The inspired signing of half back Josh Drinkwater has seen The Dragons transform there season. A few months ago they were rooted to the foot of the Super League table with head coach Steve McNamara being slated here there and everywhere. Credit to Steve though he’s hung in there, with a Challenge cup semi final against St. Helens on the horizon and his side sitting 7th in the table there is plenty to smile about. Victory for Catalans on Saturday will secure there place in the top eight with a game to spare. Salford’s last victory in this fixture came in 2011. There has been some really high scoring encounters between the two sides, in particular the crazy 40-40 draw in 2015.
Tony Gigot a real talent who is definitely one to look out for
Super League away record
2006 Catalans 22 Salford 28
2006 Catalans 26 Salford 6
2007 Catalans 66 Salford 6
2009 Catalans 38 Salford 6
2010 Catalans 14 Salford 22
2011 Catalans 10 Salford 22
2012 Catalans 40 Salford 18
2013 Catalans 40 Salford 6
2014 Catalans 37 Salford 24
2015 Catalans 40 Salford 40
2016 Catalans 42 Salford 32
2017 Catalans 38 Salford 6
They played for both.
Despite Catalan Dragons short existence there are a number of players who’ve played for both clubs including Jodie Broughton, Luke Burgess, Iain Thornley, David Berthezene, Todd Carney, Michael Dobson and Richie Myler.
A match to remember Saturday 25th March 2006
Catalans 22 Salford City Reds 28
More than 500 Salford supporters took the opportunity to see the Reds play abroad for the first time in 10 years.
And they were treated to a superb see-saw contest which was jam-packed with turning points and controversial refereeing decisions.
An excellent start to the 2006 campaign had seen Salford playing some fantastic rugby built on the solid foundations of there hard working mean defence. There was a steel about Karl Harrison’s boys. Something that had been gradually built up, 2003 saw promotion after a superb and near faultless season in the National League one, 2004 and 2005 were all about stability. One of the key ingredients to the side of 2006 was the acquisition of Andrew Dunemann. The clever Australian a brilliant organiser on the pitch who was bang in form for this trip to the South of France.
Most teams would have buckled after conceding 16 points without reply in the lion’s den that is the Aime Giral stadium.
The Reds looked dead on their feet in the second half and they were unable to rotate players from the bench due to a host of injury problems.
Full back Karl Fitzpatrick was the hero of the hour as far as Salford fans were concerned.
He scored a brilliant first half brace of tries and prevented Catalans from pinching a point at the death with a sensational try-saving tackle on Bruno Verges.
Salford’s other tries came from Aaron Moule 2, Andy Coley and Simon Finnigan.
The only real concern was the goal kicking with just two conversions from six attempts between David Hodgson and Luke Robinson.
The Reds were flying high in the league after this result with five wins from there opening seven matches. It’s fair to say the atmosphere in Perpignan after the game was tremendous. The travelling Salford supporters enjoying a special time and a team to be proud of.
Salford returned for another away fixture with the Dragons in July 2006. This match was played in Narbonne. Catalans won this one in sweltering conditions 26-6. It was that warm the kick off was put back to allow the conditions to cool down. The match had water breaks every 20minutes.
A final league position of 5th place in 2006 was our best since our 4th place in 1979/80 season.
Salford’s team line up that night in March 2006 was;
Team: Fitzpatrick; Hodgson, Littler, Moule, Wilshere; Dunemann, Robinson; Baldwin, Alker, Highton, Coley, Brocklehurst, Finnigan. Subs used: Haggerty, Clough, Langi, Clayton.
Karl Fitzpatrick scored a brace in the 2006 meeting
Catalans are a team in form and are usually a tough nut to crack at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan. Since beating Salford at the Magic weekend in May The Dragons have never looked back, with home and away victories over Leeds, Widnes and high flyers Castleford were put to the sword in France.
Two tricky away trips in the last fortnight has yielded three points, a tremendous display at Wakefield winning 18-35 and last Friday’s draw at Warrington 22-22.
Salford’s form has suffered recently with a heavy defeat at Hull Kingston Rovers and last weeks loss at home to Castleford. Ian Watson is doing it tough being down to just 17 fit players last weekend.
The Red Devils can no longer escape the Middle Eights but will be looking to take confidence in to the qualifiers from there last two games of the regular season.
Australian half back Jackson Hastings should be arriving soon to bolster the squad and with Niall Evalds, Kris Welham and Craig Kopzack on the mend there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Safe travels and enjoy the match, Paul Whiteside.