Tag: Catalans Dragons

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CATALANS V SALFORD

Once again, the Salford Red Devils have come out on top in their latest Super League match, and once again they have done so with the flair and flamboyance, which is fast becoming their trademark, throughout the sport.

Trips to the south of France, so often so daunting, have just been taken in their stride these last few weeks, commencing with that impressive win over Toulouse Olympique at a time when they were enjoying a resurgence in their fortunes, to be followed up this weekend with a comprehensive victory over the Catalans Dragons.

A combination of lengthy travelling concluding with a two and a half hour coach journey, temperatures of thirty-two degrees, passionate and vociferously partisan crowd, together with uncompromisingly physical opponents, are some of the elements of the trip to Perpignan all teams have to face and overcome.

Judging by their performance on the night, our squad just took it all in their stride – evidence indeed of the high level of preparation which must have been undertaken to this end.  Certainly, the levels of focus and confidence were there in the abundance that had been evident in several of their recent games.

No matter that they fell behind after eight minutes to  Davies’s four-pointer.  That was just accepted and brushed off as a mere blip, and, once the opening-period arm-wrestle, during which the Frenchmen threw everything they possibly could at the visitors, was out of the way, the Reds just cut loose and ran in the tries, with increasing frequency as the game proceeded.

As a spectacle the game as a whole was of a somewhat stop-start nature, predominantly as a result of the home-side’s endeavours to disrupt the flowing Salford attack.  Later, in the second half, the full physicality of the Dragons’ defensive effort led to Langi’s sin-binning, whilst a tackle from McIllorum was placed on report, and several others were penalised, all of which aided the Red Devils’ cause.

Although clearly in the driving seat, by the interval, Salford’s lead was not a match winning one by any means, and indeed, the Dragons had reasserted their authority in the closing stages of the first half, leading to a second try in the corner from Davies.  The resumption, however, saw a complete reversal of that with Salford building on the foundations they had already laid, and adding scores far in excess of most fans’ expectations.

It was of no surprise to anyone, after the past few weeks, to find that once again they did it in style, with intricate passing moves that have prised open defences, almost at will.  One variation, on Saturday, however, was that most of the tries came through the middle, as opposed to the two flanks, where the wingers and centres have been having a feast of opportunities.

This time, though, it was Marc Sneyd’s angled run towards the posts, and Brodie Croft’s combining of a dummy with clever footwork to dart through the resultant gap, having already noted that the  fullback was not in position, to go over between the posts, which showed the way forward.  Ken Sio and Deon Cross still managed, nevertheless, to increase their tallies with a try apiece.

Perhaps the most thrilling sight of the afternoon, however, was that of Kallum Watkins surging through a gap and then (twice) thundering, unopposed to score between the posts.  How the years seemed to fall away as he replicated the scores he used to register so frequently, but doing so now, thankfully, in a Salford shirt.

As long as you are running in tries, Chris Atkin and Ryan Brierley adding their touchdowns to the growing number, the requirement to defend lies dormant, until, that is, the opposition manage to secure possession, again.  At that point the Salford players were more than eager to roll up their sleeves and undertake the necessary amount of tackling, which consequently limited Catalans to a mere three scores – something the Dragons’ coaching staff are said to have found embarrassing.

If that is the case, then, one has to wonder why.  Just a mere glance back at recent results and winning margins should have been enough to forewarn them as to what to expect.  If there has been any embarrassment at all it is because Salford embarrassed Catalans by how well they played, not because Catalans themselves were embarrassing.  They just were not quite up to the task of thwarting the Red Devils’ flow of attacks.

And this weekend? Why just two important league games, and four even more important league points at stake, against Hull and Castleford.  Having forced their way into the top six, it is now imperative that the Red Devils do everything they can to retain it.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CATALANS (2)

 

It was back in early April – Easter Monday to be precise – when the Catalans Dragons paid their first visit of the season, to the A J Bell Stadium.  It would be fair to say that their performance, and the result, were far from flattering to the Red Devils with the visitors from the south of France returning home with a comfortable 10-36 victory.

How quickly fortunes can change, with Sunday’s latest encounter providing an almost complete reversal of that first occasion, with the Frenchmen, this time, managing to cross only once, for the first score of the afternoon.  From that point onwards, the Salford players set about avenging that earlier defeat, by turning in one of their most valiant defensive performances of recent seasons, rendering the Dragons completely pointless for the remaining seventy-two minutes.

It was not as though they did not have ample opportunity to rack up points, by the dozen, with the opening stages of each half being completely overshadowed by their dominance of both possession and field position.

It is invariably any team’s attack which provide spectators with their main source of entertainment and enjoyment.  Tries, tries, and more tries is what fans of every club want on behalf of their club, but on Sunday the roars of encouragement, appreciation, and approval, for the Red Devils, when they finally secured the ball, eight minutes into the second half, together with delighted and relieved applause, was equal to that afforded to their favourites on any of the scores, they eventually produced.

And deservedly so, for had they not Just tackled themselves to a standstill, standing resolute in the face of all the odds, by withstanding no less than seven back-to-back sets, a number of these coming on the final tackle of the set.  That a couple of minutes later they had to repeat this brave endeavour for a further couple of sets, only served to underline the extremely high quality of their defensive line as they stood shoulder to shoulder against the seemingly relentless onslaught of Catalans’ attacks.

Yet the longer the visitors held possession, the more confident both Salford players and supporters became that they would not manage to score.  There were some remarkably close shaves, however.  Who, for example, can forget that incredible try saving tackle of Joe Burgess, on 28 mins, which was worth at least four points to his side, in its denial of that amount to the Dragons?

The supporters themselves also made their contribution to the win, with their vocal support, particularly through the most tortuous phases.  Their persistent, and constant, encouragement to the team, with their singing and shouting, giving the players the determination to see out the adversity with which, at that time, they were beset.

There was no mistaking the Dragons’ presumption that they could wear down the Reds by the sheer size, and aggression, of their much revered pack, but the Salford forwards stood up to them with a courage and a passion that cemented them together as a unit, so that, when they ultimately did gain possession, their far greater mobility enabled them to serve their halves and threequarters with a quality of possession that they had denied their opponents.

Of course, there were tries.  You do not accrue thirty-two points without scoring some, and the Reds went over, on five occasions.  Ken Sio led the way, with a hat-trick, after a few weeks’ drought, owing to a paucity of opportunities.  Andy Ackers’s scoot, followed by the most scintillating of passes to Brodie Croft, put the Dragons’ tormentor-in-chief, in the clear, before the defenders had even realised what was happening.

Then there was Jack Ormondroyd.  His back-to-back tries, at Warrington, were extended by yet another on 78 mins, when Marc Sneyd’s kick was recovered by Ryan Brierley for the big prop to rampage through, for his third of the season.

On top of that there were further near misses.  Brodie Croft’s overhead kick, on 37 mins, unfortunately bounced away from him, thereby denying him a clear opportunity.  A final pass to Sio, from Deon Cross, on 49 mins, after a mercurial break upfield, was ruled forward, which otherwise would have saved his side from their second salver of second half defending duties, that so inspired their fans.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils still had enough in their armoury to see off one of the most feared teams in Super League, with Championship ambitions for the end of the season, and in conditions, which should have suited the visitors far more than they did the home side.  The Salford players now need to take this weekend’s experience with them, as they travel, for their very first Super League visit to Toulouse, next weekend.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: HUDDERSFIELD V SALFORD, MAGIC WEEKEND

After two of their most impressive wins of the season, over Wakefield and Warrington, Salford Red Devils travelled to Newcastle for this season’s Magic Weekend Supported by SKY O, to take on Huddersfield with the hope that they would not only be able to avenge their loss in the away game, earlier this season, but also extend their run of victories to three, for the first time this season.

The Red Devils have become well-practised in the art of backing up one win with a second, as has happened on three occasions, Castleford & Toulouse, Leeds & Castleford, and the aforementioned Wakefield & Warrington, but have not, so far, been able to put a run of three or more together.

Unfortunately, that proved to be the case once more, at St James’s Park, with the Giants being the ones to walk tall, at the final whistle.  It was a lack of consistency throughout the encounter, which was to be the Reds’ downfall, with at least one period in which they were totally dominant  the with opposition on the rack, but there were too many occasions where they lost concentration and fell away.

The roasting conditions, out on the pitch, were not helpful to any side, but, as always, were the same for both teams, and with a lighter, more mobile pack, one might have expected that they would have suited Salford rather more than the aptly named Giants.  That, however, did not prove to be the case, and a somewhat hesitant start handed the initiative to the opposition.

The game was barely three minutes old, when a lost ball in a tackle, close to the Giants’ line, gifted them possession, and a towering end-of-set kick caused a little hesitancy in the mind of fullback, Ryan Brierley, with his being beaten to the catch by the oncoming Toby King, who took it on the full to race over between the posts.

In fairness to the Salford players, their response to this setback was admirable as they built up pressure on the Huddersfield line, and were most unfortunate not to score from Marc Sneyd’s kick into the in-goal area, with the ball just bouncing away from Rhys Williams’s hand as it came down to ground it.

A try at that point would have been most beneficial, but, as it was, things just deteriorated further with the Yorkshire side taking advantage of a seven-tackle set to proceed down-field and double their score with a try to the right of the posts.

With Huddersfield’s confidence sky-high by this point, it took some considerable endeavour in the heat, and some lengthy spells defending their line, on the part of the Salford players  to prevent their going even further behind, but it was only a matter of time before the Giants got their third score of the afternoon, from McQueen, in the 26th minute.

At long last the Reds did get some possession in good field position and were able to apply some pressure of their own and show a response, which they did with some seemingly off-the-cuff inter-passing, and switches of direction, until Deon Cross was able to hand-off a wrong-footed defender and open the Reds’ account, on 33 minutes.

Had they been able to retain this twelve-point deficit to half time, the outcome might have been very different, but the last five minutes saw repeated assaults on the Salford line, culminating with the loss of the ball, after only one tackle, affording the opposition one extra chance, with less than a minute remaining, – a chance they did not scorn.

How different things proved to be at the start of the second half, with the Red Devils coming out of the blocks determined to put right things, which had gone awry, earlier.  Secure in the belief that, particularly in those conditions, even an eighteen-point lead could be overturned, they started to build pressure of their own, but it was the individual contribution, and incredible footwork of Brodie Croft, which were to be the undoing of the Giants, in the first fifteen minutes.

Twice, on 47 and 51 minutes, he put himself in space to employ the most bewildering of tricky runs to bring the Reds back into the game.  The first came from a speedy play-the-ball by Sam Luckley, which enabled dummy-half, Andy Ackers, to scoot towards the defensive line, before passing to Croft, who sped through a gap to round Lolohea and score by the posts.

Four minutes later, the same threesome of Ackers, Luckley and Croft combined again, with this time Croft once again breaking the defensive with a slight change of direction, drawing in Lolohea, and then passing inside to the rampaging Luckley who held off all challengers to go in under the posts.  His celebration, on doing so, was such that it drew the attention of one, Alan Shearer, whose subsequent tweeting of the try, and afters, has, to date, brought just under two thousand, eight hundred ‘likes’.

One week earlier, a similar turnaround in momentum was sufficient to bring home the spoils to Salford.  Sadly, on this occasion, there was no repetition of that, with the Giants’ regrouping, playing percentages, and managing the remaining time, well.  Consequently, it was they, and not Salford, who went on to add one final try to make the game safe.

On that previous occasion, the Red Devils had built up an early eight-point lead, which was, subsequently, the winning margin.  This week, they did not have any early points to draw upon, and in that, thereby, lies a lesson which, hopefully, the whole squad will be quick to learn, even more hopefully, in time for next Sunday’s home fixture with Catalans Dragons.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: SALFORD V CATALANS

 

Returning to the A J Bell for only their fourth home fixture of the season, the Salford Red Devils will undoubtedly have been hoping for a turnaround in fortunes after three successive away fixtures in which they had come out second best, when they took on the Catalans Dragons, in Easter Monday’s encounter.

Unfortunately, on the day, this did not turn out to be the case, and the visiting Frenchmen returned home to Perpignan with the two league points to promote further their Super League title aspirations.

That seemed far from likely in the opening stages however, as Salford opened the game with aplomb, dominating possession and turning their most advantageous field position into points, with the first of their tries coming in the fourth minute from Ryan Brierley’s kick over the line, to which Deon Cross won the race to ground.

Indeed, the visitors had really looked at sixes and sevens during that opening onslaught, conceding three set-restarts and a penalty, but once the Red Devils had put in their end-of-set kick after the restart, the visitors began to enjoy a share of possession, and chalk up scores of their own.

What will have disappointed the home fans particularly was the way in which Salford contributed to their own downfall, with unforced individual errors, a number of which led directly, or indirectly, to the Dragons’ six tries, all of which were converted.

Two back-to-back penalties, both towards the end of sets-of-six, set up the visitors for their first, on nine minutes, and then, nine minutes later, they forced a goal-line drop-out, which was followed by their being awarded two further penalties, one of which came on the last tackle of their set.  That was more than enough possession for them to go over again and double their score.

The error, which will have caused most annoyance in the Salford ranks, however, was from a penalty awarded to the Dragons at a scrum for the Reds failing to have secured the ball in readiness to feed it in. The shot-clock sounded, while they were still recovering it, and, from the ensuing penalty, Catalans rang up their third try to bring a 6-18 half-time score.

Twelve points is by no means a match-winning lead and there must have still been hopes of a resurgent home side overturning this, particularly against an opposition depleted by a sin-binning, immediately before the interval.  Far from that, however, it was the twelve-man French side which opened the scoring, following a Salford handling error close to their own line, with the ball firting out into the grateful hands of Whitley with the line at his mercy.

It was not until the sixty-fifth minute that Salford were able to add to their opening score, with their second coming after Marc Sneyd had instigated it with one of his favourite chip and chases, which so used to delight spectators of our Youth team, back in the late noughties.  Brierley regathered before putting in a kick ahead of his own for Sio to add to his growing number of tries for the season.

This, however, was merely sandwiched between two further tries by the visitors, the final one of which came as a result of yet another unforced error, this time an incorrect play-the-ball, which gave the Dragons possession to notch one more.

Standing up to a side as big and physical as the French side is, is a considerable task, particularly with the spate of injuries currently plaguing the Red Devils.  The effort they put in to doing this was tremendous, and the go forward provided by Sam Luckley was significant, as was that of the returning Kallum Watkins, in the unaccustomed role of second row following his introduction off the bench shortly before half time.  With the return eventually of others, that effort will hopefully be turned into victories.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: WARRINGTON V SALFORD

The travelling Salford Faithful who had made the trip to support their favourites at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium, in the Rivals Round against Warrington Wolves, must have left the ground wondering what has gone wrong with the Reds’ defence over the past couple of games, for it was only three weeks ago that they had limited Wigan to three tries only, despite the Warriors having a significant proportion of possession and field position.  One week earlier, Leeds had been kept try-less in the second half allowing the Red Devils to capitalise with a 26-12 home victory.

Since then, however, a total of eleven tries has been leaked, with some tackling being of quite questionable quality.  Both Wakefield and Warrington exploited Salford’s right edge defensive frailty, with the Wolves scoring four of their five tries on their left wing through King (3) and Ashton (2).

It had been the Red Devils’ attack which had been a matter of concern until recently, but, having equalled Wakefield’s scoring tally last week, they notched another three against this week’s hosts, on Thursday evening, from Ken Sio who latched onto Brierley’s kick into his corner on the stroke of half-time, Andy Ackers who scooted over from a play-the-ball close to the Wolves’ line, and Ryan Brierley who brought the curtain down on the game with a last gasp score.

Good as those tries were, there were a number of other occasions when the Reds came close to additional scores, particularly in the second half, during which the visitors built several periods of pressure.  There were a number of occasions when potential tries failed to satisfy the referee sufficiently for him to award them.

Infuriatingly, the first of these led to a twelve-point whammy, with the home side utilising the subsequent seven-tackle restart, by scoring from that final, extra play-the-ball.  Sneyd’s kick into the in-goal area, had been initially adjudged to have been grounded by a Warrington defender which would have then led to a goal-line drop-out, but the verdict of the in-goal judge was that Brierley had first fumbled the ball over the line, and so a twenty-metre restart was determined.

Shortly afterwards, Burgess was tackled into touch before he could ground the ball, then Sio was tackled with the ball almost in touching distance of the line, and finally a Warrington defender managed to get himself between the ball and the ground, as he tackled Taylor over the line.  All were evidence of the Reds’ vastly improved attacking play, but thwarted, on the night, by extremely determined Warrington defending, the like of which Salford would have benefited from copying.

A significant total of five goal-line drop-outs was further evidence of the extent to which the Red Devils tested their hosts’ goal-line defence, with the majority of these coming as a result of a home defender having to make the ball dead, either by grounding it in-goal, or being tackled over the dead-ball line.

It is widely regarded that the acquisition of eighteen points should be a match-winning score.  That this proved to be far from the case, on Thursday, was purely down to the six tries scored by Warrington, who were allowed to play the game at whatever pace suited them at the time.  One particular set-of-six, towards the end of the first half, saw them up and playing the ball at exceptional speeds and consequently making remarkable progress up the field, in hardly any time at all.

It is up to the defending side to control this, by various options which do not incur the wrath of the referee.  That, with a mere thirty seconds left on the clock, the penalty count was an incredible eight to two, in favour of the Wolves, would seem to indicate a lack of success in this area.  Salford’s tally was actually doubled, in the dying moments, by some gamesmanship from the home side which led to their reduction to twelve players, and Brierley’s last-ditch score.

There have been a number of games now which have produced a mixed bag of performances, but it is producing balanced consistency throughout the full eighty minutes, which will return them to return to winning ways.  An Easter Monday home game against the Catalans Dragons would be the ideal place to start.

SEASON TICKET MILESTONE REWARDS RETURN FOR 2022

Similarly to 2021, Salford Red Devils season ticket milestone rewards will be on offer for the coming campaign.

The last season was unprecedented and we appreciate all your support as we hit several of last year’s milestones.

There will be 12 draws with 12 fantastic rewards on offer every time a milestone is met.

The reward for each milestone in order is shown below:

  • Goody bag with OddBalls merchandise and Slim Chickens card
  • 2022 signed shirt
  • Signed City of Salford Monopoly board
  • Signed ball
  • Two tickets for directors away – enjoy an away matchday experience as a Salford VIP
  • Two tickets for directors home – enjoy a home matchday experience as a Salford VIP
  • A day with the Reds – training, lunch, promos and more!
  • Corporate Box for 10 for one game
  • Participate in victory song
  • All inclusive trip for two to Toulouse
  • All inclusive trip for two to Catalans
  • Car for 12 months courtesy of Faster Car Finance

 

Every time a milestone is hit in our season ticket sales, we will do a draw and announce the winner on our social channels.

You can purchase your season ticket HERE, with prices currently at an early bird reduced figure.

We hope to see as many of you as possible in those stands at the AJ Bell Stadium in 2022, so get behind your Salford Red Devils.

Due to the ongoing threat and impact of COVID-19, prizes are subject to change.

Ormondroyd – “My goal is to try and nail down a spot in the team every week”

Prop Jack Ormondroyd seized on his opportunity last Saturday, capping off his great performance against Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup with a Man of the Match honour.

Now Ormondroyd will be knocking on head coach Richard Marshall’s door for a consistent spot in the starting line-up.

“My goal is to try and nail down a spot in the team every week,” Ormondroyd said.

“I had a meeting with Rich (Richard Marshall) and Danny (Orr) pre-season, and we set some goals and that was one of my goals. I’ve put quite a lot of work in pre-season and hopefully Rich and Danny have seen that and hopefully it will pull off.”

The number 25 made 7 appearances in his debut season in Salford last term. By his own account, Ormondroyd believes his performance against Widnes is a way to help nail down his spot in the Salford team.

There were also a lot of opportunities handed to new signings, with players such as Morgan Escare, Darcy Lussick and Matt Costello all featuring in the weekend’s win.

Ormondroyd talked about building chemistry with the newer players in the squad and the harmony within the dressing room.

“With all new teams it takes quite a bit of time to gel. I think we’ve had a long pre-season, we met up the week before Christmas, so we’ve had a lot of time now together. All the new lads are good lads.”

“That’s a big thing here at Salford, we talked about it a lot last year and this year. I’ve been good mates with everyone, having no bad eggs in the team, and that goes a really long way in making you a successful team. Everybody wants to work hard for each other and work hard for the coach as well. “

The Red Devils return to Betfred Super League action this Saturday against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan. Catalans have won all three of their opening games this season and Ormondroyd knows they are going to be a tough test.

Ormondroyd added: “It will be a tough game. They’ve got a big pack, but I think it’s a good chance for us.

“We didn’t have two great performances in our last two, so we talked about restarting our season against Widnes. It’s a step up this week.”

Image credit: Steve McCormick

Written by: Callum Williams

Watson – “They stand together”

Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson has heaped the praise onto his players for the collective effort they have put in over the past few weeks.
The Red Devils scored six second-half tries against the Dragons on Monday afternoon to turn the game on its head, and have impressed their head coach going into their final fixture.
Watson said: “I think we’ve responded the right way in the last two weeks, and I think individual players have responded really well.
“The group is about each other, that’s how this group has been built.
“The one thing that they do, they stand together. Amongst everything else, whatever is thrown at them, they stand together.”
With their 2020 Betfred Super League season ending in this evening’s match agains Wakefield Trinity, Watson wants to build on the fantastic support that the Salford fans have given ahead of next year.
“Our supporters have been outstanding this year in donating their season tickets – the sponsors sticking by us. We need that and we need more of them as well to come forward,” Watson added.
“If we want to be classed as a top club, the only way we’re going to do it at Salford is by us all being in it together.”
Salford Red Devils supporters can get behind Watson’s men, by purchasing their season tickets  for the 2021 campaign early.
Adult prices have been reduced across all areas, making it even more affordable to watch the team next year. Further details can be found HERE.

MATCH REPORT | SALFORD RED DEVILS 42-24 CATALANS DRAGONS | MONDAY 2ND NOVEMBER

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

Talking Points | Catalans Dragons 0-46 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils earned a huge 0-46 victory over Catalans Dragons to move up to 4th in the Betfred Super League and we take a look at some of the key talking points from the dominant display.

Blistering Bibby

Jake Bibby made his first appearance of the 2019 Betfred Super League season and what an appearance it was. Bibby – who has predominantly featured on the wing for Salford – was named at centre and put on a fantastic attacking display down the left-hand side.
The 23-year-old crossed for two tries and also notched two try-assists. Bibby finished breakaway tries either side of half-time firstly planting down a Jackson Hastings kick before taking an offload and linking up with the halfback again to score just one minute after the interval.


Bibby was a constant threat for the Red Devils on the left-hand side and got his hands free on a number of occasions to offload the ball. Two of his offloads led to tries firstly his flick to Niall Evalds who punted the ball down field with George Griffin eventually finishing the move before Bibby returned the favour to Hastings as he flicked the ball out to the Australian for him to find the try-line.
The centre’s inclusion came about due to an injury to Junior Sa’u who had been ever-present up until this weekend. Bibby’s performance has emphasised the strength in depth in Ian Watson’s squad particularly in the centres alongside Kris Welham, Junior Sa’u and Ed Chamberlain.

Dogged Defence

Throughout the 2019 season so far, Head Coach Ian Watson has continuously made it clear that defence will win Salford Red Devils games, and this is something they have been working hard on which has been evident in the opening weeks of the season.
Salford Red Devils nilled London Broncos in Round Two of the 2019 season and this was the first time they had kept a team scoreless in the Betfred Super League since 2006. They also went on to keep Hull Kingston Rovers scoreless in the second half of their recent meeting which allowed a memorable comeback at KCOM Craven Park.

That resilient defence continued this weekend as the Red Devils managed to keep Catalans to nil in a fantastic performance. In the second half, Catalans did earn a number of repeated sets on the Salford line, but Ian Watson’s men stood firm and denied the Dragons.
It is extremely difficult to keep a side scoreless particularly away from home. The Red Devils will no doubt take confidence from this and be looking to carry this dogged defence into next weekend’s fixture against Castleford Tigers.

Away Form

It may be too early in the season to start discussing ‘form’ however one thing that is clear is Salford Red Devils’ improvement on the road in the early stages of the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
Last year, the Red Devils won just one away game in the Betfred Super League and they have already trebled that tally in 2019. They earned yet another away victory against Huddersfield before an impressive comeback win against Hull Kingston Rovers.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuzH4mhnoh9/
However, a 0-46 win over Catalans in Perpignan is certainly the most impressive victory so far considering the Red Devils hadn’t come away from the south of France with two points for eight long years.
This form has been helped by some brilliant travelling support from the Red Devils faithful at Huddersfield Giants, Hull Kingston Rovers and Catalans Dragons. This is something Ian Watson eluded to in his post-match press conference at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Lawton Debuts 

Off-season signing Adam Lawton made his Betfred Super League bow for the Red Devils this weekend at Catalans coming off the interchange bench in the second half. Lawton had spent the last month on loan with Betfred Championship side Rochdale Hornets for whom he powered over for three tries.
While Lawton didn’t cross for a try, he immediately settled at the top level and didn’t put a foot wrong. Catalans had begun to apply a lot of pressure to the Salford line as Lawton entered the fray, but the former Widnes man stood strong and defended a number of goal line sets to help keep the Dragons out.

Lawton will be looking to push for a regular spot in the Salford side throughout the 2019 season and there is no question that the big man will cause issues for Betfred Super League defences with ball in hand.
 
Tickets for Salford Red Devils next fixture against Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday 17th March are now available from the Club Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. For ticket and coach details, click HERE.
Salford Red Devils next home fixture sees them welcome Wigan Warriors to the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 24th March and you can purchase tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For ticket prices, click HERE.