Its been another tough week for Salford. After last weeks thrilling victory over
St.Helens, Ian Watson was unable to get seventeen fit players for Monday’s match with Warrington. This left the only option of forfeiting the game giving the Wolves a 24-0 win. This is obviously disappointing but this 2020 season is very different one and clubs are struggling with not only the logistics but the welfare of the players. For teams with smaller squads it’s proving a painstaking task all round.
With the Dragons being cleared to travel and play this match the race is on for them to get through their matches. Steve McNamara’s side have only played twelve games but with eight wins their win percentage sees them challenging for the top four. Catalans should be the fresher of the two sides having not played since the 9th October.
The last time the two sides met in September was the Challenge Cup Quarter Final tie. A fantastic match went to Golden Point Extra Time, Dan Sarginson crossed to score the match winner. The Dragons have played four matches since the Cup game winning three of them.
With the Super League officials meeting on Monday, it should become clearer when the regular season will finish. After this fixture Salford have three games still left to play. The Dragons will have seven remaining and will surely run out of days with the Grand Final taking place in a matter of weeks.
Super league home record.
2006 Salford 16 Catalans
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 great servant to both clubs.
A MATCH TO REMEMBER Friday 1st June 2012
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).
Catalans Dragons: Bosc, Millard, Baile, Duport, Stacul, Pryce, Dureau, Casty, Fisher, Paea, Menzies, Anderson, Baitieri.
Subs. Ferriol, Henderson, Mounis, Raguin.
Ref: Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Returning to the AJ Bell Stadium will be a nice boost for Salford despite the game being played behind closed doors. The club have done quite a bit of traveling to playing venues over the past few months so the home comforts and familiar surroundings will be more than welcome.
As we’ve seen already this season Catalans have plenty of quality in their squad and will be desperate to be involved in their madden Gran Final.
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.
Israel Falou, a huge player for the Dragons.
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.
After being on the back foot for most of their match with Champions St.Helens, Salford showed all the grit and determination we’ve come to expect of them. Holding their nerve with Krisnan Inu scoring a fine try late on and converting off the touch line to win the match.
Ian Watson has welcomed back quite a number of players to the squad including centre Kris Welham. It was announced recently that Kris is leaving Salford at the end of the year to join Featherstone Rovers. After four seasons with Salford Kris has become a firm favourite with the supporters and will be missed next season.
The Red Devils have looked busted in recent weeks with injuries and fatigue decimating the small squad. This group of players are a tight knit bunch and will want to finish this season as high on the League Ladder as possible.
The action gets under way at 3pm.
Stay safe and enjoy the match.