After five months without playing a match Salford could have been excused for a little rustiness however last Sunday’s thumping of Hull made Ian Watson’s side look like a well oiled, efficient machine. A ten try display, fifty four points and some enthralling attacking rugby helped underline the great work Watson and his coaching staff have been doing.
It’s been a difficult time for everyone in day to day life in recent times. For a club like Salford who aren’t awash with riches and resources everyone has had to come together. Results and on field performances quite rightly grab the headlines but the work ethic, team spirit and togetherness of recent times has made the supporters so proud to follow the team they hold in their hearts.
One of the most pleasing aspects of last Sunday’s result was the sheer depth of the performance. Every player did their job to perfection, reading the plays perfectly. Tactics were almost faultless from Watson and his assistant Paul Rowley. Watson and Rowley may sound like a private detective agency but the pair link up so well when it comes to Salford’s rhythm and style of play.
Salford look to have come back fitter and stronger despite the long lay off this year, again that is full credit to Greg Brown and the rest of the back room team. This Saturday is sure to be another huge test against a very fast and physical Catalans side.
The Dragons bounced back from a defeat to defending champions St Helens with an impressive victory over Castleford last weekend.
Super League Home record.
2006 Salford 16 Catalans 0
2007 Salford 10 Catalans 0
2009 Salford 16 Catalans 18
2010 Salford 12 Catalans 24
2011 Salford 18 Catalans 44
2012 Salford 34 Catalans 30
2013 Salford 16 Catalans 12
2014 Salford 34 Catalans 22
2015 Salford 18 Catalans 14
2016 Salford 12 Catalans 26
2017 Salford 50 Catalans 12
2018 Salford 32 Catalans 16
2019 Salford 40 Catalans 14
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.
Michael Dobson, a terrific player for both clubs.
A match to remember Friday 1st June 2012.
Salford Red Devils 34 Catalans 30.
It looked like ‘Good night Vienna’ after twenty five minutes as The Dragons blitzed Salford to storm in to a 0-20 lead with four unanswered tries.
The Reds hit back with tries from Joel Moon and Daniel Holdsworth but Vinnie Anderson was sin-binned before half-time with the score reading 12-20.
Salford were right back in the match with momentum swinging in their favour. The home supporters roared their side on and more points followed.
Two quick fire tries in the opening five minutes of the second half edged Salford in front at 22-20. Sean Gleeson grabbed the first within sixty seconds of the restart before the lightning quick Jodie Broughton crossed soon after.
Salford made it twenty eight points without reply when Australian fullback Luke Pattern crossed for a try. This was a significant score as it opened an eight point gap between the teams.
The Dragons came roaring back though with a try from French international Remi Casty. Their was no stopping the huge prop close to the line.
Jodie Broughton nudged Salford back into a two score lead with his second try and despite Vincent Duports late effort it was just enough for the home side to cling on.
This was an absolutely pulsating encounter in the first meeting between the two sides at Salford’s new stadium.
Catalans had won on an emotional final day at The Willows the previous year.
The teams that night were:
Salford: Patten, Broughton, Moon, Gleeson, Williams, Holdsworth, Smith, Jewitt, Howarth, Sidlow, Ashurst, Anderson, Wild.
Subs. Paleaaesina, Owen, McPherson, Nero.
Sin Bin: Anderson (38).
Catalan Dragons: Bosc, Millard, Baile, Duport, Stacul, Pryce, Dureau, Casty, Fisher, Paea, Menzies, Anderson, Baitieri.
Subs. Ferriol, Henderson, Mounis, Raguin.
Ref: Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Saturday’s match .
Both sides will be brimming with confidence coming in to this ‘behind closed doors fixture’. The two sides met in Perpignan back in March just before the global pandemic. The Dragons punished Salford with a powerful first half display and despite a much improved second from the Red Devils they went down to defeat 30-14.
Catalans brought some really quality players in for the start of the 2020 season and if they can click they could have a big say come the business end of the campaign. Half backs Josh Drinkwater and James Maloney have bags of experience. Two quality players who know how to perform on the big stage. One man who doesn’t need any introduction is Australian star Israel Falou. Power and pace come hand in hand. To top it off Falou has a magnificent try record as well as being an accomplished defender. Former Wigan aces Sam and Joel Tomkins are now with Catalans along with hooker Michael McLlorum and Lewis Tierney. Add to this a whole host of French talent with Benjamin Jullien, Fouad Yaha, Julian Bousquet and stalwart Remi Casty, coach Steve McNamara has a very capable squad.
Israel Falou has added real strike power to the Catalans back line.
Tui Lolohea took the plaudits last Sunday for Salford with a man of the match display. In the absence of Kevin Brown, Chris Atkin stepped in to partner Lolohea in the halves. Atkin did a fine job with a try and some real creativity as well. A big display from Salford’s pack kept Hull at bay and this will be needed again to combat the power of the Dragons. Salford had a real sharpness about them last week with some absolutely stunning tries scored.
Tui Lolohea had a fantastic match for Salford last weekend.
Both these sides like to play an expansive style of play and if I was a betting man I’d expect a few points to be scored on Saturday in what promises to be a thrilling match.
Stay safe and enjoy the match everyone.