truly in Salford’s favour.
It was Catalans Dragons who found themselves on the scoreboard first. Their pressure was too much for the Salford line, which was broken by Paul Seguier to give the visitors the lead after 11 minutes.
From the restart, Catalans doubled their lead as Israel Folau broke clear and with a turn of blistering pace, was able to feed Tom Davies who went over next to the sticks.
Ian Watson’s men finally picked up their first try of the afternoon in the 25th minute. After some neat passing down the left, Tui Lolohea sent a looping pass out to Krisnan Inu, who slid in at the corner unopposed.
The Dragons responded just after the half-hour mark. This time Sam Kasiano reacted first to a loose ball and grounded to the left of the sticks.
Salford thought they had cut the visitors’ lead just before half-time, but Tyrone McCarthy saw his try ruled out for offside.
Half-time: Salford Red Devils 6-18 Catalans Dragons
Salford started the second forty a lot better. Kallum Watkins went down the right and found Rhys Williams on his inside to cut the deficit to six points in the 42nd minute.
Inu completed a brace in the 48th minute, with another simple try. This time it was Kris Welham who set the number five up to stroll over down the left.
The Red Devils turned the tie on its head in the 51st minute and took the lead for the first time through Lolohea, after Watkins’ explosive pace down the right created a gap for Dan Sarginson to feed Lolohea.
Watkins picked up a try of his own moments later, gathering a Pauli Pauli offload down the middle and breezing through the Dragons’ defence once again to ground the ball between the sticks.
Just after the hour mark, Lolohea doubled his try tally for the afternoon with a strong and determined run through the middle that saw him deservedly make it to the whitewash.
Inu completed his hat-trick inside the last five minutes, set up by Sarginson as Salford outnumbered the Dragons down the left.
Catalans got themselves a try on the hooter through David Mead, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
Fulltime: Salford Red Devils 42-24 Catalans Dragons
Salford Red Devils: Sarginson, Williams, Watkins, Welham, Inu, Lolohea, Atkin, Mossop, Lussick, Yates, Ormondroyd, Pauli, Burke.
Catalans Dragons: Mead, Davies, Langi, Folau, Yaha, Maloney, Drinkwater, Casty, Mcilorum, Moa, Seguier, Jullien, Garcia
Salford tries: Inu (3), Williams, Lolohea (2), Watkins
Salford goals: Inu (7/7)
Catalans tries: Seguier, Davies, Kasiano, Mead
Catalans goals: Maloney (4/4)
Referee: Jack Smith
Image credit: Steve McCormick