Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust

The voice of Salford Red Devils fans

Paul Whiteside 0 Comments

Dragon Fire Too Hot For Devils!

The trip to the South of France is probably the most demanding in Super League. Salford were low on numbers taking just a nineteen man squad. Tim Lafai and Marc Sneyd were notable absentees and King Vuniyayawa wasn’t available after his immigration issues.

The weather in Perpignan had been fairly cloudy on Saturday morning but the temperatures were warm around thirty degrees. The sun slowly crept through the clouds in the afternoon for this tea time kick off.

The Dragons home form had been fairly consistent in 2023 with just three defeats. Beaten in the cup and League at home to Warrington and a surprise home reverse to Huddersfield a few weeks ago were the only discrepancies for the Dragons.

For some supporters it had been quite a journey of planes, trains and automobiles for one of the most enjoyable away trips in Rugby League.

Two points from this fixture would be crucial for Salford and would keep them in touch with the top six.

Paul Rowley made the inevitable changes necessary due to the missing personnel. Chris Atkin started at scrum half with Amir Bourouh at nine, Andy Ackers made the bench along with James Greenwood. Matty Costello started in place of Tim Lafai.

James Greenwood returned to the side.

The Dragons had English trio Sam Tomkins, Tom Davies and Tom Johnstone in their three quarter line. Mitchell Pearce and Tyrone May were in the halves. Matt Whitley started in the second row with the ever reliable Benjamin at loose forward.

The heat was immense as the two sides walked out to a tremendous atmosphere. The Dragons supporters are so welcoming but as soon as the match kicks off they are as partisan as they come.

The games first real chance came from a Tomkins break on the left edge but Salford covered it well as the Dragons slightly over played it.

Salford defended numerous sets of six as the Dragons pummelled the try line. Garcia looked all on to score but couldn’t take the pass.

Michael Mcllorum created the games first try with a neat kick for Adam Keighran who fell on the ball to score.

After two set restarts in the same set another kick similar to the first try brings Keighran his second try. 12-0.

Salford were starved of possession and when they finally put pressure on the Dragons line they lost the ball but it did look like a Catalans player knocked on.

Moments later another kick on the left edge brought the home sides third try. This time Johnstone went over. The conversion went wide to leave Salford trailing 16-0.

When Brodie Croft knocked on at the blind side of the scrum just a minute remained in the half. The Dragons punished Salford with another try. May went over to send the hosts in leading 22-0 at the break.

It must of been warm in the changing rooms because Paul Rowley and his side stayed on the field for the majority of the interval.

The Dragons kicked a penalty goal to extend the lead to 24-0 and shortly after Deon Cross failed to deal with a loose ball, once again the Dragons exposed the left edge and Johnstone scored in the corner.

Joe Burgess looked to break but was put in to touch by a smart tackle and the Dragons scored on the next play from powerful youngster Tiaki Chan.

A super Croft break put Burgess away, he was held down to long by Tom Davies and the Dragons winger was sin binned for a professional foul.

With the Dragons down to twelve men for ten minutes it gave a tired looking Salford side some slight relief. Tomkins nailed another penalty goal with his side a man down as the match approached the final ten minutes.

The Dragons bludgeoned Salford straight through the middle, Tomkins was there to score after some good support play.

The home side were still full of energy and Salford who had given a lot of honest endeavour and commitment looked a busted team.

The Red Devils are back in action next Sunday when they face St.Helens at the Salford stadium.

Catalans 42 Salford 0.

Paul Whiteside.

Big thanks to Steve McCormick for the photos.


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