Salford Red Devils travel to Perpignan this Saturday to face Catalans Dragons in Round 3 of the Betfred Super League and head coach Richard Marshall and his side are up for the challenge.
Salford are still on the hunt for their first Super League win of the season, but last Saturday’s blowout victory over Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Challenge Cup has Marshall optimistic of his team’s chances against a Catalans side who are unbeaten in 2021.
Marshall said: “The preparation was good last week, the same with this week,”
“We scored a lot of points, some really good tries and there was a lot of interplay. We’ll build off our last performance albeit in the cup.
“It’s all about discipline when you go over there to France, whether there’s a crowd there or not.”
Having won all three of their games in all competitions this season, Catalans Dragons will provide a tough test for the Red Devils.
Marshall said: “They’ve got really good half backs who guide them and a big physical team who take it right to the edge, we’ll be ready for that.
“We will need a real strong, resolute defensive line but also manage the game correctly. That’s something we’ve been talking about all week. It’s that Salford ‘never say die’ attitude and we’ve got that in abundance.”
🗣”They’re a big, physical team Catalans and we’ll be ready for that.”
📽 The pre-match press conference ahead of our Round 3 clash with @DragonsOfficiel is underway with Richard Marshall.
— Salford Red Devils 👹 (@SalfordDevils) April 15, 2021
Salford will be the first team to travel to France during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Marshall has made it clear that player welfare is at the forefront of his preparation.
“The safety and the welfare of our players is paramount for me as a coach,” Marshall added.
“We’re just flying in on the date, we’ll play and fly out on the same day. It’s get in, get the job done and then get back. We’re in our own bubble. We won’t be mixing with anyone outside of that.”
One player returning to familiar ground is full-back Morgan Escare. The Frenchman was born in Perpignan and played for Catalans for three years, and after his impressive performance against Widnes, there may be some added motivation for the 29-year-old to deliver against his former team.
“He knows about the place being it’s his former club and I’m looking forward for him to be an energiser for our team,” Marshall added.
“They’ll be no crowd there or friends and family but he’s on his home soil. I was really happy with his performance last week.”
Catalans Dragons v Salford Red Devils kicks off at 17:00 BST live on Sky Sports, and is also available to watch on Our League if you’re a season ticket holder.
Image credit: Steve McCormick
Written by: Callum Williams