As anticipation builds for Salford’s meeting with Catalan Dragons, here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game this weekend.
Last Time Out
Last Thursday, Salford hosted top of the table St Helens in a 4-26 defeat, with Salford’s only try coming from Derrell Olpherts. Despite the result, it was a positive performance from the Red Devils showing a resilient display against the Saints attack.
Catalan Dragons saw a very close game against Warrington Wolves last Saturday, with Sam Tomkins kicking a match-winning penalty from 45 metres in the final five minutes of the game for the 23-22 victory.
With a reputation of being a hard team to play at home, Catalan had an early advantage from Brayden Wiliame’s try in the second minute of the game. This was followed by a further try from Kenny Edwards after a defensive error on Warrington’s side, with Sam Tomkins securing the conversion both times to bring the score to 12-0 in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Winning three of their five fixtures this season have Salford currently sitting fifth in the table with six points. So far the Red Devils have claimed victory in both away fixtures, putting in impressive performances at Huddersfield and Hull KR.
Salford are currently in the lead for the most attacking kicks (63) of any other team in the league for the 2019 Betfred Super League season and have shown an outstanding defensive display in recent games.
Catalans will be looking for a second home victory tonight after their close 23-22 win over Warrington Wolves last weekend. Steve McNamara’s team have won two of four of their matches this season, with both wins coming from home fixtures.
Currently sitting at seventh in the table with only four games played, the Dragons have the chance to catch up to Salford if they were to come out victorious.
Salford’s last game against Catalan Dragons saw them leave Stade Gilbert Brutus with a 44-10 defeat; with Salford’s two tries coming from Derrell Olpherts and Josh Wood.
A stadium of 8,672 saw a game that started off on even ground with Fouah Yaha opening the scoring for Catalan. It was Olpherts for Salford who crossed in the 21st minute to bring the Red Devils into the game.
Salford failed to hold off against Catalan’s Jason Baitieri, Kenny Edwards and Yaha, who won three tries in quick succession, with Josh Drinkwater converting two to take the score to 28-4 at half-time.
A try from Josh Wood, followed by a goal from Ed Chamberlain proved not enough to fight back in the second half, as Yaha scored a hat-trick for Catalan. With one further try from Edwards and two goals from Drinkwater.
The 44-10 win for Catalan secured their place in the 2019 Super League.
Tonight will see goalkicking winger Ed Chamberlain possibly make his first competitive appearance after returning from an injury that saw him miss the early rounds of the 2019 Betfred Super League season. Jake Bibby is also in contention to make his first start of 2019.
Tonight, Catalan will see the return of Greg Bird and Lambert Belmas who will both be making their first appearance of the season.
Salford: Niall Evalds, Ed Chamberlain, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Robert Lui, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick, Greg Burke, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Logan Tomkins, Daniel Murray, Derrell Olpherts, Ken Sio, Jansin Turgot, Jackson Hastings.
Catalan: Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Samisoni Lang, Matty Smith, Remi Casty, Micky McIlorum, Sam Moa, Kenny Edwards, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Mika Simon, Benjamin Jullian, Matt Whitley, Mickael Goudemand, Lambert Belmas, Lucas Albert, Jason Baitieri, Fouad Yaha, Sam Tomkins.